Editing an essay is an important skill every successful student needs. Without it, it will not be easy to complete your studies. But what if you have not yet learned how to edit an essay and your professor has already asked you to write it?


Steps to take when editing an essay How Money Works
Steps to take when editing an essay See 2022 update

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Editing an essay step by step

Correcting errors in the content of the essay:

  • Make sure that the main point of your essay is clear enough for the reader.
  • It is necessary that the main thesis of the text is argued.  Make sure there are examples, facts, opinions, counter-arguments, quotes that will support your opinion.

Correcting errors in paragraphs

Let's turn to the essay as a whole. How are the paragraphs logically arranged? What is the best way to arrange the paragraphs? How to strengthen one, and remove the other? Once you have these questions figured out, you can start revising each paragraph.

Remember that a paragraph is a series of sentences united by a common idea (a mini-thesis). If you have more than one mini-thesis, there should be as many paragraphs. Look closely at each paragraph and underline the mini-thesis. If you can't identify it, take a closer look - you may be able to find a guiding thought and make a mini-thesis out of it. At the very least, concentrate on the content of the whole paragraph and decide what thought could unite all the sentences. Such a search may reveal the fact that these sentences are not necessary for this essay. In that case, it is better to get rid of them.

If there is more than one mini-thesis in one paragraph, break it into two. But before you do this, make sure that the key idea is worth making into a stand-alone mini-thesis, and that it fits the main thesis and the overall objective. If not, drop the second mini-thesis. Thoughts that are irrelevant to the topic of your essay not only take you away - they prevent the reader from concentrating on the topic in question.

Plot development

Once you have established the mini-thesis of each paragraph, check whether it is proved by the whole content of the paragraph. The mini-thesis, like the main thesis, requires argumentation. Pay particular attention to short paragraphs of one or two sentences. Make sure they are serious.

You are entitled to a short paragraph, but only when you need to emphasise the importance of what is being said.

Correcting mistakes in sentences

So, you have reviewed both the whole essay and each paragraph individually. You have a clearly formulated thesis statement, sound evidence, and the paragraphs are organised into a coherent structure with good transitions.

You should now turn to the sentences. They should be concise and unambiguous in form and content.

The dynamism of the statement

The active voice gives dynamism, but also competence and greater authority to the utterance. The passive voice states a fact. The active voice gives effect to this fact.

Make sure that the sentences used in the text are concise and unambiguous. All grammatical constructions and verb tenses have been used correctly. The connection between subject and predicate is not broken, verb, noun and adjective suffixes have been used correctly. Prepositions and articles are used correctly.

Only after reading the text a few times carefully and correcting the mistakes will it be possible to hand it in to the teacher for checking.