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How To Revise An Essay And Make It Perfect Than Ever
  • Sep 2022
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How To Revise An Essay And Make It Perfect Than Ever

23rd September 2022

Would you buy instructional software from a corporation that doesn't know fundamental grammar (or perhaps simply doesn't care enough to check their advertisement)?

Most likely not.


Because simple mistakes are usually the product of shoddy work—and your professor will think the same thing if you bring in a paper with the same sort of faults.

Typos and spelling mistakes are bad enough, but holes in your paper's content and logic are considerably worse.

As a result, knowing how to rewrite an essay is a necessary ability.

So, take a current draft of an essay and use these revision tactics to make it better than before!

How to Revise an Essay and Make it Perfect than Ever

Before we get into the specifics of how to rewrite an essay, consider whether you'll be revising a digital or print copy.

If you are revising a digital copy, you should save your original draft and make changes to another copy. If you rewrite, you will be able to refer back to your initial thoughts. (Just be sure to identify the files differently so you don't accidentally send the wrong version to your professor.)

Grab a pen (and maybe a highlighter) and start marking up your pages if you're revising a physical copy. When reading a printed copy, it is generally simpler to see typos and other problems.

This strategy is used by many seasoned authors, so don't dismiss it without giving it a go.

Now that you've selected how you'll work, here are six revision strategies to help you turn your rough copy into a polished work of literary brilliance.

Revision tip #1: Write and revise on separate days

Every word you type sounds flawless when you're writing. However, if you read your essay the next day, you will see that every word is far from faultless. You could even have a few errors and phrases that are hardly understandable.

The takeaway: Don't put things off.

Allow adequate time for revision. One day, write, and the next, rewrite. You'll be astonished at the variety of mistakes that arise.

If you don't have time to wait a whole day before revising, wait at least a few hours.

Think you don't have time (or don't want to spend time) revising?

Consider this: if you don't spend an extra day or two revising, your professor will undoubtedly point out where you should have done so.

My point is that if you put in the additional work, your grade will thank you.

Revision tip #2: Read your paper out loud

Remember when you were a child and you used to read aloud with your finger?

I'm sure you've paused to sound out words in your favorite book.

Didn't it make a difference?


Because it helped you understand the words, their meaning, and the story's significance.

The words could be heard being said.

While I'm not proposing that you use your finger to trace the page or screen (though you can if you like), I do recommend that you read your essay aloud so that you can hear how it sounds.

When you read aloud, you may hear poor words and identify errors more easily.

If you have a buddy who is willing to read your work aloud, ask him or her to assist you as well. You may take a step back and listen to your words, noting where you might need to edit.

Revision tip #3: Check the content of your essay first

When most people think about editing, they envision fixing spelling and grammatical problems. Though all of these are part of the editing process, there is more to revision than adjusting some punctuation or shifting a few words about.

You must also consider the substance and growth of your work.

Make sure you finish revising the main issues (content and development) before checking for minor issues like word choice, grammatical problems, and typos.

This is why: Assume you spend 10 minutes working on a single statement that you can't seem to get right. In an attempt to create the perfect subject phrase for your paragraph, you tweak the language three times and shift the comma twice.

What happens if you spend all that time writing one line and then rewrite the topic of your essay and end up eliminating the entire paragraph because it doesn't support your argument?

Yes, you squandered ten minutes on a single sentence. That extra ten minutes would have been better spent concentrating on your main points rather than on punctuation and phrasing.

Questions to ask

Not sure what you should be looking for when you revise content? Here’s a list of questions to ask yourself:

  • Did you finish the task properly? If you intended to write a comparison and contrast essay but instead ended up writing an argument essay, you'll have a lot of work to do.

  • Is your topic sufficiently narrowed? For example, if you're writing a four-page essay on a massive and difficult topic like climate change, you'll almost certainly need to reduce your focus.

  • Is your beginning a good way to present your topic and essay? Is there an attention grabber in it that makes your readers want to keep reading?

  • Is your thesis statement specific and clear? Is it clear to readers what your article is about?

  • Have you outlined and produced important arguments to back up your thesis? Is there enough proof to back up the arguments? (Use a reverse outline to see if your paper is properly supported.)

  • Is your paper serving its intended purpose? For example, would your ideas persuade the reader if you were writing a persuasive essay? (Do you want to be more persuasive? Examine Ethos, Pathos, and Logos: Make Your Next Essay More Persuasive.)

  • Is your conclusion effective in completing your paper?

Revision tip #4: Consider style

Consider style after you've edited the content of your paper.

You may not consider writing style to be vital at first, but it plays an important role in the overall impression your writing will create on the reader.

The writing style is similar to my style. Whether you believe your style to be creative, preppy, bohemian, casual, or punk, the clothing and hairdo you wear tell a lot about the message you send to the world.

Elements such as tone, voice, and repetition in writing can reveal a lot about the message you're giving to the reader.

Here are a few things to look for as you review the style of your essay:

  • Check that you're writing in the proper voice. Is it okay for you to write in the first person? Is it appropriate to write in the third person? (In academic works, the third person is frequently chosen.)

  • Examine the overall tone of your paper. Slang and jargon should not be used in academic work. They're far too casual. Use academic voice instead. For example, you may substitute "previously" or "in recent years" for "back in the day."

  • Keep an eye out for word duplication and redundancy. If you're writing about the death sentence, it's simple to repeat the word "death penalty" because it's the theme of your work. To prevent this, use synonyms like capital punishment, execution, or authorized killing.

You may also use a thesaurus, but use it with caution. Even if the terms have identical meanings, their implications are likely to differ.

If you look up the term "silent" in a thesaurus, you'll find "speechless" as a synonym. These two terms do not signify the same thing and should not be used interchangeably.

Revision tip #5: Edit for grammar, spelling, and typos

Now that you've established the substance and style, it's time to focus on the minor details: grammar, spelling, appropriate word choice, and typos. And, while I'm sure you have spell check, don't rely on it.

Of course, spell check understands if words are correctly spelled and spelled led, but it occasionally misses things or autocorrects to something it shouldn't. For example, if you misspell "absolutely," spell check may replace it with "defiantly." This is not at all what you desire!

Checklist in a minute

I realize the five revision tactics I've included so far are a lot to remember, so I've made this checklist that summarizes the revision strategies I've included in this post for easy reference. To summarize, they are as follows:

  • Write and rewrite on different days. Set your manuscript aside for a day or two and return to it to begin the rewriting process.

  • Read your paper aloud. Reading your essay aloud allows you to detect flaws and highlight areas where you may need to clarify or rephrase concepts.

  • First, go through the topic of your essay. Before you check your grammar, make sure you've followed the assignment criteria, formulated and supported your arguments, and written an excellent conclusion.

  • Examine your paper's style. Look for the right point of view, the right words, and the right tone.

  • Correct grammar, spelling, and typos.

I've also produced a downloadable revision checklist to help you remember how to modify an essay to make it better than ever. Simply open it and select File > Make a copy to create your copy to print and mark up while you rewrite your next article.

The Final Revision

Even after all of this effort, it is not always enough to just revise your work.

While your arguments may make sense to you, they may not make sense to others. You may even miss minor grammatical and language issues since your mind interprets what you intended to express rather than what you typed.

As a result, the last method you employ while rewriting an essay...

Revision tip #6: Have someone else read your writing

Having people look at your work means they perceive it in a different light. They are reading as your audience, not as the writer, therefore they will perceive and comprehend things differently.

You may be able to have your peers read your work in some English classes. If you are not enrolled in an English class, you may have another friend (preferably one who is strong at writing) read your work. You might also go to the writing center at your school.

Even if you know how to modify an essay, it's always a good idea to have a professional editor check your work.



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