Editing A Paper

Get your red pens out everyone! It’s time to edit this until it bleeds!

Just like with any other work, you are going to go over this a few times, and that is okay. If you have a grade on the line, you want this to be as perfect as you possibly can.

At first, look for the same things you would in any other work. Awkward wordings, grammar issues, spelling errors, and disruptions in flow or consistency. Something easily gone over with a proofreader in your local tutoring group.

Once that quick go over is complete, now it’s time to dig a little deeper.

Check all of your facts on your second run. All of the research in your paper needs to make sense, if it doesn’t work for what you are trying to say it has to go. Double check your definitions using the definitions page you have in your notes, you don’t want to end up using jargon that no one understands.

Finally go grab the style guide for your paper and go through the little details. Are the margins the right measurement? The citations, are they written properly both within the paper an in your bibliography? How about the abstract or outline? Did you include those like the guide says you need to? If so, are they formatted correctly?

If anything, try to be sure that your paper is completed at least a week or two before your deadline, that is if you are allowed the time to. This way you can not only edit it, but rewrite it until it is ready to be given to your instructor. Give yourself the time to get it to where you sound like you know what you are talking about and you feel comfortable that everything is accounted for. From there you know it’s ready and your grade will be satisfying.

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