How to Improve Your Essay: A Few Tricks to Do After You Complete the Draft
Finishing the initial draft of your essay is a big accomplishment, but this is not the end of your trials. Revision and editing stages are as important as the actual writing. This is why it’s essential that you give yourself enough time to perform this part of the task masterfully.
It is always best to take a break after you complete the draft. Put the paper aside for at least a day to allow your mind some rest. You will be able to spot more mistakes when studying it with “fresh” eyes.
Here are a few tips that can help you improve the essay when revising and editing it:
- Gain some distance from your work.
- First revise, then edit.
- Compile a revision checklist.
- Use your word processor properly.
- Do not trust your grammar/spelling/style checker.
Taking a break for a few days will help with this, but it may not be enough to allow you to analyze the paper critically. Without doing this, you will not be able to judge your writing objectively.
Ask a friend or a family member to help you by reading the paper aloud. You will be able to see the essay from a new point of view while you listen to it. The person assisting you with this task will also be able to offer some valuable input on how to improve it.
At the revision stage, you will be working on the structure and meaning of the essay. Editing will deal with the manner of expressing your thoughts, namely grammar, and vocabulary.
It may be tempting to work on fixing both issues at the same time when you start rereading the paper, but this will only reduce the overall quality of your work.
Check your outline and compile a list of things that must be present in your paper. When you have a checklist, you will be able to make sure that you don’t forget to include anything important.
The vast majority of word processors today have an in-built function that allows you to see any changes made to the document when you revise it. Enable it to keep track of the changes and reassess them again when you reread the paper next time. You will need to go over the essay at least thrice to make sure that all mistakes are fixed.
This function of the word processor may seem great, but it is rather faulty and will miss many mistakes. Thus, you need to reread the paper very carefully to fix all of them.
Published on November 26th, 2014