There is no learner that has gone through high school that has not done an essay. Essay writing is essential in the academic journey for tons of reasons. It enhances the students’ critical thinking skills and allows them to learn about the real world.
Through essays, learning institutions can assess students’ understanding of subjects and materials. Essays contribute to students’ grades, and considering they have to do many of them while studying, they need to do it right. While the structure of an essay and research plays a significant role in an essay’s success, editing is the key to a brilliant grade.
Here is an editing checklist for an excellent essay:
1. Assess the structure of the essay
Whether it is a history or psychology essay, they all have structures. The standard essay structure, which is the introduction, body, and conclusion, must be maintained. The structure ensures there is a logical flow of ideas, and points are not all over.
Your essay should have a developing argument. Ensure that it has structure before you proceed to edit it further. You can rearrange paragraphs to bring order to your paper; you can also search for rewrite essay services for support.
2. Eliminate redundant words
Filler words or redundancy can be a downer to your essay. They do not add substance to your writing and may interfere with the clarity of your points. Filler words can weigh down the power of your sentences and lower the quality of your essay.
Very good words to help you avoid using “very” very often:
Your essay should be clear and concise, and you should get rid of words you don’t need. An excellent example of the filler words you should eliminate includes: in order to, that, basically, really, just, and so. Do this, and you will add focus to your essay.
3. Simplify the complex words
Using complicated words will not make your essay powerful. Do not give your reader a hard time reading your essay. Read through your paper and replace the complicated words with simpler words. Also, you are likely to use the wrong words in your quest for sophisticated words.
Complicated words will also interfere with the flow of your essay. Do not overuse complex words, and your writing will look authentic.
4. Trim the long sentences
Long sentences are hard to read and follow. While editing, pay attention to the length of the sentences and prune them if they are long. You can break the long sentences to form two sentences. Alternatively, you can use punctuation to give the reader a break.
The other way you can shorten long sentences is by eliminating unnecessary words. Sentences that have a maximum of 20 words are ideal. The same applies to paragraphs. Keep them as short as possible. 4 to 6 sentences in every paragraph is enough.
Shorter sentences capture the attention of the reader. They also make your content easy to understand and recall. Short sentences also create emphasis on your point and will make your paragraphs stronger.
Keeping sentences short enhances the readability of your essay and is more welcoming to the readers.
5. Check your commas
One of the errors that people make in their writing is wrong punctuation. The lack of commas is among the punctuation errors made in writing. The lack of commas and the improper use of commas can impede the quality of your paper.
Too many commas will break the flow of your idea and will appear odd to the reader. On the other hand, the lack of commas or too few commas will make your sentence and text hard to follow.
To ensure that you are using commas the right way, read the text out loud. Where you pause, insert a comma. This way, you will be able to feel the flow of the sentences and punctuate accordingly.
6. Check for consistent spelling
A fair share of English words has more than one correct spelling. There are British, Australian, and American spellings. As much as all the spellings may be correct, it is vital to remain consistent with the spellings.
Some of the words with inconsistent spellings are organize, finalize, labor, learned, focused, and center. Watch out for the inconsistencies with the spellings and correct them. You can use grammar checkers to point out the inconsistencies.
Also, note that some of the grammar checkers might miss some of the issues. Your essay should never have different spellings.
7. Eliminate ellipses and exclamation marks
Often students think they can make their essays more captivating by using exclamation marks ❗❗❗ and ellipses. However, these should not be found in serious academic papers. Using such punctuations only impede the seriousness of your work. ❕
8. Check the formatting
Professors often provide formatting requirements when issuing assignments. You must be consistent with the instructions. Your paper might be clear of grammar errors and have the perfect paragraph length. However, if the formatting is not done right, your essay will appear incomplete.
To get a brilliant score in your essay paper, you should be consistent from the beginning to the end. Come up with a good topic and also ensure that your work is edited before submitting. The checklist above will help you come up with a flawless essay.