The desire to provide a perfect and fascinating college essay with reliable facts and no grammatical problems is natural. However, editing and revising may be daunting if you are unprepared. To make the revision process go smoothly, you should know the steps for revising an essay, as explained below.
Definition: Revising an essay
To revise means to look over it again. Revising an essay entails reviewing the overall structure and how well you presented your ideas. You can rewrite some sentences to make your concepts more straightforward and add, remove or rearrange paragraphs to make your case more compelling.
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Revising an essay: The big picture
During your initial reading, focus on the essay’s general theme, fluency and content quality rather than correcting grammar mistakes. Once you have read your essay, you should consider the following questions.1
- How should I interpret the results of my essay?
- Was my response helpful?
- Does it provide an understanding, or is it simply a story?
- Do I illustrate my morals using personal experiences and case studies?
- Is there a good balance between focusing on myself and focusing on someone else or anything else?
Rewrite your essay to address the issues you raise if you answer any of the above questions negatively. For example;
|You make many bold claims without providing any evidence.||Be sure to provide engaging tales that illustrate these features.|
|Much of your writing is a third-person narrative, focusing on another character or concept.||Explain how this person or concept influenced your thinking, behaviour and aspirations.|
|You share a topic without providing any context.||Provide a takeaway from the experience and any changes you made.|
Revising an essay: An overview
Revising an essay well entails moving the best ideas to the front, switching the order of the essential themes and eliminating any fluff. One way to do this is to improve the visibility of the argument’s structure by bolstering subject phrases and transitions.2
Fundamentally, an introduction paragraph’s purpose is to ease the transition from the reader’s everyday experience into the textual and cognitive realm of the essay. Present yourself as an intelligent writer who has thoroughly researched the subject and can swiftly navigate the complexity and depths of the issue. The tone you choose for your beginning will determine how the rest of your essay reads.
Underline the confusing, tedious or superfluous portions when revising an essay. Go back and make any required changes, such as elaborating on dull areas with more exciting language or cutting out redundant phrases. Ensure that your essay highlights your unique qualities, interests and experiences that will appeal to institutions.
It would be best to summarise your primary arguments, reiterate your thesis and leave the reader with a last idea in your conclusion. A preliminary draft’s topic and conclusion may likely diverge if the author drifts from the initial concept to a more detailed argument while writing.
Repeat without seeming like you are trying too hard when revising an essay. Most readers do not mind a moderate level of repetition since it provides a sense of stability and familiarity they value. However, restate your thesis sparingly in the last paragraph and avoid repeatedly mentioning the same points in different wording.
Revising an essay: Checklist
Here is a checklist that will help you when revising an essay:
- While reading my work, do others understand what I mean? Have I made myself clear?
- Is the essay I turned in what the instructor expected?
- Is it possible that I am trying to do too much? Should I be more specific?
- How efficient is my method of organisation?
- How better can I explain this idea?
- Is the tone I am employing acceptable for this situation?
- Am I using any phrases that need to be defined?
The best time for revising an essay
The optimum time for revising an essay is often not immediately after you finish the first version (however, there are exceptions to this rule). Instead, give yourself space from your task by waiting a few hours or days. In this manner, you will be more open to revisions and less likely to guard your work.1
Wait at least an hour after finishing an essay to start revising it. Ideally, it would be better to hold off for a day or two.
There may be multiple revision phases, depending on the length and complexity of your essay. When you have finished editing your work, set it aside for a while so that you may come back to it with new perspectives.
While reworking your college essay, look for overarching concerns such as message, flow, tone, style and clarity. Next, concentrate on removing grammatical and punctuation mistakes.
Proofreading is just one of the revision processes. It involves reviewing the paper to ensure all ideas and content are relevant to the work.
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1 Purdue University. “Steps for Revising Your Paper.” Kibin. Accessed on February 25, 2023. https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/the_writing_process/proofreading/steps_for_revising.html.
2 Rolling, Jocelyn. “How to Revise Drafts.” The University of Minnesota Crookston. October, 2016. https://crk.umn.edu/units/writing-center/how-revise-drafts.
3 Robertson, Megan. “Academic Writing Basics.” Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Accessed on February 25, 2023. https://kpu.pressbooks.pub/academicwritingbasics/chapter/revising-your-writing/.