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Guidelines on How to Edit a Paper

Guidelines on How to Edit a Paper

Guess what is the most common reason for getting a lower mark for an academic paper? Unlike many students think, the main reason for lowering a mark is not a lack of useful information or bad writing skills, but banal and common mistakes or even misprints. Sometimes an impression from a great writing work can be spoilt even by a few minor mistakes. Why does it happen so often? The first reason is a lack of time and lack of understanding of how important the editing stage is. Students spend days if not weeks for extra research and collecting the information. They also work on their writing skills and trying to include impressive facts and hooking quotes to make their essays more interesting. However, most students think it’s only enough to read the text once or twice before passing it to the teacher.

The second reason is that students simply don’t know how to edit their academic papers in a proper way. Among a great number of articles that explain how to write and format your papers, you can hardly find a couple of useful pieces of advice on how to edit the text. We decided to create the guide that explains how important a research paper editing is and how you can manage the process in the most effective way. Now mistakes have no chance to spoil your academic record!

Steps for Proper Paper Editing

If you don’t know how to edit your text to make it worth A+ mark, just use our step-by-step guide and it will help you to manage the process in the best possible way.

What to Pay Attention to While Editing

Here are some tips:

  • Sounding of words and phrases
    When you read your text loud, you may discover that some words or phrases are difficult to pronounce. Replace the difficult words with shorter or better-sounding ones or simply change the words’ order to make a phrase sound better.
  • Length of sentences and paragraphs
    It’s better to avoid using sentences that are too long. Separate long sentences into several short ones. The same rule works for paragraphs. Use sub-paragraphs to make the text better structured and easier to read.
  • Veracity of facts
    Some sources may give you unchecked information. It’s better to check facts additionally in several sources.
  • Common mistakes
    Proofread the text to notice possible grammar, punctuation or lexical mistakes.

Useful Advice for Editing Your Text

There is a list of useful tips that allow you editing your paper more effectively:

  • Make a break
    If you’ve been working with text for too long, you may feel problems with concentrating. When your brain is tired, it’s harder to notice some minor mistakes. That’s why it’s wiser to edit text after a short break and a rest. Try to proofread your text at different times. For example, you can check it soon after finishing and reread it the next day.
  • Always read your final text loud
    When we read our writing silently, we have fewer chances to notice those sentences and phrases that sound difficult or too complicated. When reading your text loud, you can evaluate how your words will sound to others.
  • Use digital tools for extra checking
    You can find a lot of free programs that can check your text for mistakes and misprints It’s not right to rely on the tools completely, however, if you combine two ways of proofreading your text, you can get a very useful result.

What to Avoid When Editing Your Text

Knowing some useful tips won’t be really helpful if you don’t know which things shall be avoided:

  • Being in a hurry

When we are in a hurry, we can’t concentrate on small details. No matter how hard you try, your brain will make you skip minor mistakes being in a state of stress.

  • Leaving everything for the last moment

Many students know that some good ideas come after the work is already finished. Working with big pieces of information, we may need some rest to think over everything and to come up with some great creative ideas. Try to make everything in time and leave a couple of days for relaxing before you give your writing assignment to a teacher.

  • Relying on a single source only

No matter how reliable a source of information may appear to you. First, any author can make mistake. Second, some sources are already outdated. That’s why it’s always wise to check the information in several sources (minimum two).

  • Sharing Your Ideas With Nobody

Many students think that they shall not share their ideas or read their text before the day of the presentation. However, reading your essay to family members or friends helps to evaluate the possible reaction of your potential auditory to it. Read the text to others and ask about their opinion. Perhaps, you will get some useful pieces of advice.

  • Never Asking for Help

You may think that asking someone else to help you is not fair. However, it’s not true. A revision of a friend or even of a writing expert will help you notice some moments that you never thought about and will help you to learn some great writing tips.

Always remember that paper editing is just the same necessary part of writing any academic paper like a research or formatting. Paying no attention to editing you are in a great risk to get a low mark and to lose a chance to impress your teacher and group mates. Don’t lose the opportunity to improve your academic record because of a couple of mistakes only!

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