- Academic Research and Writing Tips / Tutorial

How to Revise Essays and Guidelines for Doing Research

Often students rush through write an essay or a term paper that causes the students to have mistakes. Many students believe writing an essay is a one time process and then you are finished. This is simply not true. Writing a term paper or essay requires several steps. Writing the rough draft does not usually begin until after an outline is done. After the rough draft comes the revision process.

Revised Essay

It is important to set aside the essay after writing the rough draft. Sometimes you become too close to your work during the writing period and do not realize the mistakes you are making. Begin the editing process by reading the essay out loud. Read slowly. Read what is written on the essay and not what you think you have written. Often we think we have written something and we have not. Listen for any mistakes that can be heard verbally. Listen for grammar or spelling errors. Proofreading an essay is one of the most important parts of writing essays (unless you prefer to use a professional essay writer service).

Have you met the requirements of the essay? Have you thought about what the assignment is asking? Sometimes an assignment may seem to mean one thing when it actually means something else. Read the assignment. Do you understand what the assignment is? What type of essay is the assignment asking for? Is it a persuasive essay requiring an argument? Is the essay a narrative essay? Does the assignment ask for specific information or does the assignment want to know more about what you think? Have you supported all the main points with evidence?

Have you used a hook that draws the attention of the reader? What have you used to grab the attention of the audience such as an anecdote, statistics, or facts? The first paragraph is the most important paragraph in an essay. It is important to grab the interest of the reader.

Have you stated a clear thesis statement? Take a close look at the thesis statement. Does it meet the needs of the assignment? Have you spent time writing a concise thesis statement? Do you have main points that clearly support the thesis statement? Does each paragraph have a topic sentence that states the main idea? Are your paragraphs in logical order? Does each paragraph show support of the thesis? Have you used examples to explain unclear topics? Have you used vivid words that clearly show the topic and not just tell it?

Have you used sources that clarify the content? Are your paraphrases and ideas taken from different sources cited? Have you documented your sources? Have you used transitions from one paragraph to another?

Do not rely upon the spell checker to correct all the spelling mistakes. Think about the spelling of different words. Have you followed the rules of spelling? If you are unsure of the spelling of a word check the dictionary.

Many grammar mistakes are not picked up using a grammar check. Look at individual sentences while checking for grammar. Have you used commas in the right places? Have you broken up a series with commas? Have you ended the sentence with the right punctuation mark? Check to see if a period, question mark, or exclamation mark is used correctly. Have you used both quotation marks? Sometimes it is easy to start a quote with a quotation mark and then forget the ending quotation mark. Have you used apostrophes correctly? Do they show possession? It is easy to mix up the use of words such as it's and its. If you are in doubt about the right punctuation, check the grammar check.

The importance of revising essays cannot be understated. Many mistakes are often made that will lower the scores a student can achieve by simply taking the time to proofread the essay. Proofreading is an important part of creating a great essay.