How to Revise an Essay: A Detailed Guide

Once you have completed the writing process, the task seems to be over. But that’s a huge misconception that causes thousands of students to get lower grades. The final step of your homework is essay revision – a meticulous process of checking the produced content. At this stage, you will need to take a second look at your intellectual product and identify any errors, typos, and inconsistencies. 

Without proper attention to this final stage, you won’t get the highest grade for the assignment, as everyone may skip some typos or syntax issues in the process of writing. Only by getting back to your text after some time can you ensure that the content is well-polished and ready for submission and supervisor review. 

Use this guide to learn how to revise and edit an essay in full compliance with readability standards. We can be your academic advisor on the revision and editing issues, thus saving you from avoidable errors and grade reductions. 

Revising the Content of Your Essay 

So, what is the best approach to revise an essay you have just completed? Experts recommend approaching the revision in a couple of stages, each pursuing a specific goal. 

  • Assess the bigger picture. Read through the full essay after a pause and think about whether it has attained its goal. What is the central message of your work? Does it communicate that message clearly? Do all ideas follow one another logically to create a complete impression? 
  • The next stage is paragraph-by-paragraph revision. It relates to structural sequences of paragraph components and requires a proper understanding of the paragraph’s anatomy. 
  • Once these revisions are completed, it’s time to look at the technical details and correct all grammar and spelling issues. 

Revising for Style 

You also need to revise essay style when completing the final audit of your content. What should you do at this phase? 

The most important task in the stylistic revision process is to ensure that your essay keeps the same tone throughout. It should be relevant to your assignment type and the audience for which it is meant. For instance, a presentation you will deliver in front of a class should be simple and conversational, while a scholarly essay should sound more academic and professional. 

It is a rule of thumb to avoid colloquialisms in any form of academic writing. Thus, when you’re revising your papers for style, make sure you check for contractions, first-person phrasing, and other issues not acceptable in academic works. It is also essential to consult your college’s style guide and make all referencing in the text and at the end of the document consistent with those requirements. 

Tips for Revising Your Essay Effectively 

When you’re thinking over how to revise an essay, steps should be organized in a systematic manner to let you get the most out of your efforts. You should always cover this bare minimum in the process of fine-tuning your content: 

  • Check whether your essay addresses the professor’s prompt and effectively communicates its message. 
  • Go through the essay’s organization to correct any inconsistencies and logical issues. 
  • Proofread the content in a backward manner – you may check the text sentence by sentence, moving from the last one to the pre-last and so on.
  • Remove redundant language during the review. Everything that can be said similarly well with fewer words will improve readability. 

How to Revise an Essay in College: 8 Best Practices 

We’ve searched wide for tips on how to revise an essay without flaws, and here is the list of professional recommendations we can give to all quality-focused students. 

  1. Pause before starting a revision. It’s important to have a fresh eye when approaching essay revisions. You should take a break, no matter how small, to complete the unbiased editing of the content. Even five minutes will do if you lack time. Yet, if you start revising right after ending the writing process, you may fail to notice even evident errors.  
  2. Read the essay aloud. When we read a text silently, it is processed by our brain only. But reading it aloud adds the auditory perception to the system of analysis. This way, you can easily spot inconsistencies that your internal view won’t notice, but your ears will. 
  3. Use software. There are plenty of editing and proofreading tools available online today, and you can take advantage of technology to streamline major editing operations. But don’t over-rely on these tools, as they will never fully replace the human grasp of the content. Always supplement the editing process with a manual check at the end. 
  4. Check grammar and punctuation at the end. By focusing on grammatical issues and syntax, you can skip more serious structural flaws. That’s why we recommend moving from broader structural corrections to smaller details. This way, you can bring your text’s organization to order first and then go through the content sentence by sentence to fix minor details. 
  5. Focus on conciseness. Wordiness is the worst enemy of any writer. That’s why your revision process should focus on the removal of redundancy. If your 25-word sentence sounds the same without losing sense with only 20 words in it, why use 25 then? So, you should focus on conciseness by experimenting with various linking words or attribute removal. 
  6. Mind cliches. Cliché language can spoil any academic text, so you should be careful about its use. Introduce set phrases only in places where they’re totally unavoidable, and try to sound original in every sentence you’re writing. 
  7. Validate all sources. Checking your evidence base is also a vital step to a high grade. You need to have all sources mentioned in the text in your reference list, and the full source list should come from credible databases. 
  8. Run a plag check. The final step is a plagiarism scan, which no essay should skip. If you’re caught on plagiarism, the consequences may be disastrous. So, don’t neglect this phase and use premium-level checkers for accurate results. 

Look at the Essay as a Whole 

The initial step of revising essays is a broader look at the essay as a whole. It gives you a clear idea of what your paper communicates, what its thesis statement is, and whether other structural parts comply with the points mentioned in the thesis statement. Sometimes, this review may point at the logical flaws and urge you to change the positions of some sections, add proper linkages between ideas, and improve the flow of content so that it delivers the central message effectively. 

Dive into Each Paragraph 

Another effective technique to revise essays quickly is to do it paragraph by paragraph. Once you have fine-tuned the overall logical flow, it’s important to fix every paragraph’s structure so that it aligns with academic conventions. As a rule, you will need to cover the following points: 

  • Every paragraph should start with a topic sentence that aligns with the thesis statement and voices an idea relevant to the general topic. 
  • The following sentences should expand on the topic sentence by offering supportive evidence from external sources. The sources should be well-selected, with peer-reviewed journals and books being given priority. These arguments should link with each other well, with transitions selected in line with your logic of reasoning. 
  • The paragraph should end with your personal interpretation of the provided content and a transition to the next paragraph. 

Polish the Language 

The process of revising an essay also entails taking a closer look at the language you have used throughout the content. Consistency is key in any academic project, and it’s important that you use consistent vocabulary across various paper sections. 

As we’ve already explained, the choice of stylistic forms is essential in academic writing. Your language should look academic, competent, and unbiased, but not overly ‘academish.’ It’s important to show that you’re an expert in your area, knowing the key scientific concepts and terms. But don’t use too many complicated words or syntactic structures unless it’s totally unavoidable. Otherwise, your audience may fail to capture the content. 

Final Word 

Now you have all the information on how to revise an essay and can probably cope with this task without a problem. Even if you find it hard to complete the full revision on your own or lack time for this part of the assignment, don’t panic. You can always turn to our experts and get timely and competent assistance with all revising and editing aspects of your assignment. Don’t rely on the chance to submit a non-edited paper to the professor; contact us and get the paper polished in no time.

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