Effective Tools for Proofreading and Editing Your College Essay

Proofreading and editing your college essays is an important part of the writing process. Whenever you need to edit anything you have written you almost always make it better. Although proofreading can often be a tedious process, in essence, it is a very simple task. By taking it slow you can quickly find every error in your paper.


You most likely used a word processor to write your essay, that probably is equipped its own spellchecker. The first part of editing your essay should include running your document through the spellchecker to reveal all the spelling errors it contains. Look at each error one at a time, and correct every misspelled word.


Additionally, the word processor most likely has a grammar checker that can help to instantly locate any grammar errors. It will assist you with your punctuation usage, passive sentences, problems with “past, present and future” tense and any run-on sentence. Often the grammar checker merely provides suggestions on improvements, requiring you to use your own judgment as you edit.


Once the spell and grammar checker is complete, it is up to you to manually edit the rest of the written words in your essay. It is far easier to review what you write in a printed form instead of viewing it on a computer monitor. Your finished product should be a clear, concise essay that has content that supported by its statement.


The introduction of your essay needs to be very concise. It should be adequately developed making a clear statement of your opinions and intentions. The introduction is used as a way to set the tone that will be consistent throughout the document. The tone will help you reach and capture the attention of the audience you intend to inform.


One of the challenges of editing and proofreading your college essay is to enhance its paragraph structure. While every paragraph you write in your essay will hold pertinent information, it is imperative to make sure there are no empty sentences. Remove words, sentences and phrases that hold even the slightest hint of irrelevance to the document. The transitions of your sentences should be smooth and offer fluidity between them and the paragraph that follows.


Your essay’s conclusion will work as a detail reference of the statement of your thesis. It will hold a consistent view on the argument or structure of your essay. Polishing your conclusion is an easy way to ensure the reader will remember the information and perspective you have offered in your paper.


Once your entire document has been spell checked, grammar checked, proofread and edited, it is time to read it out loud. Adding punctuation in the correct positions will create the sounds and flow of the document. Reading it out loud should sound like a melody or song with its own inflections and rhythm. You may have to rearrange the structure of sentences, or even a few paragraphs, to change the beat and tone of your words. If there is something that just does not sound right consider changing it, or removing it, to see if maybe the document reads better with it gone from that spot.


When you can, have a friend, colleague or associate read your essay as a way to offer suggestions to enhance the results. Even if it is impossible to have another read it, set the document down for a few days. Reading it again with rested eyes will offer a different take and a fresh perspective. Be honest with yourself and make corrections as needed.


Part of the process of writing should include allowing enough time when finished to perform proper editing. If part of the assignment was to stick to a specific word count, respect that rule and follow it. Check your facts again and again and properly cite any piece of work that is not originally yours.

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