Writing an essay or any other paper is a complex multistage process that involves brainstorming, researching, making an outline, and, of course, writing your paper. And, when after many hours or even days of writing, you can finally feel the relief of getting your task accomplished, can you really say that you are done?
Whether you like it or not, the work doesn’t really end there. After you finish writing, there is still one big and important stage to take, and we bet that each of you already knows what it is.
Okay, it is crystal clear that one must check the final draft before handing it in. However, we can’t deny that the general guideline “proofread and edit your essay” sounds way too abstract, which is why many students still don’t understand what exactly they need to do before submission.
If you also feel the same, read on! This article will be your step-by-step guide to the post-writing process. So, below is the list of the 10 steps you have to take before you can say that your task is fully completed.
Set It Aside for a While
Hoping to get it done as soon as possible, students often rush into the proofreading process right after writing. However, though it may not make sense yet, it is better to give it a rest.
Taking a day or two to gather your thoughts and rest is an effective strategy. It will allow you to get back to your work with a clear mind, see it from a fresh point of view, and, thus, notice even the least obvious mistakes.
Know Where to Ask for Help
This is not exactly a step but rather a friendly recommendation. In case you are short on time or not sure you can handle editing on your own, it is a wise idea to have a backup plan.
Luckily, today there are plenty of essay writer services where students can get professional essay writing help and proofreading and editing. You can get your essay polished with literally no effort and secure a high grade using such services.
Read It Multiple Times
If you decide to do all the work yourself, the first step to take after taking a break is to read your text. At this stage, don’t make any fixes. Just take your time to read it thoughtfully several times to catch the rhythm and grasp the deep meanings.
Pro tip: Another handy tip is to read it aloud. Pronouncing every word out loud will help you understand whether your paper actually reads and sounds well.
Check the Compliance With Guidelines
To make the editing process effective and seamless, it is recommended to focus on one type of mistake at a time instead of fixing everything in a single run. So, the first thing to take care of after reading your text several times is to check its compliance with the basic guidelines.
To do this, re-read the instructions provided by your professor once more. When done, carefully check if you haven’t missed anything.
Focus on Words and Phrases
Next, you should revise your use of individual words and phrases. It is vital to see if your vocabulary is diverse but clear. Also, you should ensure that you don’t misuse any phrases or words. Finally, check whether there are words or phrases whose meaning is unclear to you. Because if there are, you might’ve missed them.
Pay Attention to Grammar and Punctuation
After examining your use of words, it is time to run a standard grammar and punctuation check. Pay attention to misspelled words, typos, as well as wrong grammar or punctuation used in your paper.
Pro tip: To save time and ensure that you don’t miss anything, feel free to use special software, for example, Grammarly or similar. However, do not ever rely on such software completely. Remember that it cannot replace traditional, human proofreading.
Look at the Formatting
Run a quick check to see if you have formatted your essay right. Pay attention to your line spacing, margins, font type and size, formatting of titles and subtitles, etc. If you used any external resources and were required to craft a list of references, be sure to examine the correctness of your bibliographical entries and the formatting of the page of references.
Review the Structure
To get the highest grade, you need to ensure that your essay has a logical, clear, and correct structure. Traditionally, there should be three sections:
In addition, depending on your professor’s specific requirements, you may also need to include some other sections such as a title page, a list of references, etc. Be sure to examine your paper to see if everything is in place and well-organized.
Ensure Your Facts and Figures Are Valid
When thinking about proofreading and editing, most students believe in only fixing grammar and punctuation mistakes. However, many young people miss out of sight that the facts, figures, and other data included in their papers also need to be double-checked. So, for your next step, ensure that all the data in the paper is genuine and valid.
Get a Second Opinion
Finally, the very last step after you have carefully revised your work is to ask someone else to take a look at it and give you a second opinion. Even if you were very careful, there is always a chance that you might’ve missed something out of sight. The second pair of eyes can really help you spot the mistakes you overlooked.
The Bottom Line
These were the 10 most important things you should do every time before submitting your essay. Following this guide will help you avoid mistakes and inconsistencies in your work and, thus, receive a high grade. Don’t neglect them, and each of your papers will be a masterpiece!