Tips for Writing Essays 9Editing and Proofreading

In Tips for Writing Essays we now more on to editing and proofreading.

An essay that starts well, persuades well and concludes well has been through the editing and proofreading phrase so much so that the reader cannot help but react favourably to the piece. Indeed, no self-respecting writer will pass the essay for grading or publication purposes without having to edit and proofread the essay at least 2-3 times. We suggest stopping at your third time as there is such a thing as editing and proofreading to death.

Differences between the Two Tasks

And lest you think that proofreading and editing are interchangeable, think again. On one hand, proofreading is the task of checking for typos as well as mistakes in grammar, spelling and punctuation marks. This is usually done with the help of a style guide such as the Chicago Manual of Style, the use of which depends in large part with the style guidelines set by your teacher or publisher. Keep in mind that proofreading requires objectivity, concentration and an eagle eye, so to speak.

On the other hand, editing in essay writing encompasses a broader range of responsibilities that include proofreading. Your job as an editor of your own essay means checking for readability and syntax as well as for double checking on the information presented. You can cut, add and rearrange the words and sentences, which can lead to a total overhaul of the essay. Indeed, editing is a creative process where proofreading is a mechanical task.

Steps to Editing

Nowadays, the job of becoming your own proof reader and editor is easier thanks to the personal computers, which has a built-in spell and grammar checker options. Plus, it definitely beats having to rewrite on paper!

Anyways, there are steps to follow in ensuring that your essay will undergo proper proofreading and editing.

• Activate the spell and grammar option on your personal computer. You should be alerted to lapses in spelling and sentence construction by those squiggly red and green lines underneath the words and sentences.

• If there are no mechanical errors, print the essay and then manually check it for things like clear and easy wordings. If it is not, then rewrite it on the computer, check for typos and reprint.

• When you are satisfied proofreading the first draft, edit the introduction, then the body and finally, the conclusion. You may have to rewrite the whole essay although certain substitutions, rearrangements and minor changes are more common especially if you have made a good outline.

• Make sure that your references, information and evidence are valid, reliable and relevant. This would mean double checking on the facts, which is necessary if you want to be more persuasive and more legit.

Be very sure that you have checked your essay once again with the spell and grammar checker in full mode. Still, you must remember that in some instances of sentence construction, you can sacrifice technicalities for creativity. Just imagine what would have happened to the likes of the Gettysburg Address had it been put to the perusal of these computer options - the whole idea would have been lost! Just learn to balance technical style with creative license and your essay would be an engaging, compelling and persuasive literature.

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