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How to Revise an Essay in 3 Simple Steps

Published on December 2, 2014 by Shane Bryson . Revised on July 23, 2023 by Shona McCombes.

Revising and editing an essay is a crucial step of the writing process . It often takes up at least as much time as producing the first draft, so make sure you leave enough time to revise thoroughly.

The most effective approach to revising an essay is to move from general to specific:

  • Start by looking at the big picture: does your essay achieve its overall purpose, and does it proceed in a logical order?
  • Next, dive into each paragraph: do all the sentences contribute to the point of the paragraph, and do all your points fit together smoothly?
  • Finally, polish up the details: is your grammar on point, your punctuation perfect, and your meaning crystal clear?

Table of contents

Step 1: look at the essay as a whole, step 2: dive into each paragraph, step 3: polish the language, other interesting articles.

There’s no sense in perfecting a sentence if the whole paragraph will later be cut, and there’s no sense in focusing on a paragraph if the whole section needs to be reworked.

For these reasons, work from general to specific: start by looking at the overall purpose and organization of your text, and don’t worry about the details for now.

Double-check your assignment sheet and any feedback you’ve been given to make sure you’ve addressed each point of instruction. In other words, confirm that the essay completes every task it needs to complete.

Then go back to your thesis statement . Does every paragraph in the essay have a clear purpose that advances your argument? If there are any sections that are irrelevant or whose connection to the thesis is uncertain, consider cutting them or revising to make your points clearer.


Next, check for logical organization . Consider the ordering of paragraphs and sections, and think about what type of information you give in them. Ask yourself :

  • Do you define terms, theories and concepts before you use them?
  • Do you give all the necessary background information before you go into details?
  • Does the argument build up logically from one point to the next?
  • Is each paragraph clearly related to what comes before it?

Ensure each paragraph has a clear topic sentence that sums up its point. Then, try copying and pasting these topic sentences into a new document in the order that they appear in the paper.

This allows you to see the ordering of the sections and paragraphs of your paper in a glance, giving you a sense of your entire paper all at once. You can also play with the ordering of these topic sentences to try alternative organizations.

If some topic sentences seem too similar, consider whether one of the paragraphs is redundant , or if its specific contribution needs to be clarified. If the connection between paragraphs is unclear, use transition sentences to strengthen your structure.

Finally, use your intuition. If a paragraph or section feels out of place to you, even if you can’t decide why, it probably is. Think about it for a while and try to get a second opinion. Work out the organizational issues as best you can before moving on to more specific writing issues.

What can proofreading do for your paper?

Scribbr editors not only correct grammar and spelling mistakes, but also strengthen your writing by making sure your paper is free of vague language, redundant words, and awkward phrasing.

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Next, you want to make sure the content of each paragraph is as strong as it can be, ensuring that every sentence is relevant and necessary:

  • Make sure each sentence helps support the topic sentence .
  • Check for redundancies – if a sentence repeats something you’ve already said, cut it.
  • Check for inconsistencies in content. Do any of your assertions seem to contradict one another? If so, resolve the disagreement and cut as necessary.

Once you’re happy with the overall shape and content of your essay, it’s time to focus on polishing it at a sentence level, making sure that you’ve expressed yourself clearly and fluently.

You’re now less concerned with what you say than with how you say it. Aim to simplify, condense, and clarify each sentence, making it as easy as possible for your reader to understand what you want to say.

  • Try to avoid complex sentence construction – be as direct and straightforward as possible.
  • If you have a lot of very long sentences, split some of them into shorter ones.
  • If you have a lot of very short sentences that sound choppy, combine some of them using conjunctions or semicolons .
  • Make sure you’ve used appropriate transition words to show the connections between different points.
  • Cut every unnecessary word.
  • Avoid any complex word where a simpler one will do.
  • Look out for typos and grammatical mistakes.

If you lack confidence in your grammar, our essay editing service provides an extra pair of eyes.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Bryson, S. (2023, July 23). How to Revise an Essay in 3 Simple Steps. Scribbr. Retrieved September 4, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/academic-essay/revising/

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Shane Bryson

Shane finished his master's degree in English literature in 2013 and has been working as a writing tutor and editor since 2009. He began proofreading and editing essays with Scribbr in early summer, 2014.

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Thanks for reading! Hope you found this article helpful. If anything is still unclear, or if you didn’t find what you were looking for here, leave a comment and we’ll see if we can help.

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Writing Center

How to revise drafts, now the real work begins....

After writing the first draft of an essay, you may think much of your work is done, but actually the real work – revising – is just beginning. The good news is that by this point in the writing process you have gained some perspective and can ask yourself some questions: Did I develop my subject matter appropriately? Did my thesis change or evolve during writing? Did I communicate my ideas effectively and clearly? Would I like to revise, but feel uncertain about how to do it?

Also see the UMN Crookston Writing Center's  Revising and Editing Handout .

How to Revise

First, put your draft aside for a little while.  Time away from your essay will allow for more objective self-evaluation. When you do return to the draft, be honest with yourself; ask yourself what you really think about the paper.

Check the  focus  of the paper.  Is it appropriate to the assignment prompt? Is the topic too big or too narrow? Do you stay on track throughout the entire paper? (At this stage, you should be concerned with the large, content-related issues in the paper, not the grammar and sentence structure).

Get  feedback .  Since you already know what you’re trying to say, you aren’t always the best judge of where your draft is clear or unclear. Let another reader tell you. Then discuss aloud what you were trying to achieve. In articulating for someone else what you meant to argue, you will clarify ideas for yourself.

Think honestly about your thesis.  Do you still agree with it? Should it be modified in light of something you discovered as you wrote the paper? Does it make a sophisticated, provocative point? Or does it just say what anyone could say if given the same topic? Does your thesis generalize instead of taking a specific position? Should it be changed completely?

Examine the  balance  within your paper.  Are some parts out of proportion with others? Do you spend too much time on one trivial point and neglect a more important point? Do you give lots of details early on and then let your points get thinner by the end? Based on what you did in the previous step, restructure your argument: reorder your points and cut anything that’s irrelevant or redundant. You may want to return to your sources for additional supporting evidence.

Now that you know what you’re really arguing, work on your  introduction and conclusion . Make sure to begin your paragraphs with topic sentences, linking the idea(s) in each paragraph to those proposed in the thesis.

Proofread.  Aim for precision and economy in language. Read aloud so you can hear imperfections. (Your ear may pick up what your eye has missed). Note that this step comes LAST. There’s no point in making a sentence grammatically perfect if it’s going to be changed or deleted anyway.

As you revise your own work, keep the following in mind:

Revision means rethinking your thesis. It is unreasonable to expect to come up with the best thesis possible – one that accounts for all aspects of your topic – before beginning a draft, or even during a first draft. The best theses evolve; they are actually produced during the writing process. Successful revision involves bringing your thesis into focus—or changing it altogether.

Revision means making structural changes. Drafting is usually a process of discovering an idea or argument. Your argument will not become clearer if you only tinker with individual sentences. Successful revision involves bringing the strongest ideas to the front of the essay, reordering the main points, and cutting irrelevant sections. It also involves making the argument’s structure visible by strengthening topic sentences and transitions.

Revision takes time. Avoid shortcuts: the reward for sustained effort is an essay that is clearer, more persuasive, and more sophisticated.

Think about your purpose in writing: Does your introduction clearly state what you intend to do? Will your aims be clear to your readers?

Check the organization. Does your paper follow a pattern that makes sense? Doe the transitions move your readers smoothly from one point to the next? Do the topic sentences of each paragraph appropriately introduce what that paragraph is about? Would your paper be work better if you moved some things around?

Check your information. Are all your facts accurate? Are any of our statements misleading? Have you provided enough detail to satisfy readers’ curiosity? Have you cited all your information appropriately?

Revision doesn’t necessarily mean rewriting the whole paper. Sometimes it means revising the thesis to match what you’ve discovered while writing. Sometimes it means coming up with stronger arguments to defend your position, or coming up with more vivid examples to illustrate your points. Sometimes it means shifting the order of your paper to help the reader follow your argument, or to change the emphasis of your points. Sometimes it means adding or deleting material for balance or emphasis. And then, sadly, sometimes revision does mean trashing your first draft and starting from scratch. Better that than having the teacher trash your final paper.

Revising Sentences

Read your paper out loud, sentence by sentence, and look for places where you stumble or get lost in the middle of a sentence. These are obvious places that need fixing. Look for places where you get distracted or even bored – where you cannot concentrate. These are places where you probably lost focus or concentration in your writing. Cut through the extra words or vagueness or digression: get back to the energy.

Tips for writing good sentences:

Use forceful verbs – replace long verb phrases with a more specific verb. For example, replace “She argues for the importance of the idea” with ‘she defends the idea.” Also, try to stay in the active voice.

Look for places where you’ve used the same word or phrase twice or more in consecutive sentences and look for alternative ways to say the same thing OR for ways to combine the two sentences.

Cut as many prepositional phrases as you can without losing your meaning. For instance, the sentence “There are several examples of the issue of integrity in  Huck Finn ” would be much better this way: “ Huck Finn  repeated addresses the issue of integrity.”

Check your sentence variety. IF more than two sentences in a row start the same way (with a subject followed by a verb, for example), then try using a different sentence pattern. Also, try to mix simple sentences with compound and compound-complex sentences for variety.

Aim for precision in word choice. Don’t settle for the best word you can think of at the moment—use a thesaurus (along with a dictionary) to search for the word that says exactly what you want to say.

Look for sentences that start with “it is” or “there are” and see if you can revise them to be more active and engaging.

By Jocelyn Rolling, English Instructor Last edited October 2016 by Allison Haas, M.A.


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Take a Second Look: Effective Strategies for Essay Revision in College

Adela Belin

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Writing an excellent essay for college can be an overwhelming task — it needs to be flawless, interesting , and engaging, should include credible examples, and be devoid of grammatical errors.

Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it?

Well, it is, and the only way to make your efforts count is by revising your essay before submitting it.

Revising, proofreading, and editing can be a big task if you don’t know how to go about it. You need to ensure that you understand how to revise an essay in college and follow the proper process for a smooth-sailing revision.

In this article, you’ll learn how to do a thorough revision of your essay to score well.

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How to revise an essay in college: 8 best practices.

Regardless of how good a writer you are, you should always revise your essay before considering it to be completed.

So, don't miss out on this pivotal step, and make the important changes that are required. Let’s take a look at eight essential tips to keep in mind while revising an essay for college.

1. Take a break from the essay

After finishing your first essay draft, keep the paper aside and take time away from it before you start to revise, edit and proofread the essay.

This is important because when you take a break, you will be able to spot errors that you may have missed if you were to immediately start revising your paper after completion.

It is good practice to go for a walk, listen to music, watch a movie, take a nap or do something that would distract your mind after completing your essay. Give your mind a break, and then come back to read the essay from a fresh perspective.

2. Read the essay out loud

Writing an essay leaves you tired. Instead of proofreading it in your mind, why not read it out loud?

This would most probably result in you missing out on errors, mistakes that change the meaning of a phrase, arguments that are illogical or out of place, wordy paragraphs, or any sentence structures that need a bit more clarity and refining.

You can also ask a friend, your peers, or even a family member to read your essay out loud so that you can hear it clearly and spot obvious mistakes.

3. Proofread in parts

The entire process of proofreading and editing the text can be very overwhelming, even more, when you have to proofread long documents. To avoid any confusion or panic, it is advisable to select one paragraph after another and proofread it section-wise.

It is best to take your time and not edit your essay last minute or in a hurry, as this could cause a lot of silly mistakes.

Always keep in mind to edit your essay before you proofread it because when you proofread, you will be required to make any necessary edits or changes to your draft.

Proofreading before editing can be counterproductive and would only further waste your time.

4. Ensure your essay has a logical flow

Once your ideas and points have been added, think about the order of your essay and how you would want to present it.

To write a quality essay, you need to ensure to have an interesting introduction paragraph with a catchy thesis statement, thorough, free-flowing body paragraphs with examples, statistics, and facts to support your argument for the paper, and a clear conclusion paragraph that summarizes the entire purpose of the essay.

Check for the addition of transition words for a smoother and more logical flow of concepts and ideas. The length of the assignment should be concise and clear, as well as make sure to not use slang or overly complicated words. Instead, use simple terms for easy understanding.

5. Ask for feedback

Ask your family members or peers to read your essay and give you honest feedback on it. Consider asking questions like:

  • What do they understand from the essay?
  • Were the arguments clearly stated?
  • Did they like the essay or not? Why?
  • What portion of the essay did they find most compelling?
  • Was there a phrase or sentence that stood out to them?
  • If they could make any changes, what changes would they make?
  • What do they think the essay says about you?
  • Has the essay impacted or influenced them in any way? If yes, then how?
  • Was there anything missing from the content of the essay?

This feedback is valuable and necessary for you to enhance the quality and readability of your essay. Your peers can offer you guidance, advice, and suggestions that you can choose to take if you think they will help your paper.

Try not to be defensive about your essay, and make sure you only make a few people read your essay. Bringing multiple people in to read your paper will confuse you, and you might miss out on a few important recommendations.

6. Fix grammar and spellings

The most common mistakes made while writing any kind of essay are grammatical errors and silly spelling mistakes. Your essay may have all the information and might be absolutely perfect, but your grades can slip drastically if your professors find multiple grammar and spelling errors throughout your essay’s content.

Having these mistakes shows that you may not have worked too hard to revise or use a spell checker on your essay. Always take note of the feedback given to you by your peers about these kinds of mistakes.

You can also run your document through the online grammar checker, as it is a free tool available to check, identify and provide helpful feedback regarding grammar, sentence structure, spelling mistakes, and even the clarity or engagement of your entire essay.

7. Review your sources

Take note of utilizing credible and authentic primary and secondary sources for your essay. Avoid using information sources like Wikipedia, and browse through research papers, online sources, academic essays, and newspaper reports as your reference sources.

It is also very important to properly cite your sources in your essay, and mention them in the bibliography because if you neglect or miss out on citing your sources, your essay would be considered to be plagiarised.

After completing your essay, review your sources to see if all of them are included and also match the information present in your essay. Check to see if the source has been credited to the essay’s content.

8. Check for plagiarism

Plagiarism is a serious offense in all academic institutions. If your content is not cited with credible sources, it would be considered to be unoriginal and copied.

Every institution requires originality and unique ideas from their students, and if caught plagiarising, your essay can be dismissed completely, resulting in a failing grade for that assignment.

You can also be banned from giving further assignments or tests if you’ve been caught plagiarised work multiple times.

There are also multiple plagiarism-checking websites online, and you could use them for a quick screening of your paper to check for any uncited sources. Some of them include the following:

  • DupliChecker

This will save you from literary theft that colleges deem as unbearable and will deliver a well-scanned, original, and quality essay with absolutely zero ideas or phrases that are plagiarised. Some of these websites and tools are free to use but most of them require you to subscribe or download the premium version.

Every student knows how important those “last-minute checks” are just as you’re about to turn your assignment in.

It is truly one of the worst feelings to realize a mistake in your assignment after you have already submitted it, so to not go through that again -- revise, revise and revise again! That little more effort and time may take your project to a whole new level, a level you’ve been aspiring for but just missing out on.

So take that time out, put in that extra effort, and use those last essential minutes of your deadline in a way you won’t regret. Revise and make your essay as good as it can get using these important tips on revising an essay in college.

One of the best parts about working with Writers Per Hour's paper editors is that our writers do multiple revisions before they submit the essay to meet your requirements and deadline. So, you can be sure to receive high-quality papers that are original and free of errors.

Last edit at Jul 27 2023

Adela Belin

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Steps for Revising Your Paper

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Proofreading is primarily about searching your writing for errors, both grammatical and typographical, before submitting your paper for an audience (a teacher, a publisher, etc.). Use this resource to help you find and fix common errors.

When you have plenty of time to revise, use the time to work on your paper and to take breaks from writing. If you can forget about your draft for a day or two, you may return to it with a fresh outlook. During the revising process, put your writing aside at least twice—once during the first part of the process, when you are reorganizing your work, and once during the second part, when you are polishing and paying attention to details.

Use the following questions to evaluate your drafts. You can use your responses to revise your papers by reorganizing them to make your best points stand out, by adding needed information, by eliminating irrelevant information, and by clarifying sections or sentences.

Find your main point.

What are you trying to say in the paper? In other words, try to summarize your thesis, or main point, and the evidence you are using to support that point. Try to imagine that this paper belongs to someone else. Does the paper have a clear thesis? Do you know what the paper is going to be about?

Identify your readers and your purpose.

What are you trying to do in the paper? In other words, are you trying to argue with the reading, to analyze the reading, to evaluate the reading, to apply the reading to another situation, or to accomplish another goal?

Evaluate your evidence.

Does the body of your paper support your thesis? Do you offer enough evidence to support your claim? If you are using quotations from the text as evidence, did you cite them properly?

Save only the good pieces.

Do all of the ideas relate back to the thesis? Is there anything that doesn't seem to fit? If so, you either need to change your thesis to reflect the idea or cut the idea.

Tighten and clean up your language.

Do all of the ideas in the paper make sense? Are there unclear or confusing ideas or sentences? Read your paper out loud and listen for awkward pauses and unclear ideas. Cut out extra words, vagueness, and misused words.

Visit the Purdue OWL's vidcast on cutting during the revision phase for more help with this task.

Eliminate mistakes in grammar and usage.

Do you see any problems with grammar, punctuation, or spelling? If you think something is wrong, you should make a note of it, even if you don't know how to fix it. You can always talk to a Writing Lab tutor about how to correct errors.

Switch from writer-centered to reader-centered.

Try to detach yourself from what you've written; pretend that you are reviewing someone else's work. What would you say is the most successful part of your paper? Why? How could this part be made even better? What would you say is the least successful part of your paper? Why? How could this part be improved?

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Useful Questions You Should Ask Yourself When Revising An Essay

01 Oct 2021

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Main steps on how to revise an essay, check these points when revising your college essay, if your teacher is not happy with your essay even after revising.

Writing a good essay is a tough task. Even when you are done, you need to make sure you know how to revise an essay. Revising doesn’t mean you are a bad writer. As a matter of fact, all good writers understand it is crucial to edit your writing once you are done. Good writing is a result of endless practice and continuous editing. Even the most talented writers spend the time to edit their work before publishing it and are looking for essay writing apps to cope with this task.

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Are you going to work on a digital or hard copy of your assignment? There is a big difference since a lot of people think digital devices and software programs can solve all the problems. These programs can alter the meaning of your words because they don’t relate the context in their algorithms. So you need to ensure you have an original copy of your writing before making any changes.

If you choose to revise a hard copy of your essay, you need to use a pen and a highlighter. This will enable you to write comments you can later refer to.

Here are some steps to revise an essay you can follow to check your assignment before the due date:

1. Give Yourself Time

A lot of students ask “How long does it take to revise an essay?” The answer depends on the nature of the task and the time you spent writing it in the first place. In general, you should leave one day for revision so you’ve had time to rest after finishing your assignment. This gives you the energy needed to focus on your task. Giving yourself time to edit and revise an essay will improve the quality of the outcome.

2. Read it Out Loud

This is a crucial step because when you are tired, your brain plays tricks on you. You will sometimes miss some typos that can change the meaning of your sentences. Also, by reading out loud you will avoid mistakes that can lower the quality of your assignment.

3. Focus on the Idea

Revision is not just about grammar mistakes and typos. You should also think about the overall development and progress of your assignment.

4. Check the Format

Have you written enough words? Is your writing too short or too long? Are you allowed to talk in the first person? Did you follow the correct rules for citation? These are important questions to ask before submitting your task.

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Professional editors will check your paper for grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, consistency, and academic style.

A lot of students look for the best tips on writing essay fast.  Finishing your task quickly is not going to guarantee the grades you want. You need to ensure you submit a high-quality assignment that will impress your professor. To effectively revise an essay, you need to make sure you follow the right steps. The following guidelines can help you edit your writing to perfection:

1. Check the Organization

First, check the outline of your academic task. To writing college essay in perfect quality, you need to make sure you have a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction should provide adequate information about the main idea and theme. You need to ensure the thesis statement is clear. Readers should be able to understand the idea easily.

2. Check the Content

The way you write should be relevant to the topic. The length of the assignment should be appropriate and adequate. You should make sure sentences are easy to read and show your knowledge of the topic you are writing about.

3. Adequate Sources

You can definitely hire essay writing service PapersOwl  to make sure your academic task is written in the best quality. If you decide to do it on your own, you need to make sure you use reliable and relevant sources. You should look through it to ensure they are accurate and contain useful data that improves the quality of your task.

4. Proofreading

One of the best tips is to check for grammar and spelling mistakes. Your task should be free of those, since some can change the meaning of your text. You also need to make sure you have capitalized the title and subtitles correctly.

5. Check for Plagiarism

Plagiarism is intolerable in academic assignments. This is why you need to make sure you cite your sources properly before submission. To make sure you did everything right, use plagiarism checker free by PapersOwl.

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What if your efforts weren’t enough? You did everything you can, but your high school teacher or college professor thinks your assignment is not of the desired quality? Don’t panic. A trustworthy academic writing service like ours can help any student submit the best assignment on time.

Professional writers will be available to work on your task, making necessary edits to guarantee it is finished with the desired quality. Our writers deliver original and excellent assignments to submit for the grades you’ve always wanted.

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I am a proficient writer from the United States with over five years of experience in academic writing. I comfortably complete given assignments within stipulated deadlines and at the same time deliver high-quality work, which follows the guidelines provided.

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How to Revise an Essay Properly?

Few students have a clear idea of how to revise an essay. They know that it is a long and tedious process, so they mostly resort to it when their professors reject their work and ask for improvement. Even then, they are reluctant to make changes, doing only minor corrections, and hoping for the best. Lots of worries and frustrations could be avoided if people understood what revision is and why it is needed. 

Revision is a process of changing and editing the text until all problems and issues in it are corrected. It could be of different kinds and levels of seriousness, but in any case, it is vital because it allows perfecting an essay and making sure that you get a high grade for it. We’re going to offer valuable tips and useful explanations: with their help, you’ll learn taking care of your paper and find problems with it even before it is submitted for official evaluation.

Why Is Essay Revision Needed?

The first question we should get out of the way concerns the importance of revision. Sure, if student made mistakes and professor told them to redo something, then it’s clear why they need revision. But how about doing it prior to sending your work for assessment? This way, students could save their time and stop their anxiety. Every academic paper should be treated as a draft, even if young writers feel like they’ve done their best. A seemingly perfect text still should be polished because they can never know if they’ve lost track of your thesis, mixed up some points, formatted the paper improperly, or forgot to develop some crucial idea. By re-reading and revising it where needed, person reduces the chances of being criticized and ensures that they won’t be sent for corrections. Your grade won’t suffer, which is a benefit of timely revision process.  

Revision Examples Based on a Type

There are four types of revision that writers could embark on. They follow individual rules and demand different amounts of effort. Which one student needs depends on the severity of their mistakes. Here are these types:

Large-Scale Revision

This is the most time-consuming type that every student dreads. It means that your paper has many issues requiring correction. Large-scale revisions are needed when content has major discrepancies: several key points could be underexplored and in need of additional evidence; there might be lots of unsupported claims that count as plagiarism and ruin score and credibility; your conclusion might contradict thesis because you lost your track in the middle of an essay and went in another direction. In this case, essay restructuring is required. If these examples of mistakes are present in a paper, start removing them right away.

Small-Scale Revision

This essay revising type won’t take much of your time. It is required when some smaller aspects of text need improvement. It could include shortening an overly long introduction, removing some meaningless sentences, strengthening an argument by adding a few details or making conclusions more substantial.  

For understanding what editing entails, it is better to learn how to differentiate between it and the previous two kinds of revision. When the question of how to revise a paper comes up, it concerns content. Editing, in turn, is all about grammar or semantic mistakes. Repeated words, mixed tenses, wrong word choice, missed articles — there are issues that even experienced writers don’t notice as they’re writing. Maybe there are unclear sentences that could be re-written — all this falls into the editing category.


It is similar to editing, just on a smaller scale. Turn on the spell checker, see how the words are spelled, and correct issues. This could help clean up your paper nicely.

Learn Objectivity to Succeed In Revisions

One of the biggest issues students encounter as they need to revise essay lies in admitting that they make mistakes. No one wants to work more than they have to, so after writing an academic text once, it’s natural that people have no desire to return to it again and waste even more time. That’s why being objective is so essential. Be honest when answering this question. Try looking at an essay as if you were a stranger who’s seeing it for the first time. Read instructions again, then try to assess what you wrote as if you’re a professor. Essay revise process is effective only when you acknowledge that there are mistakes, and could do it by distancing yourself from the paper. If deadline allows it, take a break: don’t look at this essay for a few days before finally re-reading it. 

Ways of Analyzing Your Essay

Not all students are capable of being objective. If you cannot stop looking at your essay from a writer’s perspective, try asking yourself 4 questions below. They’ll guide you each time you’re revising an essay.

  • Did I meet instructions?  Check them point by point. Were all questions answered or did you forget something? For example, if you were asked to describe 7 management strategies, ensure that all of them are covered because very often, students forget about one or two. If professor asked you to prove why point A is better than point B, was it actually done? Are there convincing claims or evidence in your essay?
  • Did I follow my  drafts ?  When revision of an essay begins, check it against your initial  essay drafts  or outlines. Maybe there were specific ideas that you forgot about after the work started. Sure, it could be a bad one, but what if it’s great and you missed a chance to increase your grade? Don’t be worried about re-writing some parts or adding extra points — if the end-result is good, then it’s worth it.
  • What strong points does my essay have?  When revising essays, re-read the entire text with this question in mind. Identify the strongest moments that would leave you impressed if you weren’t a writer. This could be instances with solid evidence or great practical examples. After you select a couple, figure out what makes them strong and imitate it in your other paragraphs. 
  • What weak points does my paper have?  This is also vital moment in essay revisions. Try being brutally honest with yourself: what doesn’t work? What sounds ineffective? Perhaps there are repetitions or general statements that make text sound generic. Once you know what these possible mistakes could include, it’ll be easier for you to notice them.

Five Tips For Doing Revision

Still wondering how to revise an essay in college? Apart from the advice we provided above, we’ll also list five top tactics that any person will find useful in revisions. As long as you stick to them, your writing journey is going to be smooth.

  • Read an essay out loud.  You might hate doing this, but trust us, reading an essay like this could help a lot. It’ll give you a different perspective and mistakes will become much more obvious.
  • Ask a friend or family member to read through it.  Second pair of eyes is always helpful. When you revise your essay you struggle with seeing it clearly, but other people won’t be hindered by it. Your friend or a person you trust could help you tremendously by looking through text and catching all weak spots.
  • Check an essay rubric.  As the final stage approaches, go through instructions once more. Scan every sentence and compare it against the paper you’ve created. This is one of the most efficient revision techniques for writing because it helps you learn how to meet requirements in a satisfying way.  
  • Print a physical copy of an essay.  This could seem strange, but seeing the text in the way you’ve written it versus seeing it printed are two drastically different things. Print a copy and read it with a pencil in your hand, marking the mistakes you see. Correct them in a .docx document, then print it again. Repeat this process until everything looks good.  
  • Use  plagiarism checkers .  The final strategy explaining how to revise writing entails checking your text for plagiarism. This could show you instances of where you formatted quotes improperly as well as sentences copied from other sources. Paraphrase them and that’s it, your essay is ready for being submitted!  

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Elizabeth Baldridge

Elizabeth provides educational materials, conducts research, explores and solves student challenges. Her posts are always helpful, innovative, and contain interesting insights.

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