Editing and revising an essay can be quite an undertaking. It is very easy to get overwhelmed with these final phases of essay writing. By following the following steps you too can have a flawless essay.
1) Do not worry about editing and revising in the early phases of your essay. In the prewriting phase, you should only be worried about formulating ideas for the essay. This is a time where you need to be looking into all possible angles for your thesis and support. The prewriting phase is for creative development and research. You are trying to get your ideas down on paper.
2) Once you have finished your prewriting, you move on to your drafting stage. While you are drafting your essay, you need to be focus on organization and idea development. You will have time to worry about revising and editing later. Right now, you want to work on getting your ideas organized.
3) Once you have your initial draft typed, you are read to start revising. In revising, you do not look at your mechanics and grammar. In the revision phase, you are only looking at your content. Do you have a strong introduction? What is your Thesis Statement? Do each of your paragraphs have a topic sentence? Does each paragraph stay on point? Are you using the best support for your essay? Is your evidence presented in the most concise and precise way? What changes should I make to make this more appealing to my reader? Is my voice evident in my essay. Does my essay convey part of my personality to my reader?
4) Finally it is time to edit. You have picked your thesis and all your support. You have organized it into your draft. You have read the content, and you have made any needed changes. Now you need to go through and take a look at your mechanics and grammar. Do you have fragments? Do you have run ons? Check your spelling. Do you have subject verb agreement? Do you utilize commas correctly?
If you have difficulties with revising and editing, try reading your essay out loud. Actually hearing your essay may help you catch errors. Remember, so not be afraid to ask someone else to look at your paper. Another person may catch errors you may be overlooking. It does not matter if you cannot find a writing guru. Anyone who reads your paper can identify portions that do not read well or may be confusing. They may not be able to identify what is wrong. They may not be able to tell you how to fix it, but they can still help you identify problem areas.
In the end, remember that writing is a process. Just like with any process, there are several steps. The order always remains the same. How the steps flesh out, varies from person to person and essay to essay. Sometimes you will have to revise your essay several times before you have a satisfactory result. Other times your rough draft and your final draft will be nearly identical. Take your time, don’t get a head of yourself, and most importantly, relax.