How to Revise Your Essay in a Proper Way

Great, you’ve finished your essay! The hard part is done. Now you need to give your essay the polish and shine that will really make your points stand out. Revision is a very important part of essay-writing, and you should always budget your time so that you have an opportunity to look over your work before you turn it in.

Spell Check and Grammar Check

If you are writing on any standard computer program, it is important to run a spell check and a grammar check. Spell-check will catch any number of common spelling errors, and grammar check can help you identify potential no-no’s like passive voice or run-on sentences. You may not always take the suggestions of the checking program, but it is worth your while to consider rewriting a sentence that may take away from the message of your essay.

Thesis Statement and Topic Sentences

If you have followed an outline, you may find that your thesis statements and topic sentences need to be tweaked in order to match the arguments you have presented. As you write your essay, you may find that a different word or phrase would work better to get your point across. Does your thesis statement cover the main ideas in your essay? Do your topic sentences accurately represent the information presented in each paragraph? Adjust your thesis statement and topic sentences until they succinctly express the contents of your essay.

Read Sections Aloud

If you have any doubts about the way a section is working, read it aloud to yourself and see how it sounds. Often, writers use overwrought language because they think it sounds more academic or intelligent. You should strive to you top-notch vocabulary and phrasing in your writing, but you should also have confidence in your personal voice.

Use a Second Pair of Eyes

Have a friend or classmate look over your essay. They may catch spelling or grammar errors, or have suggestions about phrasing or layout that may not have occurred to you. By the time you’ve finished your essay, you may know so much about the topic that you forget to include a key piece of information because, to you, it seems obvious. A friend or classmate can judge whether you have accurately supported and defended your argument from the perspective of a first time reader.

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