Tips for editing an essay: Why papers need to be rewritten
Writing essays can be a long and arduous task. Not only does the first or initial draft take quite a bit of time but a lot of effort is usually required for revising a paper and then editing it. Undoubtedly, there are a large number of students who would just like to make a few changes to their first drafts rather than having to write entire texts again. This decision, however, is not always wise. What you really need to do is write each paper on a clean sheet from scratch. This will help you avoid a lot of the potential errors described in more detail in this guide.
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Proofreading and editing
Before beginning to discuss tips, tricks, and techniques for editing a paper, it is essential to understand the process of editing and what it really is. It is not unusual for students to get confused about the differences between proofreading and editing. It is, however, very important to get it fixed firmly in your mind that these two activities are different and each one is a separate phase in itself. Despite the obvious fact that each of these tasks follow the writing stage and their objective is to add more value to a piece of written work, the two processes are still different. The word “proofreading” is self-explanatory. It means reading through a document and checking it for accuracy e.g. making sure that it is free of punctuation, spelling, grammar, and typographical errors. Editing, by contrast, is the process of examining the structure of sentences in an entire document, ensuring the direction throughout is aligned, and that the general approach and tone is correct. The way ideas are ordered within an essay need to be logical and, above all, the vocabulary needs to be right. When it comes to any piece of written work, its beauty is often found in the simplicity of the writing. The easier a piece is to understand and the more audience-friendly it is, the more likely it is to be rated the best or among the best. It is important to properly understand the reason for editing – that it is not to make a paper more complicated. Rather, the opposite is true. The aim of editing is to simplify a text as much as possible.
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Why is rewriting recommended?
Every time you have written the final version of a paper, it is advisable to proofread and edit it. While editing a draft, it is possible you will find sentences and/or indeed paragraphs that may need removing. You should not be afraid to cut out any information that is irrelevant. The following are some reasons why papers should be rewritten:
- Rewriting has the potential to simplify a paper;
- On occasion there just may be too many mistakes and errors;
- A paper proves too difficult to rearrange;
- Adding more appropriate words and completing sentences is too difficult or impossible;
- There is a need to re-order a paper in a more logical manner;
- Underlining has been used inappropriately;
- Writers are sometimes tempted to overlook mistakes because they have skipped or missed them.