13 Editing Techniques For College Students

Do not use complicated words and vocabularies

July 16th, 2018   |   Updated on August 12th, 2019

It is often said that excelling is not as challenging as maintaining or striving to remain excellent. As a writer, one can be a good writer, but simple mistakes and common errors could make it difficult for one to maintain their high grades. After establishing yourself as a writer, it is crucial that you find ways to keep improving.

Yes, we understand that finding ways to better yourself and your skills is challenging, but when it comes to writing, it is as simple as taking 10 to 20 minutes after writing your paper. Editing is the name given to the exercise which can help you improve your writing.

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After writing a paper, never be in a hurry to submit it for review. Instead, take a few minutes to read through and to correct some of the obvious as well as the unapparent mistakes. As a writer, it is essential to track the mistakes and common errors your paper always has.

This will make it easier for you to improve your writing while also giving your instructor an easier time when it comes to awarding marks.

However, it is essential that you know what to look for and where some of the mistakes often exist. Therefore, below are common techniques or tips prepared by team at write my perfect essay, to help you edit your work.


1. Ensure The Structure Of Your Paper Is Correct

Ensure The Structure Of Your Paper Is Correct Image Source: sciencemag

As you start writing, it is essential that you develop the points that come to your mind first as you try to think of others. The arguments you present must not be logically arranged.

This will help you write more points and arguments. However, after you have finished, it is crucial that you reread your paper and move any paragraph that seems to be misplaced.

Re-reading your paper should always happen regardless of how you start your paper. Making it a habit will help reduce any errors or congruence in your paper.


2. Avoid Having Long Paragraphs And Sentences


 Long paragraphs and sentences are common in a paper whose author is trying to reach the word count. However, these will earn you fewer marks and can even be confusing to the instructors who might struggle to find your point or argument.

Therefore, one can be easily failed. A paragraph, for example, should have a maximum of four sentences whose length is about 15 to 20 words. One technique you can use to reduce the length of a sentence is to remove phrases which take up many words.


3. Do Not Use Complicated Words And Vocabularies

Do not use complicated words and vocabularies Image Source: cunoastelumea.

As a writer, it is vital that one is clear and that their language is easily comprehensible. However, not realizing that it is a misconception, some writers believe that using overly complicated words will make them look intelligent.

However, one never always comes out that way. One could confuse their audience if they choose to use the wrong synonym for a common word. Therefore, make your paper easy and replace any complicated words with simple ones.


4. Avoid The Temptation Of Repeating Ideas And Words

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As you edit your paper, make sure you can identify areas where you are repeating ideas and words. This can happen knowingly or unknowingly.

However, repetition only works to send the message that you are incompetent and shallow. Therefore, re-read your paper and watch out for any spots where you have repeated certain words in different paragraphs or ideas in more than one paragraph.


5. Avoid Over Reliance On The Spellcheck Function

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The spell check function is not as efficient as many people believe. There are some obvious errors which it misses, and these can only be corrected during editing. Therefore, always edit your work to avoid getting penalized for silly mistakes.


6. Remove All Typos In Your Work

Remove Typos
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One of the ways you can remove typos from your work is by reading it backwards. Well, it is believed that reading one’s work backwards can help one spot typos easily.

Aside from this, you can also print your work and use a pen to spot all the words and spots where there are typos. Once this is done, make the corrections on your computer.


7. Do Not Use Unnecessary And Weasel Words

Unnecessary Words Image Source: fastcompany

Unnecessary and weasel words are the ones which have no bearing on the paper and whose purpose is to add to the word count and to hide an author’s weak arguments.

These only highlight a paper’s weakness. Therefore, if you have such, while re-reading your work, make sure that you edit them out.


8. Avoid The Use Of Tautologies

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Tautologies are words which mean the same thing. Tautology is a common mistake which writers who are looking to reach the word count employ.

However, it is a behavior that will earn you fewer marks and render you a mediocre writer. Therefore, as you are editing your paper, remember to remove these words. Examples include big and giant, DVD and disc, etc.


9. Put Appropriate Commas In Your Paper

Put Appropriate Commas In Your Paper Image Source: vripmaster

Commas are essential while writing but it is crucial that they are inserted in appropriate places. Having too many commas in your sentences can be a problem, and this will confuse your audience who will be forced to re-read your sentences to gather meaning.

On the other hand, having a few of them can also confuse them by gifting them a different meaning. One technique you can use is to read your essay out loud and inserting commas in the areas you are pausing naturally.


10. Be Consistent In Your Spelling

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As a writer, you should know that there are certain words which have different spellings. These differences are brought about by the settings on the word processor.

For example, writers from the US should have their word processors set to US English to avoid certain spelling changes (An example would be the use of Labour instead of Labor).


11. Avoid The Use Of Ellipses And Exclamation Marks

Avoid The Use Of Ellipses And Exclamation Marks Image Source: ianlynam

Ellipses and exclamation marks are a favorite for certain writers, but they should never be used in academic writing. The inclusion of exclamation marks in an academic paper can easily make degrade the quality of a person’s paper in the eyes of experts. Therefore, they must never be used unless when expressing outrage or surprise.

When it comes to ellipses, they should also never be used unless they are part of a quote. Therefore, avoid using these always.


12. Acknowledge All Quotations And Authors

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As you write your paper, it is crucial to make use of quotations from other authors. However, failing to acknowledge them can be considered plagiarism and you may find yourself failing a paper.

Therefore, as you re-read your paper, make sure that you cite all the authors whose work you have used or included in your work.


13. Ensure Consistency In Your Formatting

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As you edit your paper, ensure that your formatting style is consistent throughout the paper. Often, students will make the mistake of starting with one formatting style and then make use of another especially when they are citing other writers or when they are preparing their reference page.

Aside from the above, some will also make use of italics when they are not supposed to, and others will use a different font in the same paper.

These mistakes are common, but as a writer, you should make sure that you re-read and correct such mistakes before submitting your work.

The points above are quite clear and should be of great help to any student who seeks to improve their writing skills. Read and make use of each point which has been discussed above if you wish to improve your grade and avoid some of the foolish mistakes which are common in students.