Tips on Revising an Essay
May 15, 2018| Category: Writing Tips
You have already accumulated enough ideas, found strong arguments and managed to put everything in words in a somewhat decent way. Congratulations! The most challenging part of writing is already behind.
However, it’s still not the time to relax because now you have the revision step waiting for you. Revision is absolutely essential because it helps to shape “some writing” into the best version of writing you can produce. If you’re intimidated by the idea, here are some guidelines to make revision go smoother.
The best way to prepare for a paper revision is to avoid it altogether for some time. Yes, you’ve heard it right. After you’re done with the first draft, sleep on it. If you can’t afford having a full day without writing, at least try to take a lengthy break before editing. This is essential to give you a clear perspective because after writing for a certain amount of time you have developed some subjectivity to your text. A good break will help you to distance yourself from all things you’ve already written and will give your brain time to accumulate new visions.
Content is the soul of your essay. It combines your ideas and argumentations and gives the reader exactly what they came for – important information. Without content, a text is just a combination of fancy words.
There are a few requirements the content of the essay must meet, so when revising, you need to check each of them. First of all, it should explain why you’re writing this essay, so you have to express the purpose. Then you need a thesis statement that covers the essay in a nutshell. Finally, every essay is built on a hierarchy – thesis statement is supported by ideas, which in their turn are supported by evidence.
Everyone knows that every common essay has three constituents – introduction, body and conclusion. However, not everyone knows what these consist of.
Introduction always has to grip the reader’s attention, so it should start with something intriguing. In academic writing, it’s known as the “hook”. It can be a shocking piece of statistics, an anecdote, a quote or anything that will convince the reader to keep going. Introduction also gives the reader an idea of what the rest of the essay is going to be about as well as presents the thesis statement.
The body paragraphs follow the order of the ideas that you’ve stated in the thesis. For instance, in the thesis statement you mention that you want to focus on three different points of view – Point A, Point B and Point C. This means that your first body paragraph should be dedicated to Point A, second – to Point B and third – to Point C. Of course, it’s also worth mentioning that you need to keep a close eye on your arguments and assure that each your idea is supported sufficiently enough.
The conclusion goes back to your thesis statement but it also highlights the importance of the essay. After all, there is some significance behind everything you’ve said.
Every essay needs to be both academic and clear enough to be understood. This is a thin line to walk on, so you should be extra careful with the clarity of an essay. If it’s absent, the purpose of writing will fail to reach the reader, and you won’t achieve your set objectives. Here are common things that should always be kept in mind because otherwise they can harm the level of clarity in writing:
- subjects and predicates are always agreed according to whether they are singular or plural (he sees/they see);
- there is a good variety of sentence length throughout the text;
- all the words are clear and the reader won’t need to reach for a dictionary;
- the narrative point of view stays consistent all the time;
- there is just the right amount of commas.
After you think you’ve achieved all mentioned requirements, check your essay for misspellings and grammar slipups. Once you’re satisfied with the result of your work, seek feedback from someone you can trust. They will be able to spot mistakes and errors that you have missed.
This is all you need to know about how to do a proper revision of an essay. Good luck!