Sure, college essays are all different. And there's no universal recipe for successful essay editing. However, there are some typical errors, which can be found in most students' papers. Here are 10 steps you might take to improve your papers in no time.
Essay Editing: 5 Quick Steps to Better Grammar
Actually, today everyone can be an editing guru. Simply turn on your spellchecker (it's usually built into the text editor you use), check all the underlined sentences and here you go – a brilliant essay editor.There are, however, some cases which spellcheckers cannot see. It's up to you to correct the following 5 errors:
- 'Can not' as 2 words. Cannot is always 1 word – no matter what your editor thinks about it.
- Literally is a word which indicates that you mean exactly what you're saying. Not really necessary, it is overused in casual talks, but should be avoided in academic writing.
- Apostrophe shows possession or omitted letters. At the same time, 'its' is a possessive pronoun which doesn't require an apostrophe, while 'it's' is a contracted form of 'it is'.
- Confusing 'then' and 'than'. 'Then' means a moment in time or a succession of actions. 'Than' is a preposition which connects items under comparison.
- There vs. they're vs. their. 'There' means a place, 'they're' is a contracted form of 'they are', and 'there' is a possessive pronoun.
Essay Editing: 5 Quick Steps to Better PunctuationA good essay editor would also pay attention to the following 5 punctuation issues:
- Run-on sentences. Whenever you connect two short independent sentences into one sentence with a coma, make sure you also include a conjunction into it. Or, use a period instead of coma. Wrong: 'They went to the beach, the weather was nice.' Right: 'They went to the beach, as the weather was nice.' Right:
- Punctuation outside the quotation marks. Punctuation should be always inside of punctuation marks. Wrong: 'Facebook is the worst time-killer ever'. Right: 'Facebook is the worst time-killer ever.'
- Sentence fragments can slip away from your text editor, but not your teachers. Try to make your sentences complete. Wrong: 'A girl with sad blue eyes.' Right: 'A girl with sad blue eyes was smiling.'
- Parenthetical material. Additional information should be separated from the rest of the sentence. For example: 'Sometimes appearance, as an old proverb says, can be deceptive.'
- Unnecessary comas. Wrong: 'The essay was well-organized, and properly formatted.' Right: 'The essay was well-organized and properly formatted.'
Editing essays is not easy. Read it aloud, print it out, try to read it backwards and use the 10 quick steps discussed above. Good luck with editing your essay!