Tips from professional term paper writers: how to edit your paper

Editing and proofreading are terms that are used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. Both editing and proofreading are needed after you finish writing your paper.

Editing is the first thing you do once you are done writing your paper. You re-read your work and see if the structure of your term paper is right, it is well organized, the paragraphs smoothly connect with each other, and your data backs up your thesis.

A few tips for editing:

Editing is done on many levels, so you can compartmentalize things in your mind.

  1. Content
  2. You can ask yourself the following questions:

    • Have I done everything required in the paper?
    • Have I made accurate claims?
    • Was I required to make an argument? Have I?
    • Does the data back up my argument?
    • Is my argument complete, and are my points consistent?
    • Does the paper fill the requirement of the assignment?
  3. Structure
  4. Questions you should think about:

    • Have I written an adequate introduction?
    • Have I clearly stated the thesis in the introduction?
    • Have I mentioned how each paragraph relates to the thesis?
    • Is the sequence of my subsequent paragraphs logical?
    • Have I argued convincingly in the discussion?
    • Have I written a proper conclusion?
  5. Style
  6. The tone of your paper should remain consistent throughout. Check if you have varied your tone. It is commonly seen that the paper’s tone suddenly shifts in the conclusion. Avoid becoming emotional there, if the rest of your paper was analytical. Look closely to find any sprawling sentences that could be rewritten. Check grammar and spelling (proofread).

  7. Coherence/Clarity:
  8. Any unclear, new, or technical terms should have been defined in the paper. Look for any concepts, words, or terms that may require clarification.

  9. Citations:
  10. Any quotations/references you use should be accurately cited.

As you re-read and edit you may find patterns of errors. This should help as you find out about the kind of mistakes you usually make.

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