Writing different types and lengths of academic papers is an essential part of any student’s education. However, the task’s success depends on how well the ideas are organized and whether the expected academic standards have been met.
However, what separates hastily written essays from high-scoring ones is good editing. Students that can’t edit their papers turn to professions. But it’s still possible to start editing your own academic papers as long as you know what to pay attention to. Here’s a checklist to make the process easier.

Check the Structure

While in school, students will have assignments that fall into four types of academic writing: critical, descriptive, argumentative/persuasive, and analytical. However, when writing them, they all have a similar structure composed of an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

When editing, ensure the introduction has a thesis statement supported by sub-points in body paragraphs. The ending should reinforce the major claims. The paragraphs should start with a topic sentence and discuss one idea that reflects the thesis. Longer essays like dissertations and thesis may further be divided into subsections or chapters. Check the instructions for the assignment to ensure your work adheres to the structure specified.

Get the Format Right

Following your professor’s preferred style is key to scoring a good grade. Formats that constitute the fonts, margins, and indentions, help your academic essay to gain credibility and for the reader to understand the ideas you are communicating. Style guides are often changing. As a result, a student has to keep up with all the guidelines as they point out how to cite each source, be it a newspaper, journal, or website.

During the editing process, ensure your reference list includes all sources you have used in your paper and has been organized per the citation style. Don’t forget to check the in-text citation, page numbers, and spacing. Students that have problems formatting their work in a specific style can buy term paper and use it as a guide. Ensure the academic paper follows the current guidelines for that citation style before submitting it.

Replace Complex Words

Academic papers don’t have to include a lot of jargon. Yes, it can help industry experts communicate with clarity. However, when it comes to assignments given in school, it’s best to stick to clear, straight-to-the-point sentences since they make the ideas you’re communicating easier to understand. In addition, ensure the paragraphs have transitions that help the ideas to connect and flow smoothly.

Remove Grammatical Errors

Bad grammar lowers the quality of academic papers resulting in a poor score. Part of doing thorough editing is to ensure your work is free of all errors. For starters, check spelling and punctuation. Then check the accuracy of the information presented. If you’re self-editing a long paper, it’s easy for grammatical mistakes to slip by. That is why you should take a step further and utilize online grammar checkers to ensure your text is not confusing or awkward.

Check the Word Count

Even top students sometimes exceed the word count, especially if they have several ideas that can’t be contained within the specified limit. Going over the word count is good because, during the editing process, you can delete sentences that don’t add meaning to the argument. The relevant information should be conveyed clearly. Eliminate all words that fail to make your writing perfect. Finally, double-check the facts, quotes, and figures present. Ensure what you’re cutting out doesn’t affect the main argument.

Avoid Being Perfect

Just like writing, editing is a skill that takes time to perfect. That means students have to keep practicing if they intend to be good at self-editing their academic papers. So give yourself room to make mistakes but ensure you don’t have standard errors that can cost you a good grade. To sharpen your editing skills, read samples or learn from a professional.

Peer Edit With a Friend

It’s beneficial to have a friend or classmate edit your writing. This habit is important because it gives you room to keep your distance from your paper and recharge your brain. It also allows someone else to point out mistakes you might have missed while self-editing.

When peer editing, read through the entire academic paper to get familiar with the content. Ensure each paragraph discusses an idea relevant to the main topic and thesis statement. Check the writer’s claim to be sure they support the thesis. Overall, peer editing gives meaningful feedback on how best the paper can be improved and helps to hone your editing skills.