In order to produce a well written paper one should plan at least three readings or revisions. Be sure to allow time (at least a few hours each day if possible) between readings. Otherwise, the eye can trick the mind into missing many mistakes. The most efficient way to edit is to focus each reading on a different aspect of the paper.
- First reading: Check the content. Does the paper contain enough information? Does it contain too much information? Do the facts need more interpretation? Have I included specific examples? Did I use the best available sources? Are my argument and reasoning logical?
- Second reading: Check the organization. Is the subject divided into clear-cut stages of development? Are the connections between stages clear and appropriate? Are the transitions between paragraphs smooth?
- Third reading: Check sentence structure, diction and style. Are sentences correct? Complete? Do the subjects and verbs agree? Did I use specific and concrete words? Is the writing style consistent? Can sentences be improved by varying length and style? Have the words “you,” “I” and “thing” been used sparingly or eliminated entirely?
Developed by LLCC Center For Academic Success, Springfield, Illinois.