Table of contents

How to Revise an Essay

You may have a legitimate question now – really, revision? With writing being the most complicated part of the whole studying at school or uni, you may start wondering – why bother with all the revision?

If you don’t want to spend your time revising any text, there is a magic phrase – “write an essay for me“.

Actually, understanding how to revise an essay can make you a better everything – a learner, a writer, a student. If you tend to hand in your papers without giving them a second look, it’s time to change the attitude.

Browse this article, and you’ll get to know some tricks from established writers. Moreover, you’ll get to know how to revise and edit an essay to perfect your texts. Let’s get right away to the business!

Six Tips on How to Revise an Essay

Before delving into the matter in detail, let’s concentrate on a broader picture first. If you never knew how to revise an essay at college, you probably need some proven tips first, right? Here is a list of the basics that will for sure benefit every fresher!

Take your timeThis may sound odd to you as an ever-busy student who needs to do it all and now. Yet, giving yourself some spare time on good old chill will benefit the final outcome of the revision, too.
It’s time for a reading sessionReally, this may surprise you too, but having someone else go through what you’ve written is a great move. If your friend, relative, or roommate finds all the thoughts you’ve expressed clear and cohesive – congrats! If, in some places, the clarity is not present, then you’ll need to do some more work.
Read the text out loudThis is actually the most working tactic if your goal is proofreading. Listening to the text will give you a fresh picture, and you’ll spot every error easily.
Count the number of long and complex sentencesIf there are more than three per page – it’s time to get down to heavy revising.
Check the text using some readability appsDepending on the criteria, you’ll find plenty of options on the Web. Knowing whether the text is readable enough is crucial for academic revision.
Carve yourself some time for last-minute polishing touchesIt’s very common to spot a mistake on the stage of almost submitting. Therefore, always have at least an hour and a half for every paper.

How to Revise an Essay in 3 Simple Steps

Now that we finally have some basics covered, it’s time to shed some light on the ins and out of how to revise and edit an essay. We’ll reveal some most crucial steps for you and will stop at three.

  1. Take in the whole picture. The most important part of consistent and thorough revision is all about seeing the whole picture behind this text. Once you go through the text for the first few times, you’d already know what parts are not that necessary. Why bother proofreading them? Following this simple technique will let you concentrate on the best passages. You will only need to leave coherent parts that do the job – namely, add value to your text.
  2. From the general picture – to separate sentences. Once you are totally and completely satisfied with how the text flows, it’s time to concentrate on each part separately. Consider yourself a Seeker looking for a snitch – you should get rid of all the redundancies and have only properly articulated thoughts in your essay. Each paragraph needs to have a topic sentence and supporting arguments.
  3. Work on the actual language you use in the text. Academic writing gets pretty demanding concerning the language, structures, and the very lexis used. Therefore, you’ll need to have proper words in your texts; no colloquial ones are allowed. If there are any inconsistencies or contradicting parts – get rid of those.

If you don’t feel like these three main steps are enough, check out the list of more suggestions below. When working with academic texts, try to:

Eliminate all instances of redundancy
Stick to the point and cover one topic sentence in each paragraph
Be straightforward in your writing
Minimize the number of complex structures
Use transition words to make the text flow
Do not let a bitter typo spoil the impression from your text

All the tips above were connected more to the form, yet what about the content? During the revision stage, it’s also highly important to double-check every source you’ve mentioned. Moreover, you are to follow the rubrics received from a tutor to the last dot. The same goes for formatting rules and citing suggestions. All these blocks are super important. In sum, they constitute the basis of an essay. And your task is to fill in all the gaps.

The Revising Method of First Lines

This particular insight might surprise many – your first lines and concluding paragraphs are the most important ones. Don’t let anyone prove otherwise. Think of it this way – if you were in the shoes of an admission officer, wouldn’t you get tired of endless similar pieces of writing in the very first weeks?

Let’s throw in an example for you to better understand what the revising method of first lines actually means.

Below you will see a sample of an admission essay:

People have always fascinated me. I was a curious and very open-minded kid. All the adults were my friends, and I have always dreamt of becoming a grown-up myself and cooperating with as many colleagues as possible.

This inclination has never left me, even during the turbulent high school years. Moreover, I attended a summer school on psychology during the 9th grade, and it was a revelation, not just an outstanding experience.

Thus, my way towards graduation was a chosen path since that. I’ve acquainted myself with different schools of thought. I have had my fair share of fascination periods – first, it was Albert Bandura, then Erik Erikson. 

I feel like choosing Psychology as a major is not just a whim. It’s the only way I can apply, grow and master new skills related to this vast and tender field. You might call me a dreamer just trying to make the wishes from childhood become the basis of adult life.

Yet, why not go where your heart calls you? I might become a top-tier HR if I decide on corporate life. Yet, now, I feel more inclined to choosing an academic career, beginning with a Ph.D. I very well understand that in the coming years’ life situations may change – and drastically so.

After all, my fascination with people is highly unlikely to leave me one day. Therefore, you browse my admission essay right now.

You might wonder why all the first lines are in bold? Well, just read them exclusively. You’ll see a bit of text-related magic here – only the first lines of each paragraph still compose a story in itself, albeit a generic one.

If the text you plan to hand in is of a similar structure, you might have come up with really good material this time. Check your first lines once more? Still, see a silver lining and coherent text? Finally, the job seems to be done. No more hesitation over that “Submit” button – click it right away.

Must-Have Before Submission Essay Checklist

If you want to go the extra mile, become a better learner and writer simultaneously – well, never skip the revision part. Even if you feel drained or lazy, always check whether you can positively answer the questions below!

Are all the parts of rubrics that I’ve got followed?Haven’t I messed up with all the formatting details?Is there enough hangers in my intro? Is this crucial paragraph engaging?

What about the thesis? Is it solid and continually supported?

And the body of the text? Is it consistent? Do all parts flow well?

Have I eliminated all the repetitions?

Does my conclusion sound content? 

Can the whole text be called an informative one?

Is there a crystal clear general picture with all my arguments on display?

Finally, is the conclusion evidence-free? Haven’t I slipped some new info there?

Conversely, having the checklist in order will all the questions answered to your liking, you can proceed to the submitting stage. Do so light-heartedly. Having paid that much attention to your work and making it perfect will definitely pay off!

Hopefully, this article has already proven a simple fact to you – revision matters! Instead of seeing it as a tedious yet another boring activity, change your attitude. Consider it a possibility to make your texts not just great. Your aim is no less than “awesome” or “amazing!”