Score an A+ Grade with These Essay Editing Hacks

Hello, dear readers! This is your academic tutor to help you with your school requirements.

Let’s have a short interrogation game:

  1. Have you ever struggled with editing your paper?
  2. Do you think that editing your paper consumes too much of your time?

Folks, an edited paper creates a good impression on your professor. In my opinion, it shows that you are professional and meticulous in the academic setting.

Moreover, submitting a well-polished essay to your instructor is a plus point for him or her. Having numerous grammatical errors turn off your instructor, and may deduct precious points from your grade. That’s sad! And I’m sure none of you want that!

That’s why I am here to help you score better in your academic papers. But first, this will be the flow of our guide:

I. Definition of editing and revising

II. The difference between editing and revising

III. Types of editing

IV. Editing an essay tutorial (general)

  • Peer editing
  • Editing a quote

V. Editing checklist

VI. Examples

Are you ready to learn from your academic tutor? If so, then let’s rock and roll!

What Is Editing?

According to the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, “edit” is defined “as to prepare (something, such as literary material) for publication or public presentation.”

what is editing

Editing involves fixing grammatical mistakes, typographical errors, word choices, writing style and etc. Editing a work makes it better and more complete.

Yes, there’s an editor who can edit your work to make it better for your readers.

What Is Revising?

Revising means that you have to re-write or re-work on your academic paper.

what is revising

You have to remove unrelated content — some professors treat it relatedness in writing as a separate subject. Sometimes, you might need to add more content. You also need to shift the positions of some paragraphs or sentences.

For instance, a sentence in the body paragraph might be more suitable in the introduction or conclusion. Revising involves double-checking the sources you used in your paper.

Let us not forget that revising allows you to check for unclear or illogical arguments.

Editing and Revising: What is the Difference?


  • Fixing grammatical mistakes, typographical errors, word choices, writing style
  • Simply put, it pays attention to the little details of your paper.


  • Double checking your sources
  • Reworking the paper’s structure/logical clarity
  • Adding or removing content
  • Move sentences or paragraphs

Types of Editing


  • Wikipedia notes that it involves correcting a literary work for the purpose of improving its accuracy, readability, and errors (repetition, inconsistencies, and etc.).
  • Copyediting also consists of mechanical and substantive editing.

2Mechanical editing

  • Wikipedia says that mechanical editing focuses on abiding by a certain style of a publishing house such as Chicago Manual of Style or The Associated Press.
  • Editors deal with capitalization, punctuations, spelling, abbreviations, and etc.

3Substantive editing

4Developmental editing

  • It focuses on plot/subplot, pacing, characters/characterization, setting, and dialogue.
  • Interestingly, developmental editors may be involved in outlining, planning, and formulating a topic.
  • Development editing introduces significant changes to a literary work and makes it more likable to readers.

5Technical editing

  • It focuses on editing technical or complex topics. Like the others, it also consists of correcting errors and the like.
  • What makes it different is that technical editing involves checking for the incorrect usage of scientific terms or units and correcting citation mistakes or data.

6Line editing

  • A line editor scrutinizes the sentences of your manuscript, not to check for grammar errors.
  • It focal points are word choice, syntax, sentence length, and tones


  • According to IP Ed, proofreading means to check if a work is complete and ready to be published.
  • Proofreaders check for errors, style conformity, and format.

How to Edit an Essay?


  • Take a break for a few hours (or a day) to refresh yourself and to forget your essay temporarily.

2OPTIONAL: Print your paper!

  • Oh no! Poor trees! I have to admit that I print a hard copy of my paper whenever I’m editing.
  • Let me say that I can spot mistakes better when I have the physical copy of my draft.

3Change the font style, size, and format — TEMPORARILY!

  • Chances are, your eyes are used to seeing Times New Roman 12. And you will end up skimming through your draft.
  • Yes, I can spot mistakes better that way because I got to read the draft slowly.

how to edit an essay


  • Read your document. I usually start from the end because I will be able to spot redundant words, weird sounding sentences, and unclear statements. By reading backward, I can see if there are errors in the way I structure and organize my paragraphs.
  • Through this method, I can rearrange sentences, omit words, or make a sentence more “powerful”. Again, this method is
  • Remove any unnecessary details from your paper. You can add more detail if you need to do so.
  • Check if the structure flows logically. Reposition paragraphs if you must.
  • Address all the questions in the assignment prompt. This is essential!
  • All sources must be correctly (including spelling) cited in your paper.
  • To check if every citation is present, press Ctrl+F and type the author’s name. If there’s a match, then it’s okay. If not, then add the citation.
  • Ensure that you use the appropriate punctuation for your paper. Further, you have to bear in mind your teacher’s formatting guidelines on your essay.
  • You can use a grammar checker. It’s effective, but it does not catch all your mistakes.
  • Allot time for editing your essay.

How to Peer Edit an Essay?

1Share your work!

  • If it’s online, you can upload your draft on Google Docs, press the “share option”, and type your classmate’s email. Or you can simply share the link to him or her.
  • If it’s offline, you could give a copy to your classmate.

2Use your professor’s peer editing questionnaire (if any)

  • Guide questions help facilitate peer editing sessions.


  • Remember to be respectful when commenting. Be honest and specific when giving constructive criticisms and suggestions.
  • Call your classmate’s attention to his/her mistakes. Don’t pick fights!
  • If your work is being critiqued, be sure to briefly discuss the contents of your paper to your peer editors. If there’s any comment you don’t understand, ask a question.
  • Moreover, you can ask your peer editors to write a list of their suggestions and comments. If editing online, they can add their suggestions by clicking the comment option in Google Docs. Of course, this is also applied when you are critiquing your classmate’s essay.

How to Edit a Quote in an Essay?


  • If it’s too long, then feel free to omit some parts of the quote. As stated by Purdue OWL, you have to place ellipses if you remove words. Bear in mind that it should not change the meaning of the quote, and it should also be grammatically correct.
  • Don’t capitalize if you are quoting only a fragment of the author’s to edit a quote

2Brackets and context

  • According to Purdue OWL, add brackets to the words you placed (or altered) on the quote/sentence if you think that the context is vague.
  • The purpose of the brackets is to clarify the quote’s meaning, to give a short explanation, and to integrate it in your sentence. Brackets are used if letter cases and tenses are changed.

3Double quotations

  • Also known as a quote within a quote. Purdue Owl requires the writer to add “ “ (singular quotation marks) when you integrate a quote to another quote. This is to avoid confusion.

Also, pay attention to such a complicated type of citation as block quotes. I’ve just written a complete block quotes guide, so check it out if you want to cite big amounts of text.

Editing an Essay Checklist

editing essay checklist

  • Are my sentences complete and clear?
  • Are my sentences logical?
  • Are my sentences too wordy/too long?
  • Does my paper have any run-on sentences?
  • Does my paper flow logically?
  • Do I have a thesis statement? If so, is it arguable or related to the topic at hand?
  • Are my examples relevant to my arguments?
  • Did I structure my essay well?
  • Did I dedicate a new paragraph for each new idea?
  • Did I cite my sources correctly?
  • Does my paper have any grammatical and typographical errors?
  • Did I follow my teacher’s guidelines?
  • Did I address every question in the assignment?
  • Does my paper have a title?

Editing Examples

The first two examples are from my old works. I made minor changes to them.

  1. Or what if it [military parade] is actually a way for China to ignite the flames of Chinese nationalism?
  2. President Ma seeks to promote peace- at the same time- he wants his army to “operate solid and self-sufficient manner.”
  3. George narrates, “I told my friend that I would not do what he wants, but he angrily barked ‘just do it!’”

I hope my tutorial has helped you. On the other hand…

Are You Not Confident in Editing Your Paper?

It’s worth utilizing all the resources that you have available.

  • Peer editing.
  • Professional tutor help.
  • Guides and manuals online.

Did you know that Homework Lab is a student task sharing platform? You can work on tasks on your own or ask professional Geeks for help. Join anytime, anywhere for free.

Learn More   

If you still have questions regarding editing process, don’t hesitate to drop in comments below — I’ll be here to help you ❤️.

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