How to Edit a Research Paper Appropriately

You can ruin the good impression of your research paper if it is full of mistakes, misprints, or conflicting data. Therefore, every student has to complete every single step in preparation of his or her assignment and edit or proofread it appropriately. The information below describes how you can do it easily and efficiently.

  1. It makes sense to review your past writing assignments and identify errors that occur frequently. Take notes and write down these common mistake types.
  2. Some writing style manuals contain information about errors students often make. It is a good idea to visit an academic writing center and ask an instructor for style manuals you can use, as well as tips that are helpful when you edit your paper.
  3. Once you have gathered information about possible pitfalls, you should start looking through your work. Remember that you can edit it more efficiently if you distance yourself from your research paper for a while. In some cases, students take breaks up to several weeks long. Nevertheless, do no forget about the assignment’s deadline.
  4. When you edit your work, pay special attention to the way it is organized. A good paper is organized in a clear manner, has smooth paragraph transitions, and is readable. You should check several different areas, such as:
    • Content: Check if you have fulfilled the task, developed a thesis statement, provided enough supportive evidence, and clearly described the outcomes.
    • Structure: Ensure that its organization is logical, the purpose is clear, and the body paragraphs relate to your thesis statement. Also, each paragraph should contain a topic sentence and describe a single point.
    • Writing style: Consider your readers and make sure that you used an appropriate tone. Rewrite awkward sentences and change “weak” words. Sometimes, it helps if you use special text-to-speech software for editing.
    • Citations: You must cite any ideas or facts from the outside sources you used. Check if you have cited all of them and study the formatting manuals to ensure that you formatted the citations properly.
  5. When you are done with editing, you should spend some time to proofread the text. Watch for grammar and spelling errors, misprints, and punctuation mistakes. It is better to check for one type of error at a time; you will catch more mistakes that way. Focus your attention on spelling, grammar, and punctuation. It is easier to proofread a hard copy of your paper, doing a line-by-line analysis and writing margin notes.

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