A helpful guide for editing a research paper
After you spend weeks or even months working on a big research paper, one of the last things on your mind might be editing. However, this is one of the critical steps in the writing process and it is one that should not be skipped or shirked on. A great paper can be destroyed with errors and mistakes, so you need to take the time to edit and review your paper. Here is a helpful guide to help you through the process of editing.
- Give yourself time. A good edit will take time. It is not something you can do a few minutes before you have to print out your paper and turn it in. You should do several read throughs and checks before you have to turn in the paper to your instructor, so make sure you plan a few days into the writing process to be able to do good edits.
- Take a break. One of the best ways to get a good edit on your research paper, or any other writing assignment for that matter, is to not look at it for a day or two. After you have spent so much time working on the paper, you will not be able to do a good edit. When you come across mistakes, your mind will read it like it is suppose to be written, not how you have it written. When you take a break and have not looked at the paper for a time, the errors will be easier to spot and correct.
- Ask someone else to look it over. If you cannot take time to do the editors or take a break from the paper, you can always find someone else to look it over for you. Whether it is a friend or family member who can give it a general once over or you hire a professional editor to give it an edit, this is a great way to get through the editing process.
- Give a draft to the instructor. Sometimes an instructor might be able and willing to look over a draft of your paper. Ask them if you could bring them a draft of your paper and have them review it. This can be a good way to get feedback, thoughts, and suggestions that you can take and apply to your final draft. You won't know unless you ask and you really have nothing to lose.