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How to Revise An Essay

A Step-by-step Guide to Revising Your Writing

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How to Revise An Essay
 John Millar   Published On Aug 28, 2023 | Updated on Dec 28, 2023  Essay

Essay writing is tough. Even the best students struggle to pen down their thoughts and seek help. However, writing is only half the battle. The main struggle starts if you do not know how to revise an essay.

Good essay writing skills help readers understand the primary context. Continuous editing will only elevate the quality. Are you confident of your revision skills? Need guidance? Some tips, maybe? Great! This blog will explain everything you should know about how to revise and edit an essay. 

How to Revise an Essay: Understanding the Basics

Revising is a crucial part of the essay writing process. Before we learn how to revise an essay, let's quickly understand what revising is and its purpose.

What is Revising?

Revising is part of the ‘editing’ step of the essay writing process. Here, you go through the entire paper and identify the areas you need to change. Now what changes are made through revising? It primarily involves the following:

  • Altering the discussion topic
  • Modifying the essay structure
  • Reorganizing the essay paragraphs
  • Correcting spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors
  • Rephrasing complex words/sentences
  • Improving word choice
  • Reducing redundancies
  • Cutting out wordiness and inaccuracies

Why Revise?

Most students do not know how to revise an essay in college because they overlook the importance of revising. Their entire focus shifts to completing the task within the deadline. Despite tight deadlines, you must focus on this aspect of your writing.

Taking your essay help you identify the mistakes and polish your rough draft into a masterpiece. Plus, it will allow you to spot the mistakes you hadn’t anticipated. No unnecessary deductions!

Revision enhances and builds your paper. It gives new life to your writing and makes it stand out, regardless of the type. Furthermore, you can refine your argument with stronger evidence and details and combine your writing.

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How to Revise and Edit an Essay: Key Steps to Follow

Now the real work begins. Unlike most students, you don’t have to hire an online essay writer if you know the right way to begin the task. The question is how?

The best way to start the process is to gain some perspective. For instance, ask yourself:

  • Did I develop the prompt?
  • Is my thesis relevant to the main context of the essay?
  • Are my ideas clear and easy to understand?
  • What would I want to change?

Once you have the answers, follow these steps to proceed.

Step 1: Distance yourself

A lot of students start with revision right after completing their essays. Don't do that if your deadline isn't the next day. Instead, keep your essay aside for a day or two. That way, you will have time to rest and look at your essay from a fresh perspective, giving yourself time for better results.

Step 2: Re-evaluate the purpose

There’s no sense in hiring the best essay writing service or a top-ranked online essay writer if you don’t understand the idea yourself. Therefore, start by looking at the essay as a whole. Check each paragraph and determine if you have addressed the purpose. Again, go back to your thesis. Revise and cut lines if required.

Step 3: Organize your paper

The next vital step of how to revise an essay in college is to check everything for logical order. Go through each paragraph and double-check the information you have mentioned. Then ask yourself:

  • Did I define the terms, concepts, and theories accurately?
  • Did I give sufficient background information about the context?
  • Does my argument gradually build up?
  • Are the paragraphs properly linked?

While revising, make sure there's a topic sentence for every paragraph. Remove redundancies and use suitable transitional words to strengthen the structure. Finally, restructure if anything feels out of place. Trust your intuition or get a second opinion from an online essay writer.

Step 4: Read out loud

It is easy to miss typos when you are tired or just scanning your copy in a rush. A small typo can alter the meaning of a sentence and affect the quality. That's the last thing we want. That's why read aloud. By reading out loud, you can spot the typos quickly and edit.

Go paragraph by paragraph and make sure the sentences are relevant and necessary. Make sure:

  • Each paragraph starts with a topic sentence.
  • No information is repeated. Cut redundancies.
  • None of your assertions contradict each other.
  • To correct inconsistencies

Remember, revision is not only about the typos. Think about the overall development of the idea. Have you written enough to explain your idea? Is the paragraph too long or short? Did you write in the first person? Are the citation rules accurate? You must crosscheck these points before submission.

Step 5: Check the sources

Your writing should be appropriate and relevant, backed by trustworthy and accurate sources. Citation errors can greatly affect the credibility of your work and, thus, your grades. Therefore, review every source you have used, like a hawk. Go back to the citation rules of the particular style and make sure everything is accurate and plagiarism-free.

Step 6: Examine the balance

Do you agree with your answers? Is there something you can modify? Are some sections overpowering the others? Did you write too many lines on a trivial factor and neglect the important ones? Do your beginning paragraphs have more explanation than the ending paragraphs? Is your thesis too long? Does it make a specific position? Is it sophisticated or provocative?

Based on your answers, reorder the sections to ensure proper balance. Make all the body paragraphs start with topic sentences, followed by the linking ideas supporting the thesis.

Step 7: Focus on your reader

Another crucial trick in revising an essay is switching from being a writer to a reader. You can only meet the primary purpose of your essay when you know your target readers. How? Everything will depend on the reader, whether you are trying to develop an argument or analyze a situation.

Shift from writer-centric to reader-centric to determine if you have met your readers’ expectations. Carefully check if the ideas are clear and easy to understand. Next, evaluate your evidence. There should be enough evidence supporting the text to help your readers understand the context in detail.

Step 8: Polish your writing

Once you are happy with your essay's overall structure and content, it's time to polish your essay to enhance clarity and fluency. At this stage of how to revise and edit an essay, you should be more concerned with how you say it. Aim for simplifying sentences and do the following:

  • Avoid complex words and sentences. Be direct with your approach.
  • Split long sentences into shorter ones to improve readability.
  • In case of too many short sentences, combine a few with semicolons or conjunctions.
  • Use suitable transitional words to draw connections between different ideas.

Step 9: Proofread the sentences

Revising your sentences will help you cut through extra words or sudden vagueness in your copy. Here are some suggestions you should remember while revising sentences:

  • Replace long verbs with more specific verbs. For example, "Smith argues for the significance of the context” with “Smith defends the context." Sounds better.
  • Look for places where you've used excessive passive voice. Stay in an active voice as much as possible to maintain the quality of your essay. Switching voices will impact the overall quality and confuse readers.
  • As we said earlier, avoid using the same words or phrases in consecutive sentences or paragraphs. Find alternative ways to suggest the same thing.
  • Cut prepositional phrases and check for sentence variety without altering the meaning. Use different sentence patterns and balance simple and complex sentences to communicate what you want to.
  • Try to use precise words. Instead of using the best words you can think of at that moment, use a dictionary to find a better word suggesting the same meaning.
  • Reframe sentences starting with "there are" or "it is," and see if you can write them more actively and engagingly.

Step 10: Get a second opinion

The final step of how to revise an essay is to ask for feedback. Ask your family members or friends to read your piece and give an honest opinion. Consider asking them the following questions:

  • What did they understand from the essay?
  • Were the arguments clear and straightforward?
  • Did they like the essay? If not, why?
  • What portion of the essay was most compelling or boring?
  • Which words or sentences can be changed or phrased?
  • What’s their opinion of you as a writer?
  • Has the essay influenced their opinion of the topic, and how?
  • Was any information missing from the essay?

Genuine feedback can be useful and is necessary for improving the accuracy and quality of your essay. That said, do not get defensive if someone gives you feedback. Instead, focus on the recommendations and make changes before writing the final draft

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How to Revise an Essay in College – Tips to Achieve Perfection

Even the topper in your class can make inadvertent errors while writing and revising. Hence, to ensure you obtain the best results, try to follow these tips:

Do not overlook the importance of revising and editing. It doesn’t matter if you do not know how to revise an essay in college. Leave enough time to do the task on your own or by hiring an online essay writer. 

Take a break from your essay after you complete writing. Distancing yourself from your writing will cut the monotony and help you focus.

Start revising your essay from random sections. It will help you identify errors quickly. Plus, when you read lines from random paragraphs, there’s less chance of predicting the following sentences and ignoring probable mistakes.

Focus on the structure of your essay. Check whether the introduction, body, and conclusion are properly structured and formatted. Every section should properly define with vivid examples and points to strengthen your standpoint.

Identify your suitable mode of revision. For instance, some students prefer to edit their essays on the desktop, while others get a printout and highlight the errors. So choose your best option to fulfill the objective of the task.

Do not shy away from getting help. If you do not know how to revise and edit an essay, ask for help. You can use online essay editing tools, but the free versions may generate inaccurate results. Hence, reach out to your family members, friends, or an online essay writer cum editor for genuine assistance. Getting help is any day better than submitting a shoddy paper.

Essay Revision Checklist: Recommended By the Best Essay Help Experts

Are you new to revising your essay? Confused about how to revise an essay? Worry not! Here’s a checklist you can use to ease the process:


· Check the assignment formatting guidelines and ensure your essay follows the same

· Review your essay's headings, subheadings, and font sizes and ensure their consistency

· Check all the margins, spacing, and page numbers, and make sure they are accurate.


· Make sure it has a hook to grab readers’ attention

· The thesis statement should be clear and concise

· Ensure that your paper is relevant and supports the thesis throughout the paper

· Check if the introduction is well-organized, giving a roadmap to the rest of the essay


· Body sections should be well-organized and easy to read

· The body paragraphs should provide relevant and accurate information with supporting evidence

· Address the gaps between arguments, if any


· The conclusion should summarize the key points from your essay

· Check if it restates the thesis statement and has a call to action

Language and Writing Tone:

· Review whether the language and tone are appropriate and consistent

· Correct unclear, awkward, or incomplete sentences

· Use alternatives to replace repetitive words or phrases

Grammar, Spelling, and Punctuation:

· Use an online grammar-checking tool to identify errors faster

· Review the essay manually to correct typos, punctuation, and grammatical errors

Clarity and Conciseness:

· Read out loudly to identify incomplete or unclear sentences.

· Remove unnecessary use of words or information to reduce wordiness

· Make sure all sentences are clean, accurate, and easy to follow.

Good revision can help you communicate your ideas effectively and connect with your readers. While the process may seem time-consuming initially, it gradually becomes less daunting with time and practice. Therefore, follow the steps and tips suggested on how to revise an essay to transform mediocre writing into excellent writing.

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Most Frequently Asked Questions By Students

  1. How to revise a college essay?

Here are the eight essential steps to follow while revising an essay:

  • Take a break after you complete the essay
  • Read your essay out loud
  • Divide the essay into small sections
  • Pick a random section and proofread it in parts
  • Check for errors and ensure a logical flow of ideas
  • Ask someone for feedback and make changes accordingly
  • Fix grammatical errors, typos, and silly spelling mistakes
  • Review and crosscheck the sources
  • Use a tool to check for plagiarism
  1. What is revising an essay?

Revising is the stage of essay writing where you check the rough draft and make necessary edits throughout the paper. Revision allows you to correct grammatical, punctuation, and structural errors and improve the overall quality of writing.

  1. Why is it important to revise?

Writing a perfect essay on your first attempt is almost impossible – even the best writers make mistakes in their first draft. You cannot focus on all the writing aspects at once. Revising allows you to correct the errors and helps you identify the aspects you failed to meet with your first draft. Careful revision can reveal typos and mistakes and help you can edit the paper to improve its quality.

  1. How to revise your writing?

Here are some top expert recommended suggestions for revising your writing:

  • Focus on the main point of your essay
  • Identify your readers and the purpose of your writing
  • Review the sources and evaluate your evidence
  • Double-check the content of your essay with your thesis
  • Clean up and polish the language of your essay
  • Eliminate incorrect grammar usage
  • Read your essay from your readers’ perspective
  • Take time and edit – do not rush the process
  1. What are the main steps of revision?

Revising consists of four key steps:

  • Reading the text to understand the main focus of your writing.
  • Diagnosing the issues like identifying the possible issues with your writing, be it grammar, punctuation, incorrect citations, or other mistakes.
  • Finding solutions, meaning what you need to do and in what order to make corrections.
  • Lastly, rewriting the final draft. Once you have corrected the mistakes and edited sections, rewrite the essay accurately.

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