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How to edit a descriptive essay in a proper way

When you write a descriptive essay one of the finishing phases is the editing phase. Many students ignore this phase or at the very least do not dedicate the time needed to doing it properly. Students fail to realize that some teachers will mark them down an entire letter grade for a single error. Or that job interviews with written work will not hire later in life if there are written issues. Being able to properly edit a paper is a great tool.

So what steps are required to edit a descriptive essay in a proper way?

  1. You should take a day of. At the very least give yourself one day away from the final product before you try and edit or proofread. Your mind is a unique tool in that it will know you intended to say there was “a deficit in the budget” but if you typed “defecate in the budget” your mind will still see “deficit” each time it looks over that sentence without realizing the huge error. This is not only going to cost your final grade but it is also hugely embarrassing. Taking a day off and returning to the paper later will help you avoid this.
  2. Print off a copy of your descriptive essay. Many students try and edit their paper on the computer. But this is widely different than editing by hand on a print copy of the text. It involves different parts of your brain and evokes tactile responses when you use the print copy. You also learn more when you hold a print copy and review it.
  3. As you are reading over your paper read it out loud. Reading out loud can help you find errors like those listed in “step 1”. This is very important. Read it to a friend or family member and you will very quickly find the areas that don’t read well or don’t make sense. You will feel exactly when a transition does not work or when a topic sentence does not actually relate to the text.
  4. Mark your printed copy with a red pen. After you fix big picture items go through and read it once for spelling errors and another time for grammatical errors. Read it through once for typos and once for punctuation. Then make all of the changes in your final document.

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