On this page:
Revising and editing are the two tasks you undertake to significantly improve your essay.
Once you have written your first draft, the next stage is all about revising and editing: i.e. making what you have written better. This can involve deleting a lot of what you have already written but it is still less daunting than staring at the empty screen.
Answer each of the questions here to check that your overall structure is correct. Try reverse outlining (where you pull out the key point of each of the paragraphs of your essay) to check the sequence.
- Do you have a clear introduction, main body and conclusion?
- Is your main argument clearly stated in your introduction?
- Is it clear how each paragraph adds to your argument?
- Are paragraphs in a logical sequence?
- Is your conclusion an obvious summary of your arguments?
Are you using PEEL paragraph structure?
Does every paragraph have at least a point, backed up by evidence and an explanation of why it is relevant?
Try to make sure your explanation is more than just a sentence too - the more critical analysis you have, the more marks you will get!
Use the Highlighter tool in MS Word to colour each one a different colour. You should be able to see at a glance if every paragraph contains some of each.
P = Point (topic sentence)
E = Evidence/Example (info from other sources)
E = Explanation (critical analysis)
L = Link (to the next paragraph)
Do you have an entry in your reference list for every citation in your essay? (Search for each one to check.)
Are you referencing correctly? Go to our Referencing pages to make sure.