Barbara P.
Barbara P.

Learn How to Revise an Essay with Simple Steps

9 min read

Published on: Jun 21, 2023

Last updated on: Jul 12, 2023

how to revise an essay

Are you struggling to perfect your essay? Are you unsure of how to effectively revise and edit your writing? 

You're not alone. Many students and writers find it challenging to identify and correct errors in their work.

But fear not! Our guide is here to help. 

We'll guide you through the steps needed for effective revisions. With practical tips and easy-to-follow instructions, you'll be able to polish your essay to perfection.

Let's dive in and take your essay to the next level!

Pre-Revising Stage

Before you dive into revising your essay, it's important to take a few steps to prepare. 

Here are some essential pre-revising steps:

#1 - Take a Break

Taking a break before revising your essay can help you return to the draft with a fresh perspective. 

This break could be as short as a few hours or as long as a few days, depending on your schedule. The goal is to give your brain a rest and come back to the essay with a fresh pair of eyes.

#2 - Consider Your Audience and Purpose

Before revising, think about who will be reading your essay and what its purpose is. 

Knowing your audience will help you tailor the language and tone of your essay to make it more appealing to them. 

Additionally, clearly knowing the purpose of your essay will help you stay focused on its main goal while revising.

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#3 - Create an Outline

Having an essay outline is a helpful tool for the revision process. 

An outline can help you visualize the structure of your essay and identify areas that may need improvement. You can use your outline to guide your revision process. This helps to make sure that each section of your essay is clear and concise.

Don't be afraid to reorganize or restructure your essay as needed to improve its flow and coherence.

Expert Tip

Check out how to create an effective essay outline for writing clearly structured essays!

Preparing yourself with these pre-revising steps can significantly help you in revising your essay. By doing so, you can guarantee that your essay is refined and ready to be submitted.

A Checklist For Revising Your Essay

Now that you know all the revision steps, here's a handy checklist to use when finalizing your essay.

CheckpointWhat To Check
Thesis StatementIs the thesis clear, specific, and arguable?
Structure and CoherenceIs the essay well-organized with clear topic sentences and transitions?
Validity of ArgumentAre there any missing or weak parts in the argument?
Consider CounterargumentsHave you considered opposing viewpoints and addressed them appropriately?
Clarity of LanguageIs the language clear and easy to understand? Have you avoided unnecessary words or phrases?
Sentence Structure and VoiceHave you varied your sentence structure and used active voice?
ReadabilityRead your paper out loud to see if you avoided using jargon and complex vocabulary unless necessary?
GrammarHave you checked for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors? Is the formatting and citation style consistent throughout the essay?
Final CheckHave you read through the essay one last time for the overall coherence and effectiveness of the argument?

Now that you have a checklist, read on to understand how to actually follow its steps.

Expert Tip

Getting started on your essay? Read this insightful guide on how to write an essay and enhance your essay writing skills!

Steps for Revising an Essay

Now that you've completed the pre-revising stage, it's time to dive into the actual revision process. 

Here are some important steps to follow when its time to revise your essay:

Step 1 - Review the Thesis Statement

The thesis statement is the central idea of your essay, and it should be clear and concise. 

Make sure your thesis statement is still relevant to the rest of your essay and that it accurately reflects your argument. 

If necessary, revise the thesis statement to ensure that it is strong and effectively guides the rest of your essay.

Expert Tip

Thesis statements serve as the backbone of an essay, providing readers with a concise and informative preview of the main arguments to follow. Have a read here to learn how to craft powerful thesis statement for your essay!

Step 2 - Check the Organization and Coherence

A well-organized essay is easier to understand and more enjoyable to read. 

When revising, review the overall structure of your essay to ensure that it flows logically and coherently.

Check that each paragraph follows a clear and logical progression and that your essay transitions smoothly between ideas.

Step 3 - Address Gaps in the Argument

As you revise your essay, keep an eye out for gaps in your argument. 

Make sure you have provided enough evidence and support for your claims and that your argument is logically sound. 

If you find any gaps, fill them in by adding more evidence or clarifying your argument.

Step 4 - Consider Counterarguments

A strong essay addresses potential counterarguments and offers a convincing rebuttal. 

As you revise, consider any counterarguments to your argument and address them directly in your essay. By doing so, you can strengthen your overall argument and show that you've considered multiple perspectives on the topic.

Revising your essay using these steps will help you create a well-organized piece that effectively conveys your message.

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Revising The Style Of Your Essay

Once you've addressed the content of your essay, it's time to focus on the style. 

Here are some important steps to follow when revising the overall style of your essay:

Check for Clarity and Conciseness

Clear and concise writing is essential to getting your point across. When revising your essay, make sure your language is clear and easy to understand.

Avoid using unnecessarily complicated words or phrases that may confuse your reader.

Eliminate Unnecessary Words and Phrases

Eliminating unnecessary words and phrases can make your writing clearer and more concise. 

As you revise, look for opportunities to eliminate repetition, wordiness, and extra words. A better word choice can make your writing more efficient and easier to read.

Vary Sentence Structure and Use Active Voice

Varying your sentence structure and using active voice can make your writing more engaging and dynamic. 

Try to mix up the length and structure of your sentences to keep your reader's attention. Using active voice can also make your writing more direct and engaging.

Avoid Jargon and Complex Vocabulary Unless Necessary

Jargon and complex vocabulary can be confusing and alienating for readers who are not familiar with the topic. 

Unless it is necessary to use technical terms, try to use simpler language. This will make your writing more approachable and easier to understand.

By following these steps for style revision, you can ensure that your essay is clear, concise, and easy to read.

Grammar and Mechanics Revision

Grammar and mechanics are crucial elements of effective writing. Even the best ideas can be lost if your writing is riddled with grammatical errors. 

Here are some important steps to follow when revising for grammar and mechanics:

Check for Spelling, Grammar, and Punctuation Errors

Spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors can distract your reader from your message and undermine your credibility as a writer. 

As you revise, make sure to carefully review your essay for these types of errors. You can use online tools, an essay checklist, or seek feedback from others to help catch errors you may have missed.

Use Online Tools or Seek Feedback from Others to Catch Errors

Online tools can be a great resource when revising for grammar and mechanics. There are a variety of free and paid tools available that can help you catch errors you may have missed. 

Also, feedback from others can provide a fresh perspective and help you see errors you may have gone unnoticed.

Ensure Consistency in Formatting and Citation Style

Consistency in formatting and citation style can help make your essay more professional and polished. 

Make sure to follow any guidelines provided by your instructor or department. Always double-check your formatting and citation style for consistency. This can include things like font size and style, margins, and citation formatting.

These steps can help you make sure your essay is free of errors and presents a professional image to your reader.

Check out this video for more tips on revising your essay.

Revising Vs. Editing

Revising and editing both are essential processes that can help you improve the quality of your content. 

Although these terms are often used interchangeably, they actually refer to different stages of the writing process.

Here's a table describing what the two would look like in your writing process:

Adding a new paragraph to introduce a different perspective or argumentCorrecting a spelling mistake, such as changing "occurrence" to "occurrence"
Rearranging the order of paragraphs to create a more logical flowFixing a grammatical error, such as changing "They was" to "They were"
Deleting an entire section that does not contribute to the overall argumentAdding a missing punctuation mark, such as inserting a comma in a list
Rewriting a sentence to clarify a confusing ideaChanging technical jargon to simpler language for a general audience

You can also refer to a list of common essay writing mistakes to avoid and boost your revision process!

So, you know revising your essay is a crucial step in ensuring that your writing is clear, organized, and error-free. 

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can revise your to ensure that it is nothing short of perfect. 

However, if you still feel uncertain about your essay, our custom essay writing service is here to help. Our team of expert writers can assist you in submitting a high-quality essay that meets all your requirements. 

Contact us today to learn more about our services!

Barbara P.


Barbara P. (Literature)

Barbara is a highly educated and qualified author with a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university. She has spent a significant amount of time working in the medical field, conducting a thorough study on a variety of health issues. Her work has been published in several major publications.

Barbara is a highly educated and qualified author with a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university. She has spent a significant amount of time working in the medical field, conducting a thorough study on a variety of health issues. Her work has been published in several major publications.

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