“When you write a book, you spend day after day scanning and identifying the trees. When you’re done, you have to step back and look at the forest”, – Stephen King said. And though academic writing is in many ways different from writing fiction, this principle can be applied to your school essays as well.
Most students can write something. It’s rather easy. So, what makes the difference is what they do with that something afterward. Those who fail to “step back and see the forest” never get high marks.
Hence, we insist that revising an essay can often be even more important than actually writing it. Below are the five unbeatable reasons why. But let’s look at the basics first.
Editing vs. Revising and Proofreading
First, let’s get it straight with the terms. There are several ways how you can improve your text when it’s written, and these are:
They all mean some kind of post-production work with an already written text, but there are slight nuances:
- editing usually means working with the structure, coherency, and clarity;
- revising is almost the same as editing;
- proofreading stands for eliminating grammar, punctuation and spelling errors, and typos.
However, “editing” is often used as an umbrella term for all changes made to the already written text in order to improve its overall quality. This is how we’re going to use it in this article, too.
There’s also one more thing that we have to mention before we move on: a writer and an editor don’t have to be the same person! Of course, you have a right to be your own editor – in this case, just leave a sufficient time gap between writing your text and revising it.
Still, it’s often better to delegate this part of the assignment to someone proficient who can look at your text with a fresh pair of eyes.
Now, let’s proceed with our reasons!
1. First Drafts Are Worthless to the Reader
“How can editing be more important if we have to write something first to be able to edit it?”, – you may argue. That’s a good question… Look, as we already mentioned above, anyone can write something. But it doesn’t mean that this something will be worth reading!
You can write anything: meaningless, incoherent, infinitely far from the topic you had been given… not to mention grammar and spelling errors, wrong punctuation, typos, etc. Technically, you will have a written text – but it will hardly make a good impression on your readers and get you a high mark!
So, you see, writing can be worthless without revision.
2. Without Revision, Your Essay Will Not Be Coherent
What have we got next? Ok, we suppose that you do know how to write an essay step-by-step, do you? You start with making an outline, creating a strong thesis, then continue with developing your arguments, then… Well, but who follows this instruction perfectly?
In every essay writing guide, there’s a remark that a student can start writing an essay from any section and any paragraph he or she likes. So, you can write your body paragraphs, then proceed with a conclusion, and move on to whatever you choose afterward.
As a result, you will have many paragraphs that are most probably not connected by anything but your topic. So, can you make such a puzzle work as a text without some serious editing?
3. Editing Can Change the Meaning of Your Ideas
When we write something, we usually care about capturing the idea first and foremost because ideas are so elusive. We seldom care about the details in the process. And this is the right way to go.
The problem is that when we read such a text it may seem horrible while unedited. We may even think that we’ll have to write it all over again! But editing can completely transform it and you can end up with a decent text as a result.
4. Grammar and Punctuation Errors Can Change The Meaning of Your Text
Another big issue is grammar and punctuation errors. For yourself, you can find useful materials on education. This is help in punctuation. They are especially nasty because they do much more harm than just spoil the reader’s impression from your essay: they can even ruin your ideas!
If you fail to formulate your thoughts clearly because of the lack of language proficiency, you risk being misunderstood. Even a comma placed in the wrong place can make a difference! This problem is primarily acute for non-native English speakers, but natives often have problems formulating their ideas, too.
So, always check your texts for grammar and punctuation errors. You can even do it automatically with the help of such tools as Grammarly, but it’s better to double-check manually if you want your essay to be perfectly polished.
Read More: Best Grammar software that help in your work
5. Spelling Errors and Typos Produce a Bad Impression on Your Readers
However, comments at trustpilot.com also matters. If your text is properly structured, logical and coherent, it flows naturally and presents convincing evidence, but at the same time filled with spelling errors and typos, it will be difficult and unpleasant to read.
What’s more, such errors can make your paper less convincing to the readers because ideas that are badly presented tend to lose a great deal of their value. At the same time, such “technical” errors can be fixed very easily, so don’t neglect the necessity to do it.
Writing an essay is not easy, and in this article, we didn’t mean to downplay the importance of the writing process. But without proper editing, any text is only a rough draft, be it a simple high school essay or a complex research paper. Sometimes editing can be even more important than writing itself!
So, don’t forget to leave enough time to sleep over your text and revise it the next day (experts advise leaving a 24-hour gap). And if you feel like you can’t handle it yourself, find a professional editor to help you, especially if your paper is long and complex. Don’t let your great ideas be buried under a pile of errors!