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Editing is an essential part of the writing process in which you examine and revise content, structure and style. It is important to set time aside in your schedule to do this. The number of times you review your assignment is up to you, but you should aim to do it at least once.

Key points to consider

elephant button 12 Content — Have I answered the question fully and supported my argument with reliable and accurate evidence?
elephant button 12 Structure — Does the essay flow? Are the paragraphs in the right order and properly linked?
elephant button 12 Style— Can I express my ideas more concisely? Have I used appropriate academic language?
Remember... No first draft is ever perfect. Write, then edit!
Content   (see also: Making an argument)

Before: Many researchers believe that food provides most of the nutrients a child needs for healthy growth. A recent piece of research also established a link between those with a proper nutritious diet and resistance to diseases that children get.

After: Tusk (2014), found that food provides 90% of the nutrients a child needs for healthy growth, and that a nutritious diet can offer a 50% increase in resistance to childhood diseases.

Structure   (see also: Planning your essay)

Before: Jones (2019), found that children with good diets during their childhood years retained a 20% health premium throughout their lives. This follows on from Tusk’s (2017) other suggestion that a nutritious diet might help set up a person’s health for life.

After: Tusk also suggests that a good childhood diet might help set a person’s health for life. This is supported by Jones (2019), who found that children with good diets retained a 20% health premium during adulthood.

Style    (see also: Academic language)

Before: So, as I’ve shown, if you eat and drink really healthy stuff when you’re a kid you’ve a pretty good chance of living to a ripe old age.

After: In conclusion, the evidence suggests that a nutritious diet during childhood can increase overall life expectancy.

Useful strategies

Check your word count. Is your essay too long or too short?

Print out your essay. It is far easier to spot mistakes on paper than on a screen.

Read your work aloud. This can help you identify over-long sentences, a lack of flow, or repetitious language.

Put your work aside for a day or two before printing it out and re-reading it. You will be amazed at what you notice.

Use a logical system to save different versions of your essay so you can go back to an earlier version if necessary.

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