Getting feedback can be overwhelming, even when you know someone is trying to be helpful. For this reason, setting a draft aside for a few days to be your own critic, after you have received feedback elsewhere, is usually a good idea. It’s important to dedicate some time to look at your writing from your own perspective.
Proofreading, which you will do many times, calls for you to examine your text carefully to find and correct typographical errors and mistakes in spelling and grammar. Editing requires that you perform a more complex check of your work, evaluating its content, organization, and style. Editing requires analysis and judgment to help you make decisions about organization and style.
Read your paper aloud. You would be surprised how different the experience of hearing the words is compared to reading them.
Approach your paper like you are your own instructor. What is your strongest area and what is your weakest?
Use a highlighter to highlight your thesis, topic sentences, and conclusion. Do they all support your argument?
Print your paper and then cut out every paragraph. Having each piece ready to move around will help you see your essay as a series of points and small chunks that fit together to support the main point. You can reorganize if necessary.
Develop a personal checklist to see if your paper meets the assignment requirements. In it, include fundamentals as well as reminders to check the substance of what you are saying and whether you followed the instructions. If you do not remember what some of the items on this checklist mean, refer to a grammar handbook or other writer’s reference.
Ask yourself the following: