Teenage writers often struggle to self-edit the things that they write, especially at the beginning of their writing process when they’re still unfamiliar with editing rules. It can be challenging to proofread and edit because teens feel passionate about each word they chose and they don’t want to admit it could be improved.
Writers who have become successful share the importance of proofreading and editing, going so far as to say it’s one of the most important parts of the whole writing process. Even after your first draft, there is still so much that can be improved. Whether you’re writing an essay for college admission, submitting a story for a writing contest, or working on an important paper, you need to be open to changing the content and editing it to improve it. No writer will ever publish the first draft they write – it’s only the first step of the whole process, even if the ideas are amazing.
After the first draft, so much work happens, from an objective and thorough review, one sentence at a time, until you have a fantastic final product.
Look at Your Content
The first time you review your draft, don’t worry about all the little details and mistakes. You can look at the style and flow later. The first thing to do before even looking at repetitive words and spelling errors is to look at your content and review it. You probably love your story and chose each word and sentence carefully. However, when you’re self-editing you need to think as an objective editor and look at your writing with an eye to find out how you can improve your writing even more.
Story Content Proofreading
Each good story has four basic parts: context, conflict, climax, and closure. In terms of the context, your story or paper should have the necessary background. Establish what the setting is, the main characters or protagonists, and the details and framework of the story. Then, get into the conflict or obstacle that you will introduce in your story. Does the main character have a big decision or a nemesis? Is there a danger? Joanne Rivers, an educator at Ox Essays and Elite Assignment Help, says that “this will build up until the climax when the action and storyline are tense and nerve-wracking and the characters start to solve the conflict. Finally, there’s the closure when the problem is resolved and all the loose ends are wrapped up.”
The essay or school report has three main elements instead of four: the thesis, structure, and support. The thesis informs the readers of your main message in a strong sentence, the structure outlines the introduction, body, and conclusion. Without structure, the essay won’t go from point to point cohesively. The essay also needs points and supporting details like facts, examples, and logic.
In terms of editing time, you need to dedicate a lot of time to this step. Make sure you have the right tools to mark your corrections clearly through each time you read it. Start by reading your work out loud to make sure it makes sense. Keep an eye out for weak sentences or anything that’s confusing. Look for areas that you need to add more detail or supporting information. If you have any ideas, you can add them with sticky notes. Because we’re in an age where there are so many tools online, you should definitely also head over to online editing tools that can review your work after you’ve already self-edited. The top tools to look for are Paper Fellows, Case Study Writing, Big Assignments, and Simple Grad.
The next thing you want to look at is the flow. Do you think it sounds good when you read it through from beginning to end? Look to see how your ideas transition from one to the next and between paragraphs and look for any choppy or awkward transitions. You can also move things around to reorder your ideas. Harriet Winks, a homeschool parent at State of Writing and Academized, explains that “it can be scary to write all over your essay or story, but it’s necessary to improve it. Circle certain paragraphs and draw an arrow to a new part of the essay where you think it could fit better.”
At this stage, you need to look at your dialogue, particularly if you’re editing a story. Dialogue is an excellent way to progress the narrative without always putting long and complex explanations. If you haven’t put any dialogue you should think about adding some so look for areas of your story where dialogue might be a better storytelling tool. Finally, you want to have a last look to make sure every part of your paper is clear and makes sense.
Aimee Laurence, an editor for Boom Essays Reviews and PhD Writers, loves to cover topics in education and homeschooling. She is passionate about finding new and creative ways that children can learn in a more dynamic environment. In her free time, Aimee works as a tutor for Essayroo Melbourne.