5 Tricks for Editing Your Paper Before You Hand It InIf you’re just learning how to write a research paper, you will no doubt know that editing is not a fun part of the writing process. However, it is necessary, as students from business schools will tell you. A poorly edited paper rarely gets much attention and can lead to low scores, something everyone tries to avoid in college.If you're stuck on writing, take a look at our tutorial How to Write a Research Paper... And Get an +A. You should always edit your paper before handing it in, even if you’re not used to it. Down below we have five tips for you on how you can quickly and efficiently edit your paper so that grammar and spelling don’t cost you points on your final grade. Give each one a try and build a habit around them so you always turn in a perfectly edited paper.
1. Read with a Pen in HandNo one likes to read their own paper with a pen in their hand, correcting all the mistakes they may have made, but it is necessary. Editing the paper by hand will allow you to rewrite the paper with all the corrections in mind instead of having to rely on memory; it will also make it easier for you to make changes that are more concise. This should always be your first editing pass, so make sure to do it before handing the paper over to your professor.
2. Have a Pal Read the Paper to You and ListenYour friends can be great allies when you’re writing a research paper, and all they have to do is read it out loud to you. By hearing someone else read it out loud, you’ll be able to catch any complex sentences, grammar problems, or issues with how you’ve explained concepts or statistics. And bonus: if your friend can’t understand the paper after they’ve finished reading it, you’ll know you need to do some revisions to get it just right. That translates to a better grade, so give it a shot.
3. Read the Paper BackwardsThis is an odd one, but it really does work to help avoid spelling errors, especially those words that are easy to mix up, such as “you’re” and “your.” It works by reading the paper from the conclusion to the introduction, word by word, then moving on to sentences. It takes some time getting used to it, but it’ll take care of grammar and spelling mistakes better than any proofreading software you can find online.
4. Double Check Things You Struggle WithLike most students, you probably have a few weaknesses in writing. You probably worry about it when writing a research paper, especially if it's for an online MBA course or any subject where research is paramount. One of the best ways to combat your weakness is to list what you think they are and then double check those issues when you go back to read your paper. Every time you find an error, fix it and move on. It’s that simple.
5. Download Natural Reader and Follow AlongIf you’ve never heard of Natural Reader, then you’re in luck: this desktop app is going to become your new best friend. This is a text-to-speech program that will convert your finished paper into spoken words, much like having a friend read you the paper. It’s a great way to help you hear how your paper reads and allows you to make changes to make the whole piece read better.
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