Vetting Your Own Term Paper

Writing a term paper is already an arduous task, and getting to the stage of handing it in is a welcome pleasure, especially when you know you’ve done a good job. Still, the wisest students know that between the moment the last period hits the page, and the point of submission, there is another task to be performed. It is called term paper editing, and you would be well advised never to underestimate this vital final step in writing your term papers. Editing is the process wherein you tidy out your paper, dotting your ‘I’s, and crossing your‘t’s, checking your spelling, grammar, format and general spacing, to make your paper flawless, and superior to many. But a proper term paper editing is also the process in which you squeeze out all of the extra marks you will ever get from your latest effort. This is why it is important, once you are finished writing it, that you spend as much as a whole day away from it, before coming back to editing it. This will give you the distance and mental clarity required to look at your term paper again with a fresh, critical eye.

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The first step in a good term paper editing is a first, smooth read through of your efforts, as if they were someone else’s. In this first read through, you will already no doubt feel a niggle or four about the way you’ve structured some of your sentences, expressed an opinion, or tied up an important point with its supporting facts. Ignore them, and go right through to the end.


Your second read through should be slower, and more thorough. Mark the areas where you feel you could do better, cross out those sentences that seem to have take you off topic, for no good reason, and pencil in one or two points that you feel you should have included, but didn’t.


Your third task is the practical of term paper editing. You may now proceed to carefully effect all of the corrections you decided to make during your second read through. During this exercise, you should be extremely concise, or you may change the entire tone and substance of your term paper. Once finished, have a quick third read through, just to get a feel of whether your paper sounds improved from your previous version. If you can, at this point, take an hour’s break, and do something else.


The fourth read through will be your most thorough yet. Nitpick and tweak at will, making every effort to improve your expression, as the first rule of any piece of writing is clarity and readability. Try, as far you can, to put yourself in the place of the reader who wants to enjoy a good argumentative read. If you are satisfied, you may allow yourself a smile, as the end is near! If you are not, go ahead and take another hour off, and come back to it later.


The fifth and final step of term paper editing is to tie up all your loose ends, and double check the details. Make sure that all your references, citations and footnotes are present and correct, and that you have spelled proper nouns and names correctly.


Et voilà! Your term paper editing has set you up for the best marks possible. Good luck!

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