How to Revise and Edit an Assignment

A well revised assignment can make a huge difference in the overall quality of your work. It can take a piece of work that is otherwise mediocre, and turn it into a stunning final draft. Revising your work is beyond just proofreading: it is a holistic evaluation of your entire paper although some proofreading would need to be done near the end of your revision process.

 Look over the larger parts first

While revising your assignment, you may have to make a few changes including shifting sentences, ideas and even thoughts to make sure your work is completed just right. To be able to get the most out of your revisions, analyse your work in different parts. That means your work should have clear and powerful ideas that come across as you intended before you start editing.

  1. Look over your assignment guidelines. Have you done exactly what was asked of you. Make sure you are following these guidelines or you are making the necessary changes. No matter how much editing you do if the assignment guidelines are not followed it makes little difference.

Ask yourself:

  • Have you written the assignment in the format and style that the course requires? You can have written the best history paper, however if it is a politics course it will not help you achieve a good mark.
  • Are you using terminology taught in the class? The more technical or professional you can make your paper seem the better.
  • Have you used reasoning methods that have been taught to you in the course? Be careful about just retelling facts or stories. Your assignment has to provide added value – meaning there has to be an additional insight you can provide from your research.
  • Is there enough evidence presented in your paper to support your arguments?
  1. Ensure your work is properly organized
  • Does the introduction do a good job of shaping the paper and outlining the direction the paper is going? If it is a research paper, then you will be able to show this in the thesis statement.
  • Do the different sections of your paper have a logical connection? Be sure to discover how you are making these connections and if they make sense or if they need additional work.
  • By looking at your conclusion would a reasonable person know how you arrived at this conclusion?
  1. Finally, polish and edit your work by looking at sentence flow and structure, grammar and punctuations as well as spelling.
  • Read your work out loud to yourself. Any awkward structure will become evident when you start to hear yourself repeating the sentences you have written.
  • Use a spellchecker to find and correct any spelling errors that might be present in your work.
  • Be careful about using a thesaurus. While they have many alternative words, they often do not make sense in your particular context. Use simple words when in doubt. However, using a thesaurus that has definitions for the synonyms it provides or looking up each synonym’s meaning would also be beneficial.
  • Be wary of using grammar checkers. They do not often provide the best input. Use your best judgement when using them.

 The Final Version

Once your paper has been revised to perfection, take a little time to make your paper truly stand out.

  • Number all your pages (not including the cover page) in the top right hand corner.
  • Add your cover page at the front, including your name, assignment title, course name or number, as well as due date, and teacher’s name. You do not need to be fancy here or use too much colour.
  • Leave 1 inch (2.5 cm) margins on all sides of the page and double space your work. This will give the marker enough spacing to add any notes or comments.
  • Use standard size 12 font through your paper with the exception of titles and subtitles.
Put your reference sheet/bibliography page on a separate piece of paper.

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