Writing a research paper draft is half of the deal. Now you need to do a really thorough editing and proofreading, and then finalize the piece. Not sure how to do the editing? Don’t know where to start or what to look at? Below are 7 proven editing methods, techniques, and tricks that will let you edit your draft research paper like a pro.
1. Put the paper aside for a while before editing it.
Probably one of the most popular methods used by editors. Before revising a draft, it’s always better that you get distracted from it for some time. This way, you can later look at your research paper anew, somewhat like an unbiased reader. When having a fresh look at the writing, you will be able to see your mistakes more clearly.
2. Read the paper aloud before you do the thorough.
This will help you see if the information is logically structured, if the arguments are strong enough, if the evidence is relevant, and if the style of the writing is engaging enough. At this stage, you can add some more information if you feel that the paper is lacking, or remove some fragments that seem excessive. You can rephrase your thesis statement or rewrite a conclusion, or rearrange paragraphs.
3. Make the sentences shorter but don’t oversimplify.
This will help you—and your reader—to find your way through the writing. Shorter sentences often mean more clarity and better persuasiveness of your arguments. On the other hand, you should be formal and academical in your research paper. That’s why it’s better to combine simple sentences with complex ones. But remember that simple doesn’t mean primitive, and complex doesn’t mean overly sophisticated.
4. Change passive the voice into active.
Passive voice makes your writing sound weaker. It points to the lack action in your paper. Moreover, when you omit the subject, you bring in anonymousness, which often looks peculiar. Another thing, you want your evidence to sound credible. For example, when you write, “it is proven that A leads to B,” it sounds like you don’t tell the whole truth. By writing, “the study X had shown that A leads to B,” you add a great deal of credibility to your statement.
5. Get rid of the filler words.
You may notice that you’ve used some unnecessary words, such as quite, probably, something, very, and so on. The problem with them is that they don’t mean anything, but take up space. In a research paper, you should utilize the space rationally by including only those words and phrases which have meaning.
6. Sprinkle up your draft with power words.
Colleges demand that students use sophisticated words in their research papers, as a part of the academic style. You should forget about using say, see, go, etc. like active verbs. Instead, you should utilize consider, assert, observe, discuss, dispute, speculate, theorize, validate, verify, understate, reconcile, elaborate, estimate, imply, and the like.
7. Let somebody else read your draft.
Sometimes we overlook our mistakes and fallacies. That’s why it can be good to give someone other than yourself a look at your writing. You’ll be surprised how many little flaws you will uncover this way.
After writing your draft research paper, you will need to edit it properly, to make sure that the writing is good and logical, that sentences are concise, that verbs are active and academical, and that you’ve gotten rid of the typos. Follow our editing tips, and transform your draft into a well-crafted powerful research paper.