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Editing Your Writing: sub-module 2 of 3 of revising your essay

When you begin to edit, you are moving from expressing your ideas or the ideas of others to focusing on whether or not the structures, sentences and words in your writing are clear. Now is the time to review how it is all put together.



  • Keep a record of the major errors you have made in past written assignments.Usually we make the same errors in our writing. Review those error types to ensure that you understand the problems and how to correct them for next time.
  • Work with your sentences until they sound right.If a sentence doesn’t sound right to you, look at the elements of the sentence to find where it can be improved.
  • Work with a writing coach or tutor at your college.Tutors won’t go through your writing line-by-line, but they will answer specific questions and teach you how to correct your own mistakes. Make sure you are ready to ask your questions before your appointment.

Study Tools


The video Higher Order Concerns and Lower Order Concerns was created by The Learning Portal and published under a CC BY-NC-SA license. It was modified from the following sources:


Higher-Order and Lower-Order Concerns

Watch this video to learn about the Higher-Order and Lower-Order concerns for revising your writing. The video explains what you should be looking for as you revise, edit, and proofread what you have written.

Editing Checklist

Use the following questions as a guide during the process of editing your writing:

  • Have I read a hard copy of my work?
  • Have I identified my main point or argument?
  • Have I evaluated my argument? (Does it have a point? Is it opinionated? Is it referred to and proven in the body of the work? Can you tell what the piece is about from the introduction?)
  • Does each main paragraph have a topic sentence?
  • Is the work coherent?
  • Is there an introduction and a conclusion?
  • Am I within the length requirements for the assignment?
  • Do I primarily use active voice?
  • Have I edited out repetition?
  • Have I answered the question that was posed in my assignment?
  • Has someone else read my work?