Essay Editing Checklist: 20 Important Steps to a Flawless Revision

Writing essays is no small deal. Just as it is with life, there are no shortcuts. As a college or high school student, essay writing is something you must constantly do to excel academically. Therefore, it is paramount that you master the tricks, hints, and essay editing tips necessary to create a perfect essay.

Writing an essay is one thing, proofreading and editing it, is another. Very often, the final editing seems even more difficult than the initial act of writing the essay. This article will provide you with the ultimate essay revision checklist for your academic work.

How to proofread an essay

To accurately proofread an essay, writers often make use of an editing checklist, otherwise known as a proofread checklist. This checklist contains a list of items that must be reviewed before the essay can be tagged as complete.

The checklist is usually divided into two sections; a revising and editing checklist. A revision/revising checklist focuses on the clarity and comprehension of the essay. An editing checklist, on the other hand, focuses on identifying and correcting grammatical errors and spelling errors that may have occurred in the process of writing.

Below are twenty revising and editing checklists to make your essay perfect.

Writing revision checklist

In a revision checklist, there are ten things to consider and revise in your essay. They include:

  1. Clarity

Under this list, the writer questions the clarity of their work. How concise is your idea? How comprehensive is it? Does the reader understand your idea from the introduction? Is your idea leaving your reader confused or clarified?

  1. Purpose

For college and high school essays, the purpose is usually centered around information, entertainment, evaluation, and persuasion. Identify the purpose of your essay and ensure that your reader understands that purpose as well.

  1. The Hook

How interesting is your introductory paragraph? Does it capture your reader’s attention and keep them hooked? Or does it bore a reader before they even get to your main point?

  1. Organization

The organization of your writing is an important part of your grading system. How organized is your essay? Do your paragraphs align and develop chronologically?

  1. Information

How informed are your readers? Is your information accurate? Does your information benefit the reader? With lots of information on the internet today, it is easy to collect unreliable information. When sourcing information, it is crucial that you gather your data from trusted, authentic, and reliable sites.

  1. Supporting sentences

How supportive are your sentences? Are there points, examples, and quotations in the body of each paragraph that evaluate the paragraph topic sentence?

  1. Emphasis

Just as it is with articles, keywords are equally important in an essay. Your keywords highlight the ideas and points you intend to establish in your essay. How much emphasis has been placed on your keywords?

  1. Combination and restructuring

Are all sentences similar in length and structure? Do they vary extensively? Are there sentences that could be removed, combined, or restructured?

  1. Tone

Consistency in tone can be quite difficult. For some essays, there is a combination of various tones. While for others, you must maintain a certain type of tone. How consistent is your tone?

  1. Conclusion

Does your conclusion provide a summary of your themes and points? Does it complete your essay? Or does it leave your readers questioning your main ideas?

Writing editing checklist

Below are things to consider when editing your essay.

  1. Are your sentences clear and complete?
  2. Do you need to correct any short or long sentences?
  3. Are there wordy sentences that need correcting and concision?
  4. Are your coordinate and subordinate clauses used?
  5. Are your verb forms correct?
  6. Is your verb in agreement with its subject?
  7. Do your pronouns align with the appropriate noun?
  8. Does your adverb correctly modify the words it is expected to modify?
  9. Are all words correctly spelled?
  10. Are there minor errors in your use of punctuation marks?


Using the above twenty steps and questions as a revision and editing checklist for your essay will help you improve your essay writing skills, thereby improving your grades.

10 Tips for Making a Good Five Paragraph Essay Even Better

A five paragraph essay format typically comprises an introductory paragraph, 3 body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph. It is very common for students in high schools and colleges to write five-paragraph essays.

Seeing that this sort of academic writing is quite common in schools, it is vital for students to practice and perfect writing it. This article will provide you with tips and hints on how to write a 5 paragraph essay.

How to write a five paragraph essay

When it comes to essay writing, students are often confused about the number of words a 5 paragraph essay outline should contain. We frequently hear the question, “How many words is a 5 paragraph essay?” The answer to this question is dependent on the theme, essay type, and writing style.

A general five paragraph essay structure is often between two hundred and fifty-five hundred words. However, if the paragraphs require high development and additional supporting sentences, then a 5-paragraph essay would contain between five hundred and one thousand words.

Below are 10 tips you should know before writing this type of academic paper:

  1. Pick a topic which can back-up a guiding thesis with 3 paragraphs

As earlier mentioned, the length of a 5-paragraph essay is dependent on the topic. It is always best to pick a topic that can accurately back-up your thesis with just 3 body paragraphs. Your introduction and conclusion already make up 2 paragraphs, leaving you with 3 more to go.

An example of a five paragraph essay topic is the role of advanced technology in education. Other examples include: the abolishment of the death penalty in the justice system, and discrimination against women in the corporate industry.

  1. Collect more information during research

Despite the fact that a 5-paragraph essay might seem small, there is a tendency that you will run out of words to write. Therefore, students are often advised to collect more information than less when doing research. It is more convenient to discard information than it is to generate new ideas.

  1. Choose a writing style

Your writing style and format are highly important. Endeavour to use the style and format required of you by your teacher. If none is required, choose a writing style that is clear and comprehensive for all readers.

  1. Answer the question of “how”

When writing a five paragraph essay, your priority should be to answer the question of “how”. Ponder on the “how” of your topic. For instance: How does advanced technologies affect education? Pondering on this allows you to elaborate your points and ideas in constructive paragraphs.

  1. Draft your introduction

Your introductory section should contain a hook, a topic sentence, a paragraph body, and a concluding paragraph sentence. A hook is the catching sentence, the one that captures the attention of your readers. A topic sentence introduces and generalizes your topic. A paragraph body contains an overview of the topic. A concluding paragraph sentence contains your opinions and points.

  1. Develop your 3 body paragraphs

Your body should contain 3 supporting points or themes, which are sectioned and elaborated in three paragraphs each. For each paragraph, endeavor to provide examples to support your points and include your personal commentary. A personal commentary is your perspective and ideas on the subject. Remember to connect your ideas together using transitory words.

  1. Draft a conclusion

In your conclusion, you simply restate your thesis, summarize your themes and points, and write a concluding sentence. Your concluding sentence might include a quote, a statement, a call to action, or a warning.

  1. Avoid certain phrases

There are certain phrases you should avoid. These phrases include: you, some, that, things, is, was, were, am, and cliches.

  1. Use synonyms

Often times, students run out of things to say when writing essays. This is obviously no fault of theirs. When faced with challenges such as this, rather than constantly repeating words, it is highly recommended that you use the synonyms of words.

  1. Revise and edit your essay

Proofread and revise your work over and over again. You might consider giving it to a close friend or family member to help in the proofreading process. This is because sometimes you might get so absorbed in the essay to the point where your brain ignores the smallest errors.


The above tips will help you in your quest to improve your academic writing and earn better grades when assigned a 5 paragraph essay.