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.

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