7 Steps For Proofreading And Editing Your Admission Essay

A good admission essay is not written perfectly the first time. The best essays are written and then edited, again and again. Follow these tips to ensure you’re submitting a polished essay with your college application.

1. Run the spellchecker first

Your word processor has a spell check function so make sure you use it. Hit the ‘spell check’ button and correct all the problems that it flags. It can’t fix every issue, but it can quickly deal with some of the more obvious ones.

2. Leave your essay

When you wrote your essay, you hopefully left enough time before the deadline in order to leave it for a few days. If you didn’t, try and leave it for at least 24 hours. This is advisable as you give yourself a bit of distance from your essay. When you come back to it, you’ll be fresh and find it easier to proofread.

3. Read your essay aloud

Now, read the entire essay out loud to yourself. Yes, you’ll feel a bit silly, but it’s a great way to see how your essay flows. You’ll also see more mistakes in your grammar and pacing as you’re having to read it aloud. This is the closest you’ll get to seeing how the examiner will read your essay so make sure you don’t miss this step.

4. Use helpful online tools

There’s plenty of tools online you can use when you’re editing. Give these free tools a try:

  • Easy Word Count: This site will highlight any mistakes you’ve made, as well as giving you the word count for the essay.
  • Citation Generator: This tool gives you the correct citation for any source that you use in your text.
  • ProofreadBot: Paste your essay into this automated tool and you’ll get a full run down of the edits that need to be made.
  • Hemingway Editor: Paste your essay into the form and the tool will highlight any errors and hard to read sentences.

If you need extra help and cannot find others to help proofread and edit, the following tools can help with editing, but require a fee:

  • Assignment Help: This site features useful and informative proofreading guides. Use them when you need some help.
  • Academized: Struggling to edit? These experts can help you get the job done.
  • Paper Fellows: This writing community can help you improve the grammar in your writing.
5. Check your essay against the assignment question

Now, you’re getting into the real nitty gritty. Take the original assignment question of your essay and check your writing against it. Writing expert Daniel Harding from Big Assignments says: ‘You’re looking for anything that doesn’t answer the question, or isn’t relevant to the point you’re making. If it’s not helping you make your point, it should be cut from the essay.’

6. Manually check your spelling, grammar, and facts

The spell check function will have picked up most of it, but now you’re going in yourself to look for the remaining errors. Go line by line, looking for any errors that you may have made. The best way to do this is in several passes. Use the first pass to check for spelling, the second for grammar, and so on. Make sure that you’ve picked up on anything that could make your essay look less than credible.

7. Get feedback

Finally, you’ll need feedback from a third party to ensure your essay is ready to go. This could be from a trusted friend or a teacher at your school. Ask them to read it through and mark out anything that doesn’t look right to them. This is important as you can still miss errors in your own writing when you proofread it yourself.

With these tips, you’ll have a highly polished essay, ready for submission. Good luck with your application!


Mary Walton helps business people with resume editing and proofreading at Resume Writing Service. Also, she works as online tutor and writes for students. Mary is a content manager at UK Dissertation. Being a happy mother of two, she enjoys working remotely and thinks that this type of work is beneficial for personal growth.



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