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What is a good editing process for essays?

I have been struggling to get my writings to the best they can be. When I write I use Microsoft Word and then I use Google Docs for editing. I do not know if this is a good way to write or not.

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Jessica’s Answer

I think the best strategy for effective writing is to organize your thoughts first. Start with outlining the themes/topics of each paragraph. For example, maybe your essay is a comparison/contrast of apples and oranges. Your outline might look like this:

I. Introduction
II. Apples
III. Oranges
IV. Similarities of Apples to Oranges
V. Conclusion

Then, make sure that your paragraphs incorporate the appropriate sentence structure. The first sentence of the first paragraph should introduce the topic, but the first sentence of the following paragraphs should transition from the topic of the previous paragraph to introduce the topic of the new paragraph you're beginning/introducing. Then, make sure to have 3-5 body sentences that elaborate on the topic of that paragraph and provide evidence for the details you're bringing forward. The final sentence of the paragraph should summarize your "findings" for the topic you discussed in that paragraph. If you follow these rules for writing, it should become much easier for you to organize your thoughts and flesh out your topic to the fullest.

Then, when it comes to editing your essay, Grammarly is a great program to use to assess the tone of your writing and the grammar and spelling along with it, outside of Word which really only conducts a spell check.
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Fernando’s Answer

When it comes to essay writing it's something you get better with practice. It always help to read out loud what you have. This makes it easier to pin point errors, whether they be grammar errors or structural errors with regards to how information is presented. When it comes to essay writing remember to always stay on point. Avoid digressing into other ideas or being overly verbose just for the sake of trying to make it look fancy. Make sure that each paragraph leads into the next. Say for example if by the end of paragraph 2 you establish an idea that furthers the theme of the essay, you then start paragraph 3 by elaborating on said idea.
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Simeon’s Answer

An amazing online tool for editing essays is Grammarly. They offer editing support for making sentences clearer and higher quality, not just focusing on grammatical errors. Also, you can often find fellow students or people online that would be willing to provide you feedback on articles if you upload them. Getting someone else's eyes on your writing can do wonders to improve the quality of your writing.
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Elizabeth’s Answer

The writing process can be more than just the tools you're using for the different stages. Here's a sort of checklist you can use for your writing process and editing.

1. Your essay has a clear outline. Each section should be focused on a different point with supporting details and analysis. An outline might be where you start to help you break up the chunks of work.
2. All of your citations are correct and in accordance with whatever style guide you're using (like AP style).
3. You've read through your work and corrected any grammar issues or run-on sentences (a tool like Grammarly, like someone else suggested, is really helpful for this).
-> If you're using google docs, you can even self-edit by pretending this is someone else's paper and leaving comments for yourself. Think about what other people might find confusing, or where you could add more details or analysis. Leave yourself comments then come back to work on improving those areas of your essay.
4. You've satisfied the writing prompt and any essay criteria specified by your instructor. Revisit the assignment and cross-reference your essay to make sure you've covered your bases.

Lastly, reading other people's essays and thinking about what makes them strong or weak will help you build your own writing skills. Everyone's editing process is a little different, so try to learn from those around you so you can add more editing tools to your tool belt.

Hope this is useful!
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