Nobody likes this part of the writing process. It seems that the assignment is complete, and you can do something else, but no. If the text quality is low, editing can take you as much time as the writing. Most high school students do not know that editing is just one of the three essential steps required for a successful essay. Revising, editing, and proofreading are the three stages that come after writing a text. None of them should be disregarded
In this Custom Writing article, you will find checklists for each of these steps. You can use them as self- and peer-editing checklists. There is also much information to consider in the writing process to make proofreading easier.
1. 🤔 What Is the Difference between Revising, Editing, & Proofreading?
These are not synonyms. These are the stages of a revision, editing, and proofreading checklist. These stages will do both for a peer- and self-editing.
- Revising comes first. It is about the content, style, and structure of your paper. Re-read your essay for conflicting ideas, false conclusions, and out-of-place remarks. Check for any deviations from your thesis. Besides, check that every main body paragraph starts with a topic sentence.
- Then comes editing. It is about the clarity of the presentation. Are there any awkward or incoherent parts? Is your title attention-grabbing and relevant? Here you shall concentrate on the aesthetics, language, and meaning. Revise the meaning of words you are unsure about.
- Finish with proofreading. It is about grammar and spelling. Check each word and comma. Just make everything perfect.
2. 📑 Revising Checklist: Content & Structure
This section deals with revising your ideas and editing their form. The questions are structured by their subject. The purpose is to make sure that you’ve presented your thoughts in the most effective and concise manner.
|✔️||Topic & genre||1. Is the topic covered fully and clearly? |
2. Do you answer all of the questions in the essay instructions?
3. Is your title exciting and related to the main idea of your paper?
4. Does your paper adhere to the appropriate genre (e.g., memo, short story, analysis, narrative writing)?
5. Does the title meet the genre requirements?
|✔️||Structure||1. Does your paper have an introduction, main body, and conclusion? |
2. Does your opening paragraph contain the necessary background information?
3. Depending on the assignment, does your introduction end with a thesis statement that is clear and concise?
4. Do you use appropriate paragraph breaks?
5. Does each body paragraph contain a topic sentence and a conclusion?
|✔️||Cohesion||1. Do body paragraphs discuss ideas that support your thesis? |
2. Is each topic sentence supported with sufficient examples or details?
3. Are there clear, logical, and sequential connections between your paragraphs?
4. Do you use linking words and sentences to make easy transitions between your paragraphs?
5. Is each paragraph sufficiently developed and coherent?
6. Does your conclusion match and restate your thesis statement?
|✔️||Style||1. Do you write from a consistent point of view (that is, first, second, or third person)? |
2. Do you use the appropriate tense (past, present, or future)?
3. Are your language and tone appropriate for your target audience?
3. 🔍 Editing Checklist: Language Use & Clarity
This section of the checklist ensures that you employ correct sentence structure and grammar in your paper. The purpose of this stage is to make your text easily readable and understandable.
|✔️||Grammar||1. Do all of your sentences contain a subject and a verb? Eliminate any sentence fragments. |
2. Do you use diverse grammatical structures?
3. Have you eliminated all run-on sentences (complex sentences without proper punctuation)? E.g., “Everyone was sleepy, I wanted to go.”
4. Do your verbs always agree with their respective subjects?
5. Did you achieve the minimum possible use of passive voice?
6. Did you delete any split infinitives in your sentences? E.g., She wanted to boldly pursue her purpose.
7. Do you use “that” and “which” appropriately and accurately?
8. Did you delete all faulty parallelisms? These are constructions that are used as homogenous parts of a sentence, but in fact, they are not. E.g., “He was smart, pleasant and did well at school.”
|✔️||Punctuation||1. Do you write sentences of different lengths and types? |
2. Are there any comma splices in your paper? If so, eliminate them.
3. Do you have commas after time modifiers at the beginning of sentences?
4. Does every sentence end with appropriate punctuation?
5. Do you follow the rules for quotations?
|✔️||Clarity||1. Are your sentences concise? |
2. Have you deleted all unnecessary words?
3. Do you avoid awkward and abrupt shifts?
4. Have you simplified or removed any unnecessarily long and confusing sentences?
5. Did you delete all redundancies (“totally perfect”), tautologies (“a comparative study discussing both aspects”), and vague words (“some,” “significant”)?
6. Do you use clear antecedents for your pronouns?
4. 🔤 Proofreading Checklist: Spelling & Formatting
This section examines your vocabulary, spelling, and formatting. These are the most common pitfalls in middle school writing. However, older students can also struggle with these issues.
|✔️||Vocabulary||1. Do you use any unnecessarily complex words to sound more sophisticated? |
2. If so, eliminate them. If you use special terms or foreign words, do you give their explanations?
3. Is your vocabulary professional? Eliminate colloquialisms such as “basically,” “totally,” or “absolutely.”
4. Do you use specific nouns?
5. Do you avoid using abstract and unnecessarily general words and images?
6. Are you aware of the connotations of all the words you use?
7. Do you avoid unnecessary abbreviations?
8. Do you avoid using clichés, buzz words, and overused expressions?
9. Have you checked your paper for commonly confused words?
|✔️||Spelling||1. Do you use correct capitalization for titles, proper names, and sentence beginnings? |
2. Do you avoid common misspellings, such as you’re – your, there – their – they’re, then – than, and to – too – two?
3. Is your paper free of any incorrect homophones and typos?
|✔️||Formatting||1. Do you include a reference page? |
2. Are the sources on the reference page ordered alphabetically?
3. Does every source mentioned in the text appear on the reference page?
4. Is every source from the reference page cited in the text at least once?
5. Do you include a sufficient but not overwhelming number of citations and paraphrases throughout your paper?
6. Do you support all specific data (such as figures and statistics) with a quote from a reputable source?
7. Do you adhere to the formatting style requested by your instructor (e.g., MLA or APA)? Check the title page, margins, page numbers, paragraph indentation, running heads, and footnotes.
8. Do you use a consistent and easy-to-read font such as Times New Roman or Arial?
In middle school, teachers start to approach our writing critically. It is human to make mistakes. But it is even more human to be able to find and correct them. Revising, editing, and proofreading are conventional stages for you to plan the post-writing corrections. But if you follow this plan, no mistake will persist.
5. ✏️ Revising, Editing, & Proofreading FAQ
Proofreading is the final step of editing. It deals with spelling mistakes, inappropriate vocabulary, and formatting issues. It is especially critical in academic writing and business communication. After proofreading, a document is considered complete and ready for submission. That is why the final touch shall eliminate all the outstanding issues.
Revising means that you edit the content to improve it. You change the structure and style of your writing so that its meaning becomes more consistent and to the point. At this stage, you need to rearrange, add, and delete sentences and paragraphs.
Revising adjusts the informational focus of the text. It deals with the general picture of the paper, its meaning, and its style. Editing deals with grave mistakes in grammar and punctuation. It also helps to improve the clarity of your text. Editing takes a closer look at the language, while revising discusses the coherence of your ideas.
Read the text three times. First, pay attention to the overall meaning. This is the revising stage, which is responsible for harmony between the subject matter and its presentation. At the second reading, edit the grammar, punctuation, and structure of the text. The final task is for you to check the spelling, vocabulary, and formatting.