By editing your work, you can ensure that you fulfil the assignment brief and communicate your message clearly to your reader.
Whenever you go back to an assignment to edit or proof-read the content, try to create distance between you and the work.
Set aside the work for a short period of time. Try to leave a few hours, a day or a week before you start to edit.
Print out your work to see it with fresh eyes.
Editing your work
Before editing, look at thebrief and the criteriaagain. Identify whether the content and structure of your writing respond to the task.
Consider reorganising, removing or adding information to meet the goals of the assignment.
If you have time, you may decide to do further research to improve the content of the assignment. If you do not have time to do further research, focus on communicating information clearly to your reader.
Proof-reading your work
Proof-read your work to improve clarity and accuracy:
In each paragraph, check that the main point of the paragraph is clear. Also check that information is sequenced in a logical manner and that you have made connections between ideas.
Read your sentences out loud. If your work is difficult to read, you may need to break up longer sentences or change the order of information. Remove information which you realise is repetitive or irrelevant to the task.
Use a subject dictionary to look up technical language you have used in your assignment, but do not fully understand.
Consider thestyle of language you are expected to use for the task. Generally speaking, avoid contractions like don't and shouldn't; instead write out the full words 'do not' or 'should not' and use vocabulary which is formal and precise. Look at professional or student examples in your subject to have a better understanding of the style of language required.
Review your grammar. Check that you have chosen the correct tense and verb form, use correct punctuation and have not confused common words. If you are unsure what to look for, see our guidance on grammar.
Check your references. Make sure you have not forgotten any references, you have the correct details for each reference in the correct style, and that your reference list is in alphabetical order.