Revising, editing and proofreading are all an essential part of writing your research project. Investing time in this part of the process will improve the quality of your work, and hopefully the grade you receive. Revising, editing and proofreading will help you look critically at your work before submitting it for assessment. You can learn more about managing your time and your project in the Managing Your Project section.
Video - What strategies would you recommend when revising, editing and proofreading? View video using Microsoft Stream (link opens in a new window, available for University members only).
Before you start this process it’s a good idea to consider any feedback you have received for your past assignments. Are there any common issues that you are aware of? If so, then you can be prepared to spend time ensuring that you have addressed these in your research project.
You might find it useful to work from the printed page rather than from a screen.
Revising your work is the first step in the process. This concerns the ‘big picture’ or the main focus of your research. This step will consider, not only the content of your project, but also the structure, your argument and relevancy, as well as criticality.
The most important aspect to focus on is: have I answered my research question?
The editing part of the writing process ensures that your writing is clear and easy to follow, and written to an academic standard.
In the editing process it can help to focus at sentence level. Therefore, some of the questions you considered in the revising process about your paragraphs and chapters can be adapted to sentence level. Ask yourself whether your sentences:
At this stage it is also important to think about the language you are using. Ask yourself:
You can look at the Writing Up Your Project section for more advice on this.
You may also find the Manchester Academic Phrasebank a useful resource to help to ensure your language is academic and appropriate for a research project.
Try to provide enough time in your schedule to leave at least a day between edits. This will help to give you some perspective and objectivity about what you have written.
Proofreading your work is your final check. It is important that you do this yourself; the University of Leeds has a proofreading policy which states that only the person writing the piece of work should proofread it.
Proofreading focusses on the accuracy and detail of your work so you will be looking at:
You might find it useful to proofread a number of times focussing on one aspect of the above at any one time.
Some questions that you could ask yourself when proofreading are:
Because you are so familiar with your research project, it can be easy to miss any errors you have made. Here are some techniques that might help you to identify any issues: