Revising and Editing Your Final Draft

In preparing your final draft of your essay, you will edit and proofread before turning it in.


The first thing you want to do is edit. When you edit, you make sure your:

  • Essay is well-organized with an introduction, body, and conclusion
    • Your introduction should have a hook, connecting information, and a thesis statement
    • Your body paragraphs should have topic sentences, and solid supporting details
    • Your conclusion should restate the thesis statement, summarize, and include a closing remark.
  • Essay is clear, logical, and flows smoothly
    • Check for unity and coherence.  
    • Delete any sentences that are off topic
    • Check transitions are properly used 
  • Essay is consistent with style and your voice
  • Essay is written in your own words
  • Quotes and paraphrases are cited correctly

When you edit, ask yourself questions like:

  • Is the organization of the passage easy to follow?
  • Is the main idea and the supporting details easy to identify?
  • Is my evidence solid?
  • Is the passage saying something meaningful about the topic?
  • Is the passage coherent?
  • Are the paragraphs cohesive?
  • Did I use correct in-text citations?


After you have edited your essay, you will need to proofread it for:

  • Incorrect sentence structures (Check compound and complex sentences)
  • Missing verbs (Subject verb agreement)
  • Comma splices
  • Punctuation and Capitalization
  • Misspelled words
  • Incorrect words


Check quotations for proper in-text citation. Use one of the two examples below. Each quote should be no more than one sentence.

  • Example One: According to, “Plants release water into the atmosphere through a process called transpiration.”
  • Example Two: “Plants release water into the atmosphere through a process called transpiration” (

Set up a WORD document for your essay

  • To set up your document, go to and follow the directions.
  • Your essay should use:
  • Font: Times New Roman, 12 point
  • Line Spacing: Double-spaced
  • Indent First Lines: The first sentence of the paragraph is indented five spaces from the left margin.
    • This shows the reader where a new paragraph begins.
  • Margins: 1 inch on all size
  • Paper Size: 8 1/2 x 11 (Do not use A4 paper size)

Richard Carrigan, MSE

Richard Carrigan has been an educator for over 30 years and a filmmaker for the past ten years. He has experience teaching English as a Second Language in Asia and teaching university students in the United States. He earned his undergraduate degree from Loma Linda University and his graduate degree from Shenandoah University.