How to Revise and Proofread Your College Essay

What’s one of the biggest secrets of great writing? Revise, revise, revise.

The last thing you want when submitting your essay is typos or grammar mistakes that could have been easily avoided with one last proofread. But there’s more to revision than spellcheck. This is the time to make your sentences stronger and your visuals more powerful and to finely hone your main theme.

Follow these useful tips on how to revise your essay to make it truly stand out.

Give yourself enough time to write drafts and have various people proofread what you’ve written so you can edit and revise.

Tip 1: Demonstrate your command of the English language

When you are revising, look for an active voice instead of a passive voice. Make it sound like you are doing things, not that things are being done to you.

  • Use strong, clear verbs and adjectives

Replace weak or boring verbs with exciting verbs and use adjectives that are impactful.

  • Sound like yourself

Sometimes students try to include a lot of big words just to try and impress their readers. Often, that comes across as stilted and awkward. It’s more important for you to communicate using language that comes to you naturally.

  • Don’t forget a spelling and grammar check

Make sure during the revision process that you are checking spelling and that you are using appropriate grammar. Proofread it yourself and ask others to proofread, as well.

Tip 2: Find trusted proofreaders to offer feedback

It’s helpful to have multiple people read your essay. This is important because your writing may seem clear to you, but may not be to your readers.

Tip 3: Go with your gut

That being said, you may get contradictory advice from different readers so you should decide what you want to accomplish. The artistic vision is yours.

  • Maintain your vision for your essay

You may have a few different people read your college essay. Take everyone’s advice with a grain of salt and decide how you want to move forward.

It is a rare opportunity in life for you to communicate to someone what you believe and who you are. Take advantage of it.