Steps To Editing Your Own Work | Complete Guide

  • Financial Aid
  • March 11, 2024
  • 4 min read
A woman on her computer looking intently at her monitor and working.

Adults returning to education can often face some unique challenges. Alongside juggling your classes with your other responsibilities, and potentially studying while working, you might find that you’re a little rusty when it comes to basic educational skills.

Editing your own work is a fundamental part of making the best of your assignments and is a skill that will carry forward into the majority of careers. It doesn’t matter how well you research and articulate your points, you will lose marks if your work is riddled with spelling and grammatical errors. To help you brush up on your editing skills, we’ve put together four easy steps to editing your own work.

The Editing Process

1. Print out your work – There is a good chance that the majority of your assignments will be produced on a computer, which means long hours staring at a screen. When your brain falls into a familiar pattern, it can often start to project what you expect to see, rather than what is actually there, onto you work. This can mean you miss minor errors, such as slight spelling mistakes or missed commas. Printing out your work breaks this cycle and forces your brain to re-engage with a new situation, sharpening your focus and making it more likely that you will spot mistakes.

2. Take a break – If you’ve managed your schedule properly, you should have enough time to take a short break between finishing your assignment and starting the editing process. When you return to your work it will be with fresh eyes, allowing you to reassess your work and make the necessary changes.

3. Read it out loud – Most people skim read, especially if it’s work they have already written. This is the worst way to edit as it almost guarantees that you’ll miss errors. When you read your work out loud you are forced to read and articulate each word, making it far more likely that you will spot any errors.

4. Murder your darlings – It might sound like a line from a Stephen King novel, but “murder your darlings” is an often used phrase in the literary world, meaning be utterly ruthless with your own work. If a section of text doesn’t seem to support your main argument, cut it; if a paragraph seems to wordy, make it as simple as possible; if you’ve just crafted the perfect conclusion, look for ways to make it as straightforward and as punchy as possible. In academic work, the aim is to express and support your argument, or the answer to a question, as directly and plainly as possible. You won’t get any extra marks for pretty language and you may lose them if your verbosity gets in the way of your point.

Applying for Student Funding?

First, just complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can find a copy of FAFSA form, and a guide to completing it, on the Federal Student Aid website.  You can also fill the FAFSA out online here.  Please make sure you enter our school code: 038385. This allows your records to be sent directly to our Financial Aid office so that when you visit the campus, our FA officers can discuss your financial aid package with you in person.

Financial Aid At Northwest Career College

Here at Northwest Career College, we have Financial Aid Officers on staff that can help determine the best financing option for you. To best support our students we offer a range of financial aid including the Pell Grant, Subsidized Loans, Unsubsidized Loans, and Parent Plus Loans. Call us today at (702) 403-1592 to speak with one of our experienced Financial Aid Officers who will help find the best financial support options for you.

Chief Information Officer

Dr. Thomas Kenny was born in Chicago, raised in Las Vegas, but considers Northwest Career College his true home. He has been working at NCC for as long as he can remember. He started by moving and building furniture on…Read Full Bio