Professional Guide on How to Revise and Edit a Paper

You’re almost there. All that’s left is to revise your paper and ensure that all ideas are expressed clearly without structural and grammatical errors. 

Although all this sounds straightforward, much thought and attention to detail are invested in the revision of a paper. A testament to this is the plethora of sites that offer revision assistance for academic papers. 

Paper revision extends beyond a few clicks on a grammar editor and some styling changes. This article will highlight the process for revising a paper and offer some tips to help you do a decent job of your revision.

What is revising a paper?

Revising a paper implies that you go through the paper to ensure that you have met its objectives and writing guidelines. Revision thus involves:

  • Checking your argument to ensure that it sufficiently tackles the thesis
  • Adding necessary references where they were previously omitted to avoid plagiarism
  • Checking for loopholes in your argument and possible counterarguments and adding information to tackle possible criticism of your claims
  • Cutting out any details that are of little to no importance in the support of your argument
  • Organize your paper into various chapters and ensure that each meets the objectives you had set in your plan.
  • Check your paper for plagiarism and make the necessary changes to acknowledge the sources you have used in preparing your arguments. 

How to revise a paper

From the information above, revision is vital in ensuring a paper’s clarity, focus, and flow. With many students rushing to meet deadlines, many skip the revision phase, resulting in error-prone assignment submissions. 

Here are some key steps to guide you as you revise your paper.

  1. Consult a colleague 

After the amount of time, you have spent writing your paper, you have likely formed an attachment with your work. Like a loving mother, you may fail to see the shortcomings of your marvelous creation.

A friend or editing expert has little sentimentality with your paper and is thus better poised to note glaring errors. The suggestions from another person are critical in exposing you to various errors in your paper. 

  1. Do some more research

After writing your paper, you are aware of the ideas relating to your key argument. The research will allow you to gauge issues relating to your topic, thus allowing you to gauge how well the issues have been addressed in your paper. 

Research may also expose you to various counterarguments, allowing you to tackle them based on your paper’s findings.

  1. Compare your paper with the outline

The outline is a crucial item that keeps you from getting side-tracked from your main points. Use your outline for revising each chapter and ensuring that it has tackled the ideas you had planned for in your outline. 

  1. Read your paper aloud

Proofreading your work is also a vital part of editing. For this, read your paper out aloud and fix the sentences that appear lengthy or confusing. 

Writing tools for revising a research paper

After investing a massive amount of time in writing and research, revision can seem a tedious undoable task. This is however not an excuse to submit an unrevised paper. Here are some tools that can highlight the errors and reduce the burden of revision.


Grammarly is a great tool for editing your paper. The app not only helps identify jargon in your work but also suggests possible solutions to make your sentences easier to understand. 

The tool also offers a plagiarism checker that helps you note instances of plagiarism and sort them out before the submission of your paper. 


The Turnitin plagiarism checker tool is a great item for students. When you revise your paper and ask for a check from the app, it highlights various transgressions in your work, allowing you to fix them before submission. 

Research paper revision checklist

  • Does your paper meet the objectives you had set at the start?
  • Are all references duly included in the right format?
  • Have you adhered to all the instructions provided by your tutor?
  • Is your paper in line with the referencing style that was recommended?
  • Does your paper address a specific idea?
  • Are there ideas that need to be investigated further?
  • Have I defined any new terms used in the paper?

If your paper satisfies the above parameters, it is safe to say you have gotten it right. We wish you all the best in your paper!

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