Why You Should Re-read Your Essays

Even the greatest of writers wouldn’t think of handing in a final manuscript without thorough re-reading several times. It’s the only effective way of finding all the errors that need to be fixed. When you write an essay for an academic course, you shouldn’t consider handing it in without several re-reads.

It can be so satisfying to know you’ve finished writing your essay. Perhaps you’re so sick of it after all that writing that you never want to see it again, so you hand it in right away thinking you never made any mistakes. Or on the other end of the spectrum, maybe you’re just so excited to have finished all that work you can’t wait to hand it in. Either way, don’t be in too much of a rush!

Some of the minor and not so minor errors you can find when you re-read your essay. When you find them, make a note in the margin but don’t take time to correct them until you’ve finished reading.

Try reading your essay out loud. Hearing yourself say the words can often help you find the mistakes much faster. Ask other people to read it for you and give you feedback. They can often see mistakes you can’t.

Don’t take offense when someone gives you some ideas on how to improve your writing. After all, they’re telling you things that are helpful. If everyone said your writing was good but they were lying, you’d never be able to improve it.

If your grade is important to you, then take re-reading seriously. Correcting errors can make a mediocre essay really shine. Instructors are impressed by clean error-free essays and the same is also true. When an essay is full of obvious errors that could have been easily fixed it tells the teacher that you didn’t really care very much about producing a quality product.

So start re-reading your essays all the time, as a habit. It won’t seem like such a chore anymore. Students often have quite a few essays and papers to write during their academic careers. If you go on to a Master’s or Doctorate program, your thesis or dissertation will be easier to do because of all the practice you’ve had.