How Do I Rewrite My Essay? 6 Helpful Tips

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how to rewrite your essay

“The only kind of writing is rewriting.” These are the famous words of Ernest Hemingway that stress the importance of perfecting the initial draft. Rewriting is part of the editing process that allows you to make improvements on the levels of content and structure. 

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When you’re writing your draft, especially if it’s a larger essay with several sections and a complex argument, it’s unlikely to be perfect from the first try. The goal of the initial draft is to get the ideas out on the paper. Then, you should go back and improve the essay to make it as good as it can possibly be. 

You can also rewrite your old essays to reuse some of the valuable ideas. It saves a lot of time as you don’t have to research again or develop a new outline. Sometimes you might need to rewrite a few sentences or paragraphs. However, if you take the process seriously, you may end up getting an entirely new piece. 

Mastering the art of rewriting is essential if you want to write distinct essays. In this article, you’ll find tips on how to rewrite your essay and make it stand out. 

1.  Stick to an Academic Writing Style

Essays should be consistent in style and use proper language. It shows your readers the level of your writing skills and knowledge of the subject. Here are things you should avoid when writing academic papers:

  • Informal language;
  • Gendered language;
  • Slang;
  • Long wordy sentences;
  • Repetitive sentence structures;
  • Lack of subject-specific vocabulary.

If the style of your essay is entirely off, you might need to rewrite the paper from scratch, keeping only its main idea. Consider getting essay help online to handle the task. It’ll save you from the frustration of doing the writing all over again. 

2.  Take Some Time Away from the Text

When you’ve just finished your draft, it’s almost impossible to rewrite it well. You’re still too familiar with the text and can’t look at it with fresh eyes to understand which part of it makes the work unsatisfying and how to improve it. 

If the deadline allows, take a couple of days or, at least, hours away from it. The change of activities helps refresh and clear your head. After a little break, it will be much easier for you to go through your draft and spot problem areas.

3.  Improve Essay Content

Use rewriting as an opportunity to improve the quality of your writing and get better grades. You can either do it yourself or ask an essay writing service for help. Here is a checklist that will allow you to determine and address weak points in the content of your essay:

  • Does the essay cover all questions from the prompt?
  • Are there any claims that lack evidence or explanation?
  • Is the thesis statement specific?
  • Is your argument complete and convincing?
  • Do all of the body paragraphs refer back to the thesis statement and support it?
  • Are there any inconsistencies?
  • Do you provide enough evidence?
  • Is there any fluff or irrelevant information?

4.  Polish the Overall Structure

Rewriting allows making significant changes to the structure of the entire essay. Various techniques can make it more effective. For example, you can change the order of your claims and reorganize them in chronological, spatial, topical order, or order of importance. 

One more way to improve your essay is to adjust the structure of paragraphs. Use the introduction to outline the context and make your argument easy to follow. Then, look through the body paragraphs to check whether all of them include topic sentences, evidence, supporting ideas, and concluding sentences. The conclusion is meant to tie the paper together and make it memorable. You might want to replace evidence or add new insights to refresh the paper and approach the issue from a new angle.

5.  Improve Sentence Clarity

In academic writing, clarity is crucial. Read your essay and identify terms, concepts, and ideas that might be unclear to your readers. Don’t assume that they have the same knowledge and perspective that you do. Your essay will benefit if you add a sentence or two to clarify your claims and avoid misunderstandings. 

Try to find stronger and better phrases to convey your message. Here are some recommendations that will help you improve the clarity of your essay:

  • Provide some context before introducing new information.
  • Include logical transitions between ideas.
  • Make sure nothing interrupts the flow of the essay.
  • Don’t overuse noun strings.
  • Show links between phrases using parallel constructions.
  • Use active voice.
  • Make sure all pronoun references are clear.
  • Use action verbs.

6.  Organize the Rewriting Process

Rewriting becomes easy when you know how to approach the task. Professional writers use these simple strategies: 

  • Print out a copy of your essay or read it on a different device. Changing the medium helps to take a fresh look at the text.
  • Read the essay aloud. It makes it easier to spot errors, awkward wording, and sentence flow issues.
  • Write a note for each mistake while reading the draft to identify problem areas and plan the rewriting process.
  • Avoid focusing on each particular sentence. Rewrite the essay paragraph by paragraph, keeping the main idea.
  • Get feedback. Sometimes we can’t see our own mistakes. Ask a friend to read the essay for you and provide feedback on what is clear and what needs to be improved.

To Sum Up

You can use rewriting to improve your drafts or repurpose essays written before. Follow our tips to refine the structure and content of your paper as well as improve its style and clarity. Rewriting can turn a good essay into a great one and help you get the desired grade!


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