How to Find the Best Dissertation Proofreading Service

How to find the best dissertation proofreading service

You’ve slogged your guts out performing your research and labored for hours over a computer writing up your results… but sadly, you’re not quite done yet.

You will need to proofread your final dissertation, and for this, you’ll need to find the best dissertation proofreading service.

Before we go any further, let’s make one thing clear: If you believe you can proofread your dissertation without the help of a professional dissertation proofreader, you will have to accept that the final version will not be as good as it could have been and will likely contain errors.

If you’re not willing to take the risk and want to submit the best version of your dissertation, you should look for the best dissertation proofreading service for your needs.

But among the many providers that lie out there, how do you find a dissertation service you can trust?

The quickest, most effective and surprisingly affordable (can you afford to flunk your course because your dissertation failed?) approach is to submit your dissertation to a reliable and established proofreading service. You can then leave the experts to get on with the task of finding and correcting all your mistakes while you take a break from the schoolwork for a while.

Finding the best dissertation proofreading service among the many options accessible online might be challenging. This article is designed to help you select the most suitable proofreaders and avoid the con artists (sadly, there are a lot of them out there).

Finding the Best Dissertation Proofreader: A Checklist

A checklist to help you find the best dissertation proofreader

The University of Manchester advises carefully screening thesis proofreaders before you engage their services. We have created this handy checklist to help you identify the elements you may wish to consider when searching for the best dissertation proofreaders.

1) Don’t focus on finding the cheapest dissertation service

You’re a student, so money could well be an issue. However, the cheapest dissertation proofreading service is likely to be the worst service on offer.

When you’re on the lookout for a reliable dissertation proofreader, compare the prices that are available on the market. You should target agencies that offer mid-range pricing.


No editor worth their salt would work below market rate. If a proofreader is offering services at a very low price, you can be pretty confident you will not get a high-quality output.

On the other end of the spectrum, you don’t want to overpay either. Some of the more boutique agencies offer dissertation proofreading services at very high rates or a series of “add-ons” that transform a competitive price into something different entirely. These types of agencies have extremely high profit margins because they are working with the same pool of editors as the companies operating in the mid-price-point range—they’re fooling you into thinking you’re getting something more.

Spend your money wisely.

2) Check the dissertation proofreading turnaround time

Let’s face it, the majority of students are writing their dissertations at the last minute.

If this is the case for you, you can’t afford to enlist the services of a company that will let you down. You need to find a provider that has a track record of consistently meeting deadlines.

If you haven’t got time on your hands, you will need an online dissertation editing service that has the tools and expertise to deliver rapid turnaround times.


Proofreading is a meticulous process that takes time. As such, you also need to be realistic. It would not be possible for a single proofreader to read a dissertation exceeding 50,000 words in a matter of hours.

Vappingo’s proofreaders complete at least two passes of the file. This, of course, takes time. As such, you should allow proofreaders at least 72 hours per 50,000 words.

3) Look for qualified, native-English proofreaders

Your dissertation is an important document that could make all the difference to your final grades.

As such, you need to ensure that your proofreader possesses the necessary skills and experience to spot and correct any mistakes. Research the proofreaders you intend to use. Ask the following questions:

  • Are the proofreaders native-English speakers?
  • Do the proofreaders have formal editing and proofreading qualifications?
  • Are the proofreaders experienced in proofreading dissertations?
  • Do the proofreaders have a working knowledge of the style guide you are using for your dissertation? For instance, APA (see our APA formatting guide for more details).
  • Is the proofreading company prepared to back their services with a money-back guarantee?

4) Look at the client testimonials

Find the company’s website’s reviews section to read what other people have said about their experiences with the provider.

View the feedback from previous customers regarding the speed, effectiveness, efficiency, and customer care on offer. This will give you a good idea of the quality of service you can expect.

If a company doesn’t have any testimonials they can readily share with you, it’s likely you’re looking at a sham, temporary website that has been set up to make a quick buck before rapidly closing down when people start to complain.

Read Vappingo’s wealth of verified testimonials: Proofreading services testimonials

Link to dissertation proofreading sales page

5) Evaluate the professionalism of the website

As I’ve outlined above, many dissertation proofreading services seem to just spring into existence. Some of them have an illicit intention: To deceive as many people as they can in a short period of time before disappearing into the ether.

It is improbable that a service created to take advantage of clients would have a top-notch website. These guys only want your money; they aren’t interested in making long-term investments. As soon as the negative reviews start rolling in, they’ll close their website, rebrand, and start the whole cycle again.

It’s important to engage in an initial assessment of the website you’re browsing. Factors to evaluate include the following:

  • How long has the website been live? Anything that is just a few months or weeks old should be avoided at all costs. The longer the company has been operating, the better. If you can find a company with 10+ years and no negative feedback on review sites (hint: Vappingo), you’re onto a winner.
  • What policies are in place in the event you are not satisfied with the service you receive?
  • Does the website have a blog? A quality blog on the website is a terrific sign that you can rely on the brand. It shows that the service provider invests time and money in producing excellent content for its website.
  • Does the company operating the website have membership of recognized professional bodies, such as the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading?

6) Read the Terms and Conditions

This is crucial. Some organizations don’t even bother to post their terms and conditions on their websites. They are often con artists. If you ask them for revisions or a refund, they’ll ignore you because they don’t care about nurturing satisfied customers.

If a website you’re looking at doesn’t have clear terms and conditions, a privacy policy, and a confidentiality agreement, it’s likely you’ll be let down.

7) Read the website content

Here’s something extremely ironic: The very people offering dissertation proofreading services often post advertisements and articles that are replete with grammatical errors.

Take the time to read their content. If you spot a mistake, run a mile!

8) Ask for a Sample

Your dissertation is extremely important. As such, it’s worth testing the services of a few different companies.

The best dissertation proofreaders will be happy to provide you with a free sample of around 300 words. If you encounter a company that is not willing to do this, move on.

Given the sheer number of online editing services out there, it can be challenging to find the best dissertation proofreading service.

Hopefully, the information presented above will help you spot phony services and determine which one merits your attention.

Link to dissertation proofreading sales page

How Rewriting Articles for SEO Can Boost Your Organic Traffic

Rewriting articles for SEO is a quick and easy technique to improve both search engine optimization and user experience.

Steps for rewriting articles for SEO

Consider the advantages of article rewriting: Higher search rankings, a lower bounce rate, more pages per visit, more social shares, and more repeat visits.

This isn’t a case of too good to be true. It’s a proven fact that article rewriting can fundamentally boost your traffic with minimal effort.

If your website or blog has been around for a few years, it’s likely you have some old content hidden in the depths of the search engine results that rarely get any traffic. Perhaps it is out of date, no longer deemed to be relevant to the keyword you’re targeting, or has been pushed down the rankings because people have published content that Google deems to be superior.

Maybe the article was below the 1000-word minimum recommended today. Or perhaps it didn’t contain any useful collateral, such as infographics and graphics. Alternatively, it may not have any relevant links or lacked a clear keyword strategy.

Regardless of the reasons why your content is not ranking, it could contain useful information that members of your target market would share and appreciate if only they could find it.

If you have old blog posts or articles that share long-term, evergreen content, it’s time to revisit the material and identify what simple steps you can take to enhance its potential and help it reach a much larger audience.

The good news is that you can refresh and improve evergreen material without starting from scratch. Take a look at our guide to how to rewrite articles without plagiarism for more assistance. We have also published a great guide on rewriting articles for content creation.

Here are some simple article rewriting steps you can take to boost your organic traffic without breaking a sweat.

Rewriting Articles for SEO

1) Check the length of the article

It’s widely accepted that enhancing the length of an article can improve its ranking in the search engine results.

It’s not that length counts in and of itself; a poorly written long piece will not engage readers any more than a poorly written short article. If people leave the page after only a few paragraphs (bounce), search engines will notice and assume the article isn’t adding sufficient value. This will translate to a plummet in the search engine rankings.

A well-written long blog post with depth, insight, good grammar, and high-quality material, on the other hand, will enhance engagement and improve ranking. As such, rewriting articles for SEO should be part of every website owner’s basic strategy.

Consider it this way: Will a longer article with more information be ranked higher by search engines than a shorter piece on the same subject with less information? Search engines like Google will, logically, choose the lengthier, more informative, and authoritative piece to display to browsers.

What’s more, if you include useful images, infographics, frequently asked questions, and tabulated data, you have a much higher chance of your site appearing in the featured snippets area of search results. This will significantly boost organic traffic and enhance your brand reputation.

2) Adjust the style of the article to suit your audience

Even if an article is extremely informative, it can still have a terrible style. To put it another way: the flow of the phrases can be clumsy or awkward.

Read your article aloud. Does it sound stilted or natural and engaging?

The length of paragraphs can also make a difference. People are inundated with new pieces of information in every facet of their daily lives. As such, they frequently skim-read or cherry-pick what information they give their attention to.

Adjust the style of your article to make it more appealing. Again, images and stories can help to achieve this as part of your SEO efforts.

3) Improve the presentation of your article

Online media is more visually appealing than books, magazines, and newspapers, but does not carry the same appeal as television.

Even if it is expertly written, a 1,000-word essay without photographs and graphics will be less compelling than one that contains appealing photos, infographics, and images.

Make sure your layout is consistent, neat, and stylish. Engagement and time spent on the website will exponentially increase as the quality of the content improves.

4) Incorporate strategic navigation when rewriting articles for SEO

The navigation bar at the top of the page isn’t the only means by which people can work their way around your site.

It is also useful to include links to other relevant articles (both internal and external) within the body of every article or blog post.

Distribute links evenly throughout the body of the text To establish various, well-spaced exit points and links. Use intriguing and relevant terms to entice people to click. This will be much more effective than randomly scattering links throughout the article.

Finally, because many readers don’t browse all the way to the bottom of a post, bear in mind that links at the bottom of the post will receive fewer hits than those nearer the top. They do, however, draw the attention of at least some readers.

The four steps to rewriting an article for SEO purposes

The End Result

Anecdotal data suggests that, if done correctly, rewriting articles for SEO purposes can significantly enhance organic traffic, reduce bounce, and increase social shares.

There are no promises that the article will appear at the top of page one of search results, or that its ranking will increase in any way. Competition from other sites may eventually keep the rating low. However, article rewriting will undoubtedly improve some articles.

Even if rankings don’t improve, higher engagement rates, more social sharing, and a reduced bounce rate (the number of people who come to the page and leave again without looking at another page) will increase the chances of better performance. With a lower bounce rate, the number of pages per visit will grow. For ad-supported websites, this translates to more cash.

Start by analysing the performance of your existing content. Identify what posts are not getting the attention they deserve and think through the steps you can take to improve the laggards and rewrite the material that is already available for SEO purposes.

What’s the Difference Between Article Spinning and Article Rewriting?

Is Article Spinning Just the Same as Article Rewriting?

Post title: article spinning versus rewriting

You’ll find a lot of discussions online about whether article spinning and article rewriting are the same thing. The basic answer is “No.” There is a significant difference between article spinning and article rewriting, and which approach you choose to pursue will ultimately have a BIG impact on the results.

What is Article Spinning?

Article spinning is a content marketing approach that many black hat SEO practitioners use to generate material and articles for websites and blogs. Article spinning involves automatically rewriting an article to make fresh “original” copies to avoid duplicate content issues that might result in a penalty from search engines like Google. However, ironically, spinning in and of itself all too often results in penalties far worse. We’ll take a look at this in due course.

Article spinning involves composing an article or finding an existing article online and then rewriting it hundreds or even thousands of times to create distinct versions of the same post. You can then submit the various forms of the article to hundreds or thousands of websites to create many inbound links to a given website. In theory, these links will signal to Google that the website is very popular, causing it to rise in the search results for their chosen keywords.

Most people who engage in article spinning use software and rewriting tools that automatically rewrite the content for them. Unfortunately, however, the majority of these tools do not work. Read our guide to do article spinning tools work for more information.

In its worst version, a spun article doesn’t have to make any sense whatsoever.

For instance, a program may take the following sentence:

She moved the pen seamlessly across the paper.”

And spin it as follows:

She relocated the animal closure impeccably throughout the piece.

The new sentence does not mean the same as the original sentence. In fact, it doesn’t make any sense at all. A plagiarism checker, of course, would not identify any sentence as plagiarised… nobody in their right mind would churn out the rubbish that an article spinner generates.

Is article spinning cheating?

Yes. When you spin articles, you add zero value.

Is article spinning effective?

Rarely. The content generated is typically meaningless and of low quality.

Is article spinning risky?

Definitely. Your website may be blacklisted if you publish spun articles.

Article spinning is not in line with the spirit of the Internet, and it’s something Google abhors. You can learn more about this straight from the horse’s mouth in Matt Cutts’ video on article spinning. Google frequently updates its algorithms to improve efforts to detect low-quality content that has been spun from existing articles.

As such, if you engage in this practice, you are at real risk of facing a Google penalty and watching all your hard work pour down the drain.

What is Article Rewriting?

Rewriting an article entails taking a reference article and manually rewriting the content to make it unique.

When you engage the services of expert article rewriters, they will read the article, comprehend it, conduct research, and then determine how to rewrite it.

Article rewriters take the article’s concepts and rewrite them in their own words. They may add new material and ideas and include some unique content connected to the content’s theme. Where relevant, they will ensure the article is up-to-date and contains the latest facts and figures. The most effective article rewriters will also ensure that the new article is aligned with your brand and offerings.

The updated article fundamentally has the same meaning as the original but reads drastically differently. It may contain vestiges of the original content, but it will be a completely new and unique article. In the big scheme of things, most of the stuff you read on the Internet is rewritten content.

If you want to rewrite articles for yourself, read our guide to how to rewrite articles.

Is article rewriting cheating?

No. When executed correctly and ethically, you are basing the new article on ideas, not words.

Is article rewriting effective?

Very. The content generated is high-quality, brand relevant, and unique.

Is article rewriting risky?

No. You do not risk a Google penalty or your website being blacklisted because the article is unique.

What is the difference between article spinning and article rewriting?

Why Article Rewriting is Better Than Article Spinning

Artificial intelligence and bots will never be able to take the place of the human mind. As a result, human involvement is necessary.

If you’re serious about offering your website visitors access to high-quality content that reflects your brand but don’t have the time or budget to generate a significant number of fresh articles for yourself, article rewriting services may be just what you’re looking for.

How to Rewrite Your Thesis as a Journal Article with Minimum Effort

So, you’ve finished your thesis, passed your viva, and now want to share your amazing research findings far and wide. To do so, you will need to figure out how to rewrite your thesis as a journal article.

How to rewrite your thesis as a dissertation

As we’ve already established, it is acceptable to rewrite your thesis or dissertation; it’s extremely common among scholars and professors.

However, remember that a thesis is a different beast from a journal article. Journal articles and theses are intended for different audiences and serve different purposes. What’s more, if you want your work to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, you’ll need to ensure you present your research methodology and findings in the correct style and adhere to the expectations of your target journal. Oh, and you’ll most certainly want to make sure it is free of error. That’s where dissertation proofreading services can come in handy 😊

In this post, you’ll learn the difference between a thesis and a journal article, why you need to tone down your introduction, how you can get a bigger bang for your buck by rewriting one dissertation or thesis into multiple articles, and why you need to skip the lengthy definitions.

So let’s dive straight in.

The Difference Between a Thesis and a Journal Article

Most undergraduate and graduate programmes cumulate in students completing long discourses known as dissertations or theses. These in-depth papers serve an educational function and must be submitted to a committee that determines if the candidate deserves a degree. As a result, a thesis or dissertation aims to showcase how much you have learned. With this in mind, many students will include all they know about a topic in a dissertation.

A thesis will usually have a long introduction, an extensive literature review, a full discussion of the study strategy and methods, complex reporting, and an in-depth analysis of the outcomes.

Journal articles are very different to theses and dissertations. They target busy researchers and scientists interested in finding practical, evidence-based ideas. As a result, journal papers must be particularly concentrated in terms of presentation. These papers must follow a certain format, including a brief literature review, a controlled methodology explanation, an overview of the most important findings, and a brief discussion section.

How to Rewrite Your Thesis

Follow the steps outlined below to rewrite your thesis or dissertation as a journal article or book.

  1. Reduce the length of your thesis or dissertation

Because a journal article is significantly shorter than a dissertation or thesis, it necessitates a more concise framework and style. A dissertation might be a few hundred pages long and contain around 20,000 words, but a journal article can be anything from 3000-6000 words long, depending on the area of specialism and the publication. As a result, each portion of the article must be significantly condensed. This may be accomplished by taking information from the thesis and reworking it. See our paraphrasing guide for more helpful hints.

  1. Reduce the length of your abstract

A journal article’s abstract is usually between 150 and 250 words long. A dissertation abstract, on the other hand, is typically 350 words long. However, requirements do vary from publication to publication. Make sure you check the style guide for your target journal. Some publications favour an unstructured abstract, while others have different expectations. In some cases, you may even be required to submit a graphical abstract.

  1. Focus on one research question for each article

This allows you to increase your chances of getting published while getting a bigger bang for your buck.

Students typically demonstrate their understanding of the current literature by including an extensive literature review in their thesis or dissertation. Therefore a thesis normally contains a lengthy introduction that introduces multiple research questions. However, the literature review presented in a journal article should be shorter and limited to a single research question and an overview of what motivated the study. If you have more than one research question in your dissertation or thesis, narrow your focus to one research topic for your journal article. The great thing about this approach is that if you have researched multiple research questions for your thesis or dissertation, you can potentially publish multiple journal articles.

  1. Describe the experiments you conducted, not the research approach

A dissertation’s materials and methods sections typically present a lengthy overview of the research technique and strategy. On the other hand, a journal paper necessitates a more limited explanation of the methods employed. Ideally, you should restrict your discussion to the details of the technique utilised in the research; i.e., the experiments you conducted. It is unnecessary to present an in-depth description of the research strategy in a journal article.

Link to dissertation proofreading sales page

  1. Limit the discussion of the results to your single research question

A thesis or dissertation normally includes a comprehensive discussion of every outcome in great detail, whereas a journal article merely reports the most important facts. When it comes to journal publications, however, you should observe precise reporting guidelines and only report the outcomes directly related to the research question you have chosen and the associated evidence. If necessary, you can include secondary results as supplemental material.

  1. Reduce the length of your discussion section

Are you spotting a trend here? Yes, once again, if you want to get your dissertation or thesis research findings published in a journal, you’ll need to reduce the discussion section.

The discussion presented in a thesis/discussion is more extensive than that required in a journal article. The dissertation will typically offer a full analysis of all the results to demonstrate the student’s complete comprehension of their data. Furthermore, students are required to engage in substantial conjecture to indicate their interest in future research paths. The journal article should be concise. Try to refrain from repeating your findings; it’s the insights into the findings that we’re interested in.

  1. Limit your references to those included in the journal article

Dissertations usually include an extensive list of sources and, in certain cases, a bibliography. On the other hand, journal papers contain a limited number of references and the reference section only contains works that were directly cited in the journal article. Some journals even limit the number of references you can include. Similarly, while a ‘Definitions’ section is customary in dissertations, you can leave it to one side for your journal publication.

So there we have it. The suggestions outlined should set you in the right direction for rewriting your thesis or dissertation into a journal article. The best things in life don’t just land on your lap. To achieve your dreams of being a published scholar, you will need to invest a lot of time and effort into your paper. However, it will certainly be worth it and could open the door to many new opportunities.

Did you find this post super useful? You may also want to check out the following articles:

How to Write a Thesis Statement That Your Professor Will Love

Document Rewriting and Online Rewrite

What is a Dissertation? A Quick and Simple Guide

The majority of degrees will culminate in a large assignment called a dissertation. But exactly what is a dissertation? And what does it involve?

The words dissertation and thesis are often used interchangeably. However, there are some important differences between the two depending on where you are studying. In some areas of the world, the term thesis is reserved for a major assignment that marks the end of a PhD degree. However, in others, a dissertation and a thesis are essentially the same.

For now, we’ll put the term thesis to one side and look at what dissertations are and what work they involve.

What is a Dissertation?

A dissertation is a research paper that is submitted as part of a bachelor’s or master’s degree program. The underlying purpose of the dissertation is to enable students to showcase their knowledge and research skills by answering a research question or exploring a proposal of their choosing.

Educational institutions set dissertations to put students’ independent research abilities and curriculum knowledge to the test. In most cases, the dissertation will play a major role in deciding a student’s final grade.

Although your instructors will normally provide some assistance, the dissertation assignment is mostly a self-managed, independent exercise.

The dissertation will likely be the most time-consuming, challenging, and essential task you will complete at university. It can be a stressful experience that involves months of preparation and hard effort. Hint: If you’re putting in the right amount of effort, Google Scholar will become your best friend (see our guide to essay tips for more useful tools).

However, if you allow yourself to look beyond the pain of long hours of study and research, you’ll recognize that you can gain a lot from writing a dissertation. It will enable you to explore a topic you are passionate about, and if you play your cards right, you may even be able to publish your research findings in a journal article. The best approach is to choose a research topic that piques your curiosity.

Link to dissertation proofreading sales page

Different Types of Dissertations

The type of dissertation you write will differ depending on your degree of study and the topic you are studying.

Studies typically conform to one of two potential forms:

Empirical (Typically Sciences)

This form of thesis entails conducting a small-scale piece of original research. It comprises designing a research project, gathering and analyzing primary data, and presenting the findings logically and systematically.

Non-Empirical (Typically Arts and Humanities)

The simplest way to distinguish a non-empirical dissertation from empirical research is to think of it as a piece of scholarship that scrutinizes the work of others rather than collecting new, primary data directly through a practical research study. When you complete a non-empirical study, you are concerned with the work that others have already conducted. So, what’s the point? Non-empirical studies play an important role because they help to assimilate existing understanding and research findings. Furthermore, by studying the work of others, you can significantly increase your knowledge in your area of specialism.

Non-empirical studies extend beyond merely describing the work that has been done in a certain field. Research questions for library-based studies must be as carefully planned for non-empirical studies as for any other study type. The work may then be placed in a specified context, and a critical assessment of its importance, quality, and contribution to theory and application can be made. You must also analyze and assess the research methodologies utilized by the original researchers, make judgements regarding the validity of the studies, and recommend areas for further study.

The form your dissertation takes will depend on your focus and method of study. The table below presents a broad overview of the basic differences you can expect between different types of dissertations.

The style guide you are expected to follow for your dissertation will depend on the subject matter and area of expertise.

Different Types of Dissertations

Empirical versus non-empirical dissertations. Different types of dissertations.

The Skills You Will Need to Write a Dissertation

Regardless of what form your dissertation takes, you’ll need to demonstrate a set of basic skills.

  • Defining and defining a study topic
  • Developing a research question to guide your study
  • Identifying the most important problems
  • Obtaining essential data and evaluating its credibility and legality
  • Considering both sides of the evidence
  • Arriving at a well-thought-out conclusion
  • Organizing and presenting your study’s results in a critical, compelling, and eloquent manner while adhering to all formatting rules (see our guide to APA formatting for more assistance).
  • Proofreading skills. See our guide to the best dissertation proofreading service if you need more assistance with this.

How Long Should a Dissertation Be?

The word count for a dissertation depends on the level at which you are studying, the academic institution you are attending, and the subject you are studying. However, you can typically expect a dissertation to be around 10,000-12,000 words for undergraduates, 15,000-25,000 words for master’s students, and up to 50,000 words or more for PhD students. According to Harvard’s dissertation guidelines, when writing longer dissertations, organising your work in the form of chapters can be useful.

Link to dissertation proofreading sales page

The Viva

In some countries, you may need to complete an oral examination of your research findings. This is known as a viva (short for viva voca, which translates as “live voice” in Latin). However, generally speaking, only PhD candidates complete vivas.

The viva normally begins with you making a brief presentation of your work to two or three professors, followed by a question-and-answer session that can run up to two hours.

Don’t take shortcuts!

Finally, it should go without saying that it’s not a good idea to pay someone to write your dissertation for you: The dissertation is intended as a practical activity to show off your abilities. However, asking a friend or qualified proofreading service to review your dissertation for spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors is acceptable.

After you have written your dissertation, you may wish to publish your work in respectable journals. It will not be possible to achieve this if it contains any errors or the standard of English is not satisfactory. You may be surprised to hear that some people publish their work multiple times in different forms. One method of doing this is by rewriting your content to create a new form. You can read more here: how to rewrite your thesis.

Argumentative Essay Template and Example Outline

An argumentative essay template and example argumentative essay outline to make writing argumentative essays a breeze!

Argumentative essay outline and template

If you’re anything like most students, it’s likely you skip the essay outline part of the research process and jump straight into writing the dastardly thing.

But taking the time to plan out the main flow and points of your essay can actually save you a ton of time in the long run.

Think about your essay outline as a roadmap that will guide you step-by-step through the process of writing the essay.

Beginner writers can undoubtedly benefit from an essay outline, but even seasoned writers use them. Take J.K. Rowling, for example. Here’s her outline for the plot of Harry Potter:

Outline plot for Harry Potter

This method is so effective because it allows you to visualize the flow of your ideas and how they link together as the essay progresses.  

It is very common for students to write their essays at the last minute. But if you don’t have a clear essay outline or plan by which you can answer the question, you may find yourself staring at a blank page as panic increasingly sets in.

My advice: Plan ahead with an essay outline. It’s easy to create one using one of our simple templates, and it will save you from that last-minute stress.

How do you write an essay outline?

The outline of the essay will vary according to the type of essay and format of the essay you are writing. In this post, we’re taking a look at a sample outline for an argumentative essay.

You can read more about how to write an argumentative essay here:

The Secrets to Writing Amazing Argumentative Essays – Vappingo

Now, one thing you should remember when compiling your argumentative essay outline is that it’s pretty much for your eyes only. Unless your teachers have specifically requested that you submit your essay outline, it’s something that you will use on a personal level to guide your thoughts. Even if your teacher has asked for a copy of your essay outline, it’s unlikely that he or she will be too critical in terms of how you have organized your ideas–it’s more about demonstrating that you HAVE put some thought into your essay. For this reason, don’t dwell too much on making your outline perfect; heck, if the odd grammar error slips in, it’s not the end of the world (it’s not often you’ll hear a proofreader saying that!).

Your main objective is to organize your thoughts quickly and efficiently. 

The argumentative essay template we have provided below will give you with a great basis for composing your essay outline.

However, don’t feel constrained by them. If you want to make some basic adjustments, please feel free to do so. Whatever way you decide to write your essay outline is great–the main objective is to make sure you have one!

So let’s take a sample template for an argumentative essay in more depth.

Essay Outline Template for an Argumentative Essay

An argumentative essay is a valuable tool in academia because it offers learners an opportunity to formulate an argument and present it in a careful and measured way. Despite what many people think, writing an argumentative essay is not about getting angry. It’s actually quite the opposite.

Argumentative essays require you to present your opinions in a way that will persuade others to support your position.

Sample outline for an argumentative essay

Picture of the argumentative essay template and planner

  1. Introduction
    1. Overview of the background to your topic
    2. Thesis statement
  2. Body paragraph one: 
    1. Statement of argument 1 in support of your thesis
      1. Supporting fact 1
      2. Supporting fact 2
      3. Supporting fact 3
    2. Summary of how the three facts support argument 1.
  3. Body paragraph two: 
    1. Statement of argument 2 in support of your thesis
      1. Supporting fact 1
      2. Supporting fact 2
      3. Supporting fact 3
    2. Summary of how the three facts support argument 2.
  4.  Body paragraph three:
    1. Statement of argument 3 in support of your thesis
      1. Supporting fact 1
      2. Supporting fact 2
      3. Supporting fact 3
    2. Summary of how the three facts support argument 3.
  5. Body paragraph four: Potential opposing argument 1 to your thesis and your response to this claim
  6. Body paragraph four: Potential opposing argument 2 to your thesis and your response to this claim
  7. Conclusion
    1. Reiterate arguments made in the thesis statement
    2. Specific why your points are of interest (prospects for future research, current relevance, potential future applications, etc.)

Example completed argumentative essay outline

Example of a completed argumentative essay template

And that’s pretty much it in a nutshell. Remember to dissect your argument into manageable chunks and present one idea per paragraph. Don’t be tempted to present only the ideas that support your thesis. Also, take the time and effort to identify the counterarguments that someone may leverage in response to your claims and then present evidence to disprove these claims.

Need more help writing your essays? Take a look at our fantastic guide to The Ultimate Guide to Editing an Essay in 2020.

Is Academic Proofreading Cheating? Here’s What the Universities Have to Say

Is academic proofreading cheating? This question raises its head regularly. In this article, we take a look at what the universities have to say.

Is academic proofreading cheating?

Academic proofreading and essay editing are often (falsely) associated with cheating.

Yes, there can be a fine line between being helpful and doing someone else’s work on their behalf. However, the best editors know how to refrain from crossing that line to ensure your work is ethical, faithful, and something you can be proud to call your own.

When you start a university or college course, you’ll likely be asked to sign up and agree to a set of rules concerning plagiarism, cheating, and false representation. That’s perfectly normal and to be expected.

But does essay proofreading break these rules?

Is Academic Editing Cheating?

Academic editors are often accused of helping students to cheat. However, this type of accusation is highly offensive to an ethical professional editor.

Proofreading is no different from most jobs: It has an ethical aspect that needs to be respected. For instance, it is considered highly unethical for professors to tell students the answers to exam papers. The majority of professors wouldn’t dream of doing so; however, some do. Does that mean all professors are guilty of helping students to cheat?

Absolutely not. The majority of professors adhere to the ethical expectations associated with their profession. The same is true of professional editors.

So why is academic editing so closely associated with cheating?

One of the problems is that online services, such as Vappingo’s essay editing service, are relatively new. In the past, people were not able to access academic proofreading assistance with such ease.

What did they do instead?

They turned to friends and family members to ask them to proofread and edit their papers for them. Again, the odd student may have benefited from over-zealous editorial assistance from a well-meaning family member. However, the majority of students accessed what we would now perceive to be ethical editing assistance (i.e., help to find errors and recognize issues).

Here at Vappingo, we focus on helping students (and anyone else who orders our services) present their work in the best possible light. In many regards, it is helping to level the playing field.

We encounter many students who have performed fantastic studies in their areas of expertise. However, their writing skills are letting them down. This can particularly be the case with speakers of English as a second language.

Professional editors can help these individuals to ensure that their written papers don’t hold them back.

When is essay proofreading cheating?

See our guide to editing an essay for an in-depth overview of what editing involves. We also have a great article describing the differences between editing and proofreading.

However, we’ve summarized the main points below.

Essay editing or proofreading can be considered cheating if the editor does any of the following:

  • Performs any type of research on behalf of the student
  • Rewrites sections of text because they are factually incorrect
  • Answers the essay prompt on the student’s behalf
  • Significantly alters the content or meaning of the text
  • Changes the main ideas or arguments
  • Adds citations and references
  • Composes analysis for the student
  • Significantly restructures the whole essay

What does ethical essay proofreading involve?

  • Highlighting areas of the discussion that may require fact-checking
  • Commenting on any arguments that do not make sense in the context of the rest of the paper
  • Correcting spelling, grammatical, and punctuation errors
  • Pointing out any material/language that isn’t appropriate; for instance, the use of slang terms or derogatory descriptions of the work of others
  • Identifying areas where the writing isn’t clear
  • Highlighting citation errors or lack of appropriate citation
  • Helping to ensure the paper is formatted in a professional and polished manner
  • Pointing out problems… but not solving them

The differences between ethical essay proofreading and cheating

Difference between proofreading and cheating

Is academic proofreading cheating? What the universities have to say

So, what do the universities have to say?

The majority of universities actively encourage students to ensure their papers are edited and proofread. Here’s what the universities have to say:

“Third-party academic proofreaders are not expected to actively amend existing, or create new, content in draft work; instead, they should support the student by identifying errors and/or making suggestions relating to – but not creating – content. The University considers the role of the proofreader is more akin to that of a mentor rather than a content producer or editor of the work.” – University of Warwick

“A third party can be used to offer advice on: 3.1 spelling and punctuation; 3.2 formatting and sorting footnotes and endnotes for consistency and order; 3.3 ensuring the work follows the conventions of grammar and syntax in written English; 3.4 shortening long sentences and editing long paragraphs; 3.5 changing passives and impersonal usages into actives; 3.6 improving the position of tables and illustrations and the clarity, grammar, spelling, and punctuation of any text in or under tables and illustrations; and 3.7 ensuring consistency of page numbers, headers, and footers” (London School of Economics)

“Checking your writing before submitting it is an important part of the process. It can be challenging to proofread your own writing, and some people prefer to work with a proofreader. However, to avoid collusion, it is your responsibility to ensure that it is still your own work. Your responsibilities If you choose to work with a proofreader (either a professional or a friend), you will need to ensure that their suggestions don’t change your work so much that it’s no longer yours.” (Newcastle University)

“It is acknowledged that certain types of student texts are quite often submitted for academic proofreading to a third party, and that such assistance is at times actively recommended by supervisors. This is particularly the case for doctoral dissertations, which typically aim for publication standard in their presentation.” (Lancaster University)

In fact, the London School of Economics has gone as far as to set up its own proofreading company (Additional services).

Your professors are probably using academic proofreading services themselves

Here is something many students don’t know:

Your professors will use editorial services. Reputable articles will not publish articles if they contain mistakes. For this reason, many authors choose to have their papers edited and proofread by professional editors. In fact, in many cases, it is a mandatory requirement for all submissions to be accompanied by a certificate of editing.

Around 70% of the orders for academic proofreading services we receive here at Vappingo are from PhD candidates and professors. There’s proof that academic proofreading is not cheating if ever you needed it.

How to avoid crossing the line between getting proofreading assistance and cheating

  • Make sure you read your university’s editing and academic proofreading policy in depth. Every university applies a different set of rules. Share these rules with your editor and ensure you operate within the realms of these laws at all times.
  • Include the name of the company that edited your paper in the acknowledgments section of any dissertation or thesis. Better still, request a certificate of editing. If the providing company refuses to provide documentation of this nature, it’s likely something’s amiss.
  • Ensure any proofreading or editing company you choose has significant experience with academic texts. General editors may not be aware of the ethics associated with academic editing.
  • Inform your supervisors that you intend to have your essay proofread by professional academic proofreaders. They will be likely to offer you good advice on what you can and can’t do.
  • Retain responsibility for your own work at all times. Even if you have had your work edited by a professional, you should read through it yourself one final time to ensure there are no loitering errors or areas of misunderstanding.

Can I just ask a friend to help edit or proofread my essay?

Absolutely. If you have a friend or family member on hand who possesses a good working knowledge of written English and academic editing, it can be useful to elicit his or her help. However, you should bear in mind the following:

  • Some academic documents can be particularly lengthy, especially dissertations, manuscripts, and theses. Asking friends to proofread an extensive file places a significant burden on them.
  • You should avoid asking a student who is on the same course to proofread your essay. This could lead to misappropriation claims or version control issues that can potentially lead to academic misconduct.

A final word…

Academic editing and proofreading are not cheating, providing the editor adheres to basic ethical requirements. You are ultimately responsible for ensuring that the proofreader is aware of the standards expected by the university and adheres to them at all times and for revising your own essay.

You own the essay or academic paper. It needs to be your work. As such, you need to check each correction—however minor—and ensure it reflects your voice, intended meaning, and own research.


New Vappingo Platform Launching Soon

Let’s start afresh!

When Vappingo first launched back in 2009, things were a little different.

Blackberries were all the rage, NetFlix was primarily a DVD delivery company, MySpace was still popular, and sixteen-year-old Miley Cyrus was better known for playing Hannah Montana than she was for twerking.

Yep, the world has moved on somewhat since Vappingo’s launch, and it’s time for a fresh new look.

We’re delighted to announce that we will shortly be going live with a completely new underlying application (that’s the software that drives the sections of the website you use to place an order, get in touch with your editor, request revisions, etc.).

You’ll still be able to access our services and Your Vappingo via the main website (; however, once you sign in, things will look a bit different. Hopefully, you will find the user experience intuitive, user-friendly, and an overall upgrade on the Vappingo of old.

Some of the improvements you will benefit from are as follows:

  • Invoices will now be sent instantly upon receipt of your order
  • You will have the ability to delete old orders from the system
  • You will be able to pay using different options, including PayPal, Stripe, Braintree, and offline payment options (including bank transfer)
  • You will have the capability to maintain a wallet balance to make placing orders quicker and easier
  • You will have access to an improved dashboard on which you can place new orders, track order history, get in touch with your editor, download files, view transaction history, and top-up your wallet balance

Due to GDPR requirements and to protect your data, we have opted not to migrate customer accounts from the old platform to the new platform. As such, to access our new system, you will need to create a new account with Vappingo, which typically takes less than 30 seconds.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why can’t I access my old account? My existing username and password are not working.

You will need to create a new account to access the new Vappingo application. The Vappingo website may look very similar to the old site; however, the underlying functionality has been completely updated. You can use your old username and password to create a new account if you wish.

Why did you not just migrate my account to the new system?

Due to a change in our technology requirements, we have moved on from the fantastic developers who have worked with us over the past 10+ years to access a new set of skills. To operate in accordance with GDPR requirements and our privacy policy, we have not provided the new developers with access to your data. As such, you will need to register a new account to access the site.

How can I track or manage my existing order?

Simply drop us a message at [email protected], and we’ll be happy to help you with any queries about your order.

What if I want to access my old orders?

Simply drop us a message at [email protected], and we’ll be happy to help you dig out any of your previous orders.

If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the usual methods (click here). Or if you’re ready to start a fresh new journey with us right away…

Register a new account now!

The REAL Differences Between a Statement of Purpose and a Personal Statement

Confused about the differences between a statement of purpose and a personal statement? This article contains all the information you need to make sure you nail your admissions essay.

Difference between a statement of purpose and a personal statement

Every applicant to grad school will likely be asked to write some kind of statement to support his or her application.

In some cases, you’ll be asked to write a personal statement; in others, you will be requested to write a statement of purpose. In the worst-case scenario, you’ll be asked to write both (and maybe an additional admissions essay to boot!).

Off the bat, you need to know this: There is a difference between a statement of purpose and a personal statement.

In fact, there are several differences.

So now we’ve established that a statement of purpose is not the same as a personal statement, let’s take a look at some of the ways in which the two essays differ.

Differences Between a Statement of Purpose and a Personal Statement

Difference between a statement of purpose and a personal statement

SOPs and personal statements differ in three broad ways:

1) The purpose

While the fundamental purpose of your statement of purpose is to explain why you want to study a given subject, the purpose of the personal statement is to explain why you are the right candidate for the program.

2) The perspective

The statement of purpose is forward-looking. It is concerned with your overall purpose (clue in the title, guys). In this case, admissions committees are looking for specific detail on your future career plans and research goals. The personal statement is more of a reflection; as such, it is predominantly backwards-looking. It is concerned with what you have done in the past to prepare for study or a career in your chosen field.

3) The focus

The focus of your statement of purpose should be firmly placed on your credentials, qualifications, and interests. The SOP should explain why you are the right candidate for a program of study and why the institution is right for you. The focus of your personal statement should be on the person you are today. Explain how your personal and academic experiences have shaped you into a unique, exceptional candidate.

While both essays share the same ultimate objective—to secure your admission to the university by convincing the admissions committee that you have the potential to be a success on the program to which you are applying for admission—the expectations differ. It is imperative that you know what these expectations are to ensure you give the admissions committee members the information they are looking for.

Quick note: Need your statement of purpose to be as strong as it can be? Ivy League editors are here to help. Our college essay experts can help you shine. Check out our SOP editing services now.

So, now we’ve provided a high-level overview of the differences between a statement of purpose and a personal statement, it is worth looking at some of the features these two essays have in common.

Similarities Between a Statement of Purpose and a Personal Statement

Regardless of whether you are writing a statement of purpose or a personal statement, you will need to ensure you meet six basic requirements.

List of things that need to be included in a college essay

1) Suitable length

Unless the specific school states otherwise, both types of admission essays should be between 1-2 pages (single-space pages in 12-point font). Some schools will provide a word limit. In those cases, you should strictly adhere to the requirement. In other cases, you may be given free rein. Brevity is key. While you may be tempted to write a four-page monologue that gives extensive details of your suitability for the program, this approach is typically ineffective and will not maintain the reader’s attention.

Bear in mind that admissions committees receive thousands of applications for every place on a given program. They appreciate concise, well-written essays that focus on your uniqueness. Think of it as an elevator pitch. You only have a couple of minutes to persuade the reader that you will bring value to the program. Make every word count.

For more details on how to format a statement of purpose, check out our guide to the statement of purpose format.

2) Free of errors

Even if you do not go the whole hog and engage the services of an expert SOP editing service, you should enlist the services of a third party to proofread your final essay. Mistakes are unforgivable and will result in your well-crafted personal statement or statement of purpose being tossed on the reject pile.

3) Authentic

Don’t try to use words you don’t understand or flowery language that would rival a Shakespearean sonnet. Just be you. Write in your natural voice and be true to yourself. This approach will ensure that your personal statement of SOP is much more relatable to the reviewers.

4) Truthful

Do not tell lies in your admissions essays. Admissions committee members are experts at weeding out the truth. Any white lies could cost you the place at the university of your dreams.

5) Adheres to instructions

Follow all the provided instructions to the letter. Don’t try to be smart or creative by circumventing the requirements. The reviewers will initially screen your essay against these requirements; if they have not been met, your admissions journey will come to an end.

6) Demonstrates by example

Show, don’t tell. Instead of claiming that you are a strong communicator, for instance, provide a solid example that demonstrates your strong communication skills in action.

Objectives of a Personal Statement

Your personal statement should achieve four broad objectives:

1) Tell a story

Regardless of whether you actually format your personal statement in story form, it should lead the reviewers through a journey by which they learn about you as a unique candidate.

2) Outline your motivations

Your task is to convince the admissions tutors that you understand the course and are a good fit for what they have on offer. Thoroughly research the program and the university and use your personal statement to demonstrate that you have taken the effort to find out about the school and the course of your choice.

What do you love about your chosen subject so much that has motivated you to choose it above anything else? Demonstrate your passion, intellectual curiosity, and enthusiasm.

3) Be succinct and compelling

The story you tell needs to be compelling and remarkable. By adding concise detail, you can catch the reviewer’s heart and leave a lasting impression.

Regardless of what story you choose to tell, make sure it is unique. Write as though you are talking directly to the reader.

4) To explain any weaknesses or challenges you have overcome

If there is an elephant in the room; i.e., something that you are concerned will have a negative impact on your application, the personal statement is the place to mention it. You may be tempted to ignore your weaknesses completely. However, if there is a chance the admissions committee will ask questions about something—for example, your grades, a gap in your work experience, or a health issue—you should use your PS to explain these weaknesses.

For instance, let’s say your GPA dropped significantly during your freshman year because you experienced an issue with your mental health. You can use your personal statement to discuss the adversity you encountered, how you overcame it, and most importantly, what you learned from the experience.

Regardless of the weakness or challenge you describe, make sure you present the story in a positive light. This will help the admissions committee to recognize that you are tenacious and have the potential to strive in the face of challenges.

Personal Statement Checklist

Personal statement checklist

Free PDF download: Personal Statement Checklist

An impressive personal statement should:

  • Tell your unique story
  • Outline your motivations
  • Be succinct and compelling
  • Address any weaknesses the committee may question

Objectives of a Statement of Purpose

When writing a statement of purpose, you should ensure that it meets six broad objectives:

1) Explain why you want to pursue this graduate degree

As we previously described, the most important part of your statement of purpose is the purpose. You need to clearly and succinctly explain why you want to pursue a given program of study.

Do you want to transition from the corporate world to academia but need to study your subject of expertise at a higher level to make this move? Or perhaps you want to complete an MBA to enable you to progress within the company you work for?

Regardless of what your goals are, you need to very clearly explain what is motivating your interest in pursuing a graduate degree.

2) Explain your interest in a given subject of interest

It’s not enough to simply state why you want to study a given discipline. You need to convince the admissions committee that you are dedicated to that particular field of study.

Briefly provide an outline of the experiences that have stimulated and maintained your interest in the subject. For example, work experience, voluntary work, internships, etc. If a mentor has inspired you or provided expert guidance that has fostered your motivation, talk about the impact the individual has had on your goals. Clearly communicate your preparedness for study.

3) Outline your strengths and suitability for the program

In this section of your SOP, you need to clearly outline any experience you have that will enable you to be successful on the program. Be it academic, professional, or internship experience, describe the skills and knowledge you have gained that have added to your understanding of the subject of interest and solidified your intention to study it at a higher level.

Ensure you explicitly spell out how your strengths will enable you to be successful on the program. This will help you to demonstrate that you have a clear understanding of what the program involves and will be a positive addition to the class.

4) Outline your medium and long-term goals

Clearly outline your medium- and long-term goals. What do you hope to achieve after completing the program of study?

What is your ultimate objective? For example, in the medium term, you may wish to progress to become a team leader in the organization at which you work before ultimately becoming a division head. Or perhaps you want to dedicate your career to research to facilitate developments in your field of interest. Be specific.

5) Define your research interests

This section of your statement of purpose is particularly important. Describe what specifically you would like to research if you are admitted to the program. Most importantly, highlight how these research interests are aligned with the ongoing studies of the current faculty members.

Name the professors at the school who you are interested in working with and explain how their studies fit in with your objectives. You will need to tailor this section to each school. While this may mean a bit of extra work,  it reassures the admissions committee members that you understand the nature of the program and will bring value to the school.

6) Highlight why you are a good fit for the school

As stated earlier, thousands of applicants apply for every place on a given course of study. So why should the school choose you? Your goal is to convince the reviewers that you are the right candidate for them.

Specifically highlight how your values and motivations are aligned with those of the institution to which you are applying.

What unique strengths will you bring to the faculty? How will you add value? Discuss the knowledge, skills, and experiences you anticipate accessing from the program and highlight how these will enable you to achieve your medium- and long-term goals.

7) Detail why the school is a good fit for you

Demonstrate that you have thoroughly researched the program on offer and the unique benefits of the school to which you are applying. Again, this section will be different for every application. Describing the attributes of the program and school that have attracted you will help you to craft an informed statement of purpose that the faculty members who are reviewing your application can relate to.

Statement of Purpose Checklist

Statement of purpose checklist

Free PDF download: Statement of Purpose Checklist

An impressive statement of purpose should demonstrate:

  • Why you want to pursue this graduate degree
  • Your interest in a given subject of expertise
  • Your strengths and suitability for the program
  • Your medium and long-term goals
  • Your research interests
  • Why you are a good fit for the school
  • Why the school is a good fit for you

Remember: Once you have written the first draft of your personal statement or statement of purpose, you will need to ensure it is thoroughly proofread. Our statement of purpose editors can help you to refine and perfect your SOP. In addition to correcting any spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors, they will help you identify any gaps in content, provide advice on how you can improve your statement, and identify any irrelevant content.

Statement of Purpose vs Personal Statement: Which Do You Need to Write?

Hopefully, you now have a clear understanding of the main differences between a personal statement and a statement of purpose.

But which one do you actually need to write?

The answer to this question will be down to which school and program you are applying for admission to. Some schools require either a personal statement or a statement of purpose, while others require both.

For example, MIT requires a statement of purpose, while Indiana University requires a personal statement.

In some cases, the school may require an essay that is a combination of both a personal statement and a statement of purpose. For instance, the London School of Economics requires a specific format for some programs of study.

In the worst-case scenario, you may encounter a school that uses the terms statement of purpose and personal statement interchangeably.

In this case, you should take into consideration the nature of the program for which you are applying. Generally speaking, research-based programs will expect an academic, formal statement of purpose (especially at PhD level), while undergraduate or scholarship applications typically require a personal statement.

If there’s any doubt, clarify the requirements. You should be able to find the details on the application itself or the school’s website. If this information is missing, contact the school directly to double-check the expectations.

Conclusion: The Difference Between a Statement of Purpose and a Personal Statement

There are major differences between a personal statement and a statement of purpose, and it’s imperative that you know what these are.

Although both essays share the fundamental goal of securing you a place on the program of study of your choice, the information and requirements associated with the two statements are vastly different.

At a high level, the SOP is the more formal essay. It highlights your academic and professional background and what you have achieved. However, its biggest focus is on your purpose. As such, you should invest significant effort in defining your goals and how the program and school will help you achieve those goals.

The statement of purpose is typically less formal. It is heavily focused on you as a unique candidate. It should include some form of story that sets you apart as an exceptional individual who will add value to the program.

Regardless of whether you are writing a statement of purpose or a personal statement, make sure you do the following:

  • Read the instructions carefully
  • Use specific details and examples
  • Be authentic
  • Edit and proofread your final statement of purpose or personal statement!


Four Crucial Things to Consider When Revising an Essay

Revising an essay with minimum pain

The prospect of revising an essay probably doesn’t fill you with joy.

But it’s incredible how many students rely on the first draft of their essay and fail to invest time refining and perfecting it.

Here’s a fundamental truth: Absolutely nobody produces writing that is perfect the first time around.

In fact, the most established scholars will tell you that the first draft of any essay, thesis, or dissertation doesn’t matter at all; the real writing starts during the revision process.

And it is for this reason you should never submit an essay that hasn’t been through a thorough revision process.

But what exactly does that involve?

Before we delve into the specifics of what you need to take into consideration when revising an essay, it’s important you understand there is a fundamental difference between proofreading an essay and revising an essay.

Proofreading involves reviewing the text for minor grammatical, punctuation, and spelling mistakes. However, revision isn’t about identifying and correcting errors; it’s about making the essay much, much better.

The Differences Between Revising, Editing, and Proofreading an Essay

Before you submit your essay, you thoroughly revise it, then edit it, then proofread it. Here are the main issues you will be concerned with during each stage of the process:

Essay Revising

Essay revising is performed at the holistic essay level.

Your main question during the essay revision stage should be: Does the essay meet the requirements of the assignment?

  • Read the essay within the context of the big picture and attempt to view your essay through the eyes of your reader.
  • Take an objective look at how your paper is organized. Is the information presented logically and coherently? Will the reader be able to follow your main points?
  • Ensure the formatting and structure of your essay are suitable.
  • Refine your introduction and thesis statement to ensure that it is clear and responds appropriately to the main question/prompt.
  • Add additional details, including citations, facts, and data, that support your main argument.
  • Remove any unnecessary or confusing detail.

Essay Editing

Essay editing is performed at the sentence and paragraph level.

Your main question during the essay revision stage should be: Do the sentences flow well and lead the reader through a structured argument that is clear and consistent?

  • Do not start the editing process until you are satisfied with the structure, flow, and content of the essay.
  • Read each sentence in turn and question the function it performs within the wider paragraph. Can you refine the sentence to better achieve your goal?
  • Analyze each sentence in the context of the preceding and following sentences. Are the connections between each point clear? Or do you need to add more effective transitions?
  • Ask yourself: Are the sentence lengths varied and effective? Long sentences can be great for forming connections between ideas but may obscure the critical points. On the other hand, short sentences can help to make a strong point, but overreliance on them can lead to unclear connections and a stilted flow. The golden rule is to reduce all unnecessary phrasing.

Essay Proofreading

Essay proofreading is performed at the sentence and word level

Your main question during the proofreading stage is: Is the final draft free of punctuation, spelling, and grammatical errors?

  • Read through your essay s-l-o-w-l-y to find any loitering grammar, punctuation, or spelling errors.
  • Format footnotes, cover sheets, citations, and references according to the required style guide.
  • Remember: Proofreading does not consist of simply passing your paper through automated spelling and grammar checks. Software will help you find many errors; however, it is not capable of viewing your paper within the context it was written and does not represent a substitute for a human review.

For more comprehensive details of the essay editing process, check out our in-depth guide to editing an essay.

If you want to learn more about what proofreading involves, read our comprehensive guide to proofreading.

At Vappingo, our professional essay editors perform revision and editing at the same time. They then pass through the document a second time to proofread it for any remaining minor errors. Our process is very distinct, and is as follows:

Vappingo three-step editing and essay revision

The rest of this article will cover the aspects our editors consider during the combined editing and revising process.

Revising an Essay in Four Simple Steps

Now we’re clear on why revising an essay is important, let’s take a look at the four things you need to take into consideration when you do so.

Four Things to Consider When Revising an Essay

Essay revision: Four things to take into consideration

Structure and Organization

Your essay needs to be effectively structured, clear, and easy to understand. The flow of the argument should gradually lead the reader from the introduction to the conclusion in a logical and systematic manner. The writing process is, by its nature, chaotic. You may find that the draft version of your essay contains some sections that present a stream of conscious as opposed to a planned and structured argument. Your top priority during the revision process is to refine that draft to ensure your essay has a clear beginning, middle, and end.

Questions to Ask Yourself When Revising the Structure of Your Essay:
  • Does the essay have a clear introduction that outlines the thesis or central proposition?
  • Does the introduction prepare the reader for the content of the paper?
  • Does the body of the essay follow a logical flow and build a progressive argument?
  • Is each of the points of significance in the essay clearly connected? Is the relationship between each of the points made clear?
  • Is the analysis limited to one leading point per paragraph?
  • Is there a clear transition between paragraphs?

Language and Formatting

Far too many students completely misunderstand the importance of ensuring the formatting of the essay is meticulously revised according to academic standards such as APA. You may have written the perfect essay; however, if you do not ensure that the references and citations are formatted according to your university’s guidelines, the font and styling are appropriate, and the tables and figures are presented effectively, you will lose valuable grades. When it comes to essays, language use can have a significant impact on the final result. It’s not merely a case of putting a stream of words together to put your argument forward; it’s about ensuring you have used the right words. Using effective transitions, the correct terminology, and varied terminology can help you take your essay to the next level.

Things to look for when revising the language of an essay

As you go through the process of revising your essay, make sure it does not contain any of the following:

  • Slang. Academic papers should not contain any slang expressions such as unreal, kudos, and props.
  • Casual references and expressions. Essays are formal documents; as such, you need to ensure the language you use is also formal. Write “it is not possible to draw a conclusion” as opposed to “before we jump to conclusions.”
  • Contractions. Use it is as opposed to its, they are in place of they’re, and have not instead of haven’t. Contractions represent a casual form of speech and, as we have already established, informal language has no place in an essay unless the nature of the paper calls for it.
  • Clichés. Again, cliché expressions, such as reading between the lines, only time will tell, and the writing’s on the wall, do not hold any tangible meaning and can undermine the flow and strength of your argument.
  • Misused words. You can read more here: Link to Vappingo guide to misused words.
  • Vague words. Some words are rather vague and do not convey the strength of the argument particularly well. Look out for the use of words such as good, bad, interesting, thing, etc. and replace them with more specific vocabulary. For instance, instead of stating, The test was repeated later (when? Three days? Three months? Three years?), write The test was repeated 24 hours later.
Questions to Ask When Revising the Language and Format of Your Essay
  • Is the language clear and easy to understand?
  • Have you explained the logic that underpins your opinions?
  • Is the argument presented in a way that is aligned with the needs, understanding, and interests of the intended audience?
  • Has the paper been fully proofread to ensure that it does not contain any punctuation, grammar, or spelling mistakes?
  • Have all the references been accurately cited?
  • Has the paper been formatted according to the requirements of the style guide?
  • Have you used consistent formatting and citation throughout the paper?
  • Have you ensured that you are clear as to what are your ideas and what are those of the authors you have referenced?
  • Have you met the word limit requirements?
  • Have you checked that all the data provided in the bibliography is accurate?

Coherence, content, and analysis

When an essay is coherent, the main ideas flow effortlessly, and the reader is left with no uncertainty about how the paragraphs are linked. The most effective essay writers are those who use transitions to efficiently clarify how the ideas they are presenting in the distinct sentences and paragraphs are linked. In addition to enhancing the flow of your essay, refining the transitions during the essay revision process will help to take your writing to a superior level, and you will come across more measured, sophisticated, and scholarly.

In terms of the content and analysis, you should be asking yourself if the key facts, data, and arguments you have put forward are compelling, relevant, and concise. Make sure every single claim you make is fully supported by indisputable evidence.

Useful Transitions to Add When Revising an Essay

Essay transitions cheat sheet

You can read more about essay transitions in our essay transitions cheatsheet.

Questions to ask when revising the coherence, content, and analysis of your essay:

  • Do the paragraphs transition well? Are the connections between them clear?
  • Do you start each paragraph with pertinent topic sentences that lead on from the discourse provided in the previous paragraph?
  • Is the discussion logical? Does it progress well?
  • Does each sentence clearly lead on from the one before?
  • Does each paragraph present a clear argument that is supported by sufficient evidence?
  • Are the transitions between sentences and paragraphs clear?
  • Is the quoted material suitable for the argument that has been put forward?
  • Have you supported the claims you have made with citations, data, or examples?
  • Have you ensured that the sources you have used are credible?
  • Are the data and statistics you have provided relevant and up to date?


Every essay should achieve its underlying purpose. Whether you were trying to persuade the reader to prescribe to your point of view, inform the reader about the findings of a study, explain the process of research, or present a specific analysis, while revising an essay, you should verify that you have achieved that purpose. Ask yourself whether the reader would be able to summarize your main points using just a couple of sentences. Have you responded to the question properly? Have you covered all the main points of the prompt?

Questions you should ask yourself when revising the purpose of an essay
  • Does the introduction contain a clear outline of my proposition, thesis, or main argument?
  • Have I taken a position on the topic of interest? If so, is this position evident throughout the paper?
  • Do the main points I have presented in the essay clearly contribute to the achievement of its primary purpose?
  • Have I summarized the argument in a clear and compelling way in the conclusion? Does the conclusion pull all the main ideas together?

If you cover all four aspects described above while revising your essay, you will significantly improve the final paper and, subsequently, your grade.

Here are all the main points to consider in a quick and simple essay revision checklist. Simply click on the image below to download the PDF.

Essay Revision Checklist

Essay revision checklist free

Key Takeaways:

  • Revision typically takes place after you have completed the first draft of your essay.
  • You may need to revise the essay several times before you progress to proofread the final draft.
  • You should revise and edit the essay before you proofread it. Proofreading always comes last.
  • If you spot any grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors while revising your essay, correct them there and then. However, your main focus during the revision process should be on structure and organization, language and formatting, coherence, and purpose.
  • Proofreading does not consist of simply passing your paper through automated spelling and grammar checks. While software can help you find many errors, it can’t view your paper within the context within which it was written and does not represent a substitute for a human review.

For more help, see our free essay editing checklist.

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