The Oxbridge Editing Blog 20th January 2021

9 reasons you need an essay editor

20th January 2021
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Although the idea of an essay editor might be new to you, the chances are that you’ve had one before. Perhaps an elder sibling looked over your homework while you were at school. Maybe a teacher gave one last feedback session on a piece of coursework before it got submitted. Informally, even if it wasn’t said, those readers were acting as your college essay editor. 

What is an essay editor?

Beyond school, at every stage of university life, the essay editor becomes increasingly important. In practice, the university essay editor could be anyone. You’re nervous about your first assignment, and so you ask a classmate to look over your work. Or, maybe you’re an ambitious, master’s-level Law student, but English isn’t your first language. Working in Law, you are very aware of how even a single, misplaced word might alter the meaning of a sentence. And so you enlist the help of the friendly literature graduate living down the corridor from you. He or she is sensitive to text and happy to check through your grammar and punctuation in return for a keg of beer or a crate of wine.

And the work of the university essay editor doesn’t stop there. Look closely, and you’ll find them at faculty-level too. Lecturers swap journal articles and book chapter manuscripts with one another to make sure everything makes sense. After all, they need to be perfect before they stake their professional careers on them. In academic publishing houses, there are full-time editorial staff whose job it is to ensure that books are argumentatively sound and textually letter-perfect before they go to print. 

Here’s something you might not have considered before: everything you read throughout your academic career will have been the product of close and sustained collaboration with one or more university essay editors. Doubtful? Open any book, and you’ll see that they always begin with a long list of acknowledgements. The author thanks their colleagues and supervisors, parents, partners, and friends. These people all work together in a loose, informal network to ensure the end result is exceptional.

Who should you use to edit your essay?

So we’ve established that university essay editors are essential to strong academic work. But who do you approach to help edit your essay? That is actually a harder question than it first appears.

Your parents might help, but it was thirty years ago since they wrote anything. Things have changed a lot since their day, and now they sound like stuffy, ancient textbooks.

Your classmates might offer, too. Well-intentioned though they may be, they’re probably sharing the same tight deadlines as you. Also, they’re similarly new to university-level writing, and their time is limited. What’s more, friends rarely make the best essay editors. Their editorial interventions tend to be restrained and superficial. They operate under the misguided but ultimately unhelpful notion that your feelings might be hurt if they do more.

Literature graduates are usually pretty proficient and always high in demand on any campus. However they’re usually unfamiliar with aspects of other disciplines that are beyond their immediate experience. Often, they’ll want rhetorical flourish when a Law dissertation calls for unambiguous meaning. Or they might be entirely unfamiliar with the methodological conventions of writing a science paper. Their knowledge may stop at specialised referencing systems that your work deploys. 

And what if your academic network is particularly limited? You might think about enlisting the services of a traditional proofreader. Good thinking, but many aren’t accustomed to working with academic prose. The same goes for AI-based, free online essay editors too. Although useful in a bind, they tend to be far better suited to corporate brochures, reports, or professional letter-writing. They often fall short for intellectually complex university-level essays, dissertations, and research theses.

The quickest and best college and university essay editors are online academic editors. When you’re looking to hire an editor, bear in mind that the very best online essay editor is the one who:

  • Consistently works to tight deadlines
  • Has a meticulous eye for detail
  • Above all, has relevant, academic training and subject-specific expertise

And, when you’ve asked the best online essay editor to help you achieve your very best, what does that new working relationship look like? We explain in our top 9 reasons you need an essay editor below.

1. Reduces pressure

It may seem obvious, but it’s important to say it: hiring a university essay editor relieves you of the pressure you get when you try to edit your work yourself. Imagine the end of semester. You have multiple deadlines to meet, all within days of each other. You’ve been staring at your laptop for what seems like weeks. Your neck and shoulders feel like one large cramp. Everything more than two feet away looks blurry because you’ve been sitting there, hunched over your desk, for so long.

Are you going to spend a precious day trying to edit your essay yourself? Or, are you going to email it to an expert, knowing it’ll come back, letter-perfect and ready for submission, before your due date?

And, moreover, aren’t your energies better placed working on the next piece of work to complete? The best online essay editors help you simplify your otherwise complex and daunting workflow, as you move from completion to submission of your multiple assignments.

2. Saves you time

It goes without saying that, if an online essay editor can take the pressure off, they can also buy you valuable down-time, for recreation and relaxation. This might take the form of a small break or an evening off to let your hair down with friends. You can hit the books again feeling refreshed from time outside the library.

Alternatively, an online essay editor can help you draw a line under a semester of hard work. You’ll have time to spend, perhaps, with newly made friends-for-life, before you all go your separate ways for the summer. If you’re not trying to edit your own work, you’ve suddenly got valuable time on your hands and, however you spend it, is entirely up to you!

3. Helps you present your argument more clearly

So far, we’ve considered the work of a university essay editor as something that takes place at the end of your writing process. But the best students, particularly those working on longer, more sustained essays or dissertations, know that an earlier intervention by an online essay editor can be crucial and worth its weight in gold.

Perhaps your work is in relatively rough shape. The ideas are there, but it’s unclear how one idea relates to another. Or maybe you’ve repeated yourself unnecessarily. You’ve already stared at your reams of pages for countless hours, even days. Your head is a tangle of concepts, quotations and references, as you try to hold and manipulate everything you’ve read simultaneously. In all likelihood, you can’t see the proverbial wood for the trees. Can you really afford to deny yourself the benefit of a fresh pair of expert eyes that can quickly resolve all those loose ends and unfinished business?

4. Helps you see gaps in your argument you may have missed

The insight doesn’t stop there. The best online essay editor does more than simply help marshal your rogue ideas together into a more cohesive form. Essay editors are equipped with advanced degrees from prestigious universities, subject-specific expertise, and perhaps, even, an impressive portfolio of academic publications. He or she can highlight gaps in your knowledge and structural holes in your argument. If time permits, they can even suggest further reading or other ways of remedying the gaps/holes.

It’s best to think of the university essay editor as someone with all the skills of a supervisor, or a lecturer, but one who’s entirely on your side.

Your essay editor will work with you to develop your ideas and present them in the finest possible light. What about those unfortunate but, tragically, all-too-common situations where you are receiving substandard teaching? Either from an inexperienced and overworked graduate student or where there’s a personality clash between you and your tutor? Your online essay editor can become the sole lifeline between you and your academic ambitions. A single personality should never be in a position to stand between you and the degree qualification you’ve worked hard for, and deserve.

5. Removes inconsistencies and errors, giving your work a professional academic edge

The big, architectural input on structure and argumentation is a university essay editor’s most important contribution to your work. But the final look of the work, as it sits on the page, might be their most visible.

With a meticulous eye for detail, the best online essay editors check your punctuation, spelling, and grammar. They will ensure, for example, that;

  • American or English spellings are consistent throughout
  • Punctuation is correctly used, according to standardised rules
  • The overall register of your writing is appropriate, as per academic convention
  • You’ve adopted consistent use of font, font size, line spacing, line justification
  • You’ve systematically presented features, including tables, graphs, and indented quotations
  • There’s consistency in the use of in-text references, footnotes, bibliographies, and other scholarly textual apparatus

The importance of this work is not to be underestimated. This rigorous presentation gives your work a professional academic edge. It is like fine tailoring for your ideas. Even before it is read, your work will present as confident and authoritative, articulate and substantial.

6. Increases your chances of being awarded a First 

Often, whether they say it aloud or not, many students feel the mechanics and craft of writing to be trivial. That it’s redundant compared to getting the gist of the concepts or ideas being taught.

The most committed students know, however, that that is entirely the wrong attitude to take. In the context of a written assignment without a presentation, interview or ‘viva’ process, you are judged solely by what you have written down. You don’t get credit for the ideas in your head. You get credit only for what has been committed to the page. And how well you express your ideas becomes one of the main determinants of your final grade.

In the past, when most students hand-wrote their essays, rules about presentation were relatively lax. Today, when university assignments are expected to be typed and electronically submitted, academic standards are more rigidly enforced. In fact, in many of the marking schema found at the back of module handbooks today, there are marks set aside, normally up to 5%, just for presentation. In practice, those few percentiles are often the difference between a 2:2 and a 2:1 essay. Or, more tantalisingly, the difference between and 2:1 and a First.

Many lecturers privately maintain that a First-rate essay must be impeccably argued and presented. There will, of course, always be exceptions, but, remember, if you want a First, your online essay editor will always be able to get those extra percentage points.

7. Teaches you about formatting and presentation

Indirectly, this formatting and presentation work that the university essay editor assists you with often becomes a valuable teaching tool. The stylistic requirements insisted upon by your faculty can often seem needlessly finicky or abstract. They can be difficult to understand or master. But seeing your own work presented properly encourages you to learn by example.

The best online essay editors will provide you with a separate document of tracked changes. This document highlights every change to your original text they have made. It’s not only important because it allows you to accept or decline each correction and amendment. It also flags up bad habits and repeated errors. Whether that’s a persistent, incorrect usage of commas, common malapropisms from your school days, or a stubborn error when it comes to how footnotes are formatted, your editor will correct you. Pay close attention to the changes made by your essay editor, and you’ll quickly come to understand the mistakes you make the most, and learn, as if by osmosis, how not to make them.

8. Improves your own writing skill

The learning opportunities that come from a university essay editor aren’t just limited to mechanical or stylistic concerns. The best online essay editors have years of experience when it comes to honing individual sentences and crafting complex intellectual ideas. Seeing your own work shaped and polished by an expert editorial process can show you just how far the act of writing itself can take your ideas.

Close attention to the changes that your university essay editor makes will pay dividends as you move forward through your academic career. By example, you will learn about nuance of meaning, the powerful persuasiveness of rhetoric, and scholarly rigour. Gradually, you’ll find your work becoming more assured, sophisticated, and robust. The best online essay editor might even help you unlock your unique writing voice, the one that sounds authentically you. You will carry you through your course, higher degrees should you decide to do them, and beyond.

9. Skills for the future

So far, we’ve listed eight, great reasons why you need a university essay editor. Quite intentionally, we’ve been exhaustive about the benefits of hiring an online essay editor to help with;

  • Strengthening your argumentation
  • Letter-perfect presentation
  • Making the most of the fantastic learning opportunities made available to you, when you see those things being done

Our final thought, however, focuses on the relationship between the ambitious university student and their online essay editor. The best online essay editor will, of course, always be able to advise new students on what is needed. They can guide them on the most appropriate course of action to take with their work.

What is more surprising, though, is just how confident repeat clients quickly become. They soon start to develop a strong sense of what needs editing and rethinking. They get a good feel for the shape their work should be in once that process is complete. They realise that world leaders don’t write their own inspiring speeches, but have a team of civil servants to research, develop, and craft their message. They know that the slick presentations, given by glossy tech firms, are supported by an army of writers, artists, technicians, and engineers. These clients – often extremely intelligent and always ambitious – learn to play to their strengths. That means delegating tasks they know they’re weaker at. What soon emerges is a strategic, powerfully augmented hyper-efficiency when it comes to their university work.

It is, perhaps, no exaggeration to think of the relationship with a university essay editor as one that prepares students for the larger world beyond university campus boundaries. In a professional and task-orientated context, students learn to work with others towards a common goal. Without realising, they begin to develop and exercise professional communication and negotiation skills; project management skills; and leadership skills. Skills that cannot but stand them in good stead in the future to come. The sustained collaboration that ensues is as intense as it is exciting.