Standard: Content Editing: Pay Attention to Content NOT only Style
This is the part that most people associate with editing a paper. Here, you will need your Reverse Outline from Step 2 and your to-do list from Step 1, but don’t forget about that Requirements Checklist. You do not want to accidentally edit out something that is required and you want to make sure you stay on track, so keep that list handy and refer to it from time to time.
Save a copy: Open your original draft and save it as a copy for your edits. You want to keep your original draft in case you inadvertently delete something or want to refer back to your previous draft to see how far you’ve come.
Make a game plan: Look at your Step 1 to-do list and each mark you made on your Reverse Outline and decide which steps are easy to handle and which are difficult. Do the easy ones first, because they are also easiest to un-do if you do not like the results.
Tip: Usually, merging paragraphs or splitting one long paragraph into two parts is easy. Moving a paragraph from one section to another is a bit more difficult because you have to make it flow with the rest of the section. Rewriting a paragraph to make it relevant can be difficult.
Tip: Save any format editing for later so you don’t have to re-do any work that you might change with your content edits. If your to-do list includes citation reformatting, for example, save this for last in case you realize you need to include a new reference in your paper during this Content Editing step.
Edit for content: Go through your plan. Edit the content, always keeping in mind your thesis statement. Save regularly.
Update your RO: As you edit a paragraph and finish it, update your Reverse Outline to reflect your changes. Make sure your new edits fit in well with the content in your Reverse Outline.
Re-check your requirements: When you have finished editing, double-check those requirements from Step 1. Make another checkmark for each requirement if your revised draft fills the requirements.