Before Editing an article, first check your requirements


Image: Before Editing an article, first check your requirements

Editing an article


There is nothing worse than having your paper be rejected or scored poorly because you missed a crucial part of the instructions. Many authors realize very late in the process that they have missed a step in the requirements and struggle at the last minute to fix it. The beginning of your editing stage is the time to double-check your requirements.

For class papers, look again at the assignment instructions and fill out the following checklist. Look for any specific requirements, e.g. that you reference a certain paper, use a certain framework, or include a certain data set. For journal articles or conference paper submissions, go to the website and find the “Submission Guidelines” or “Author Guide” section of the page. For example, the journal Nature has a “For Authors” section linked in their top navigation bar of their website. Most journals will have formatting guidelines only, but double-check the journal’s Focus and Scope to make sure your paper is the right fit.


nce you have found your requirements, it’s time to make a checklist. You can use the sample below or make your own.

  • Topic requirement:
  • Number of required sources:
  • Specific sources/framework/data to include:
  • Page or word count requirement:
  • Formatting requirement:
  • Style guide requirement (e.g. MLA, APA):
  • Other requirement:

    Now that you have made your checklist, quickly scan your draft to see if you have fulfilled all of these requirements.


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