Once the paper is has a solid structure, is organized, and closely follows the assignment prompt, the next round of changes are at the editing level. This largely includes making changes within paragraphs and rearranging sentences; this is also the time to make sure all of your sources are used appropriately and cited.
These techniques can each be done by themselves, in sequence, or all at once, but before you start, it is a good idea to ask yourself these questions so that you can edit your paper appropriately:
Depending on the answers to those questions, you might need to explain concepts further (or remove explanations completely!), or adjust your language to be appropriate for the context.
One last word before we get to the editing strategies. All of these strategies require identifying a problem and then fixing it. I strongly recommend marking the problems and then going back and fixing them later. Trying to fix them in the moment can leave you feeling confused (or frustrated or overwhelmed or bored). Waiting to fix them gives you the chance to see what kinds of choices, mistakes, or themes appear throughout the paper, which will give you a better sense of how to fix them once you're done. However, if marking all the things you want to change all at once and then fixing them all at once doesn't work for you, you don't have to do it that way - the most important part of editing is that it actually happens. It doesn't really matter how you do it, as long as it gets done.
Editing happens in two stages. The first stage is pretty quick and easy. Check to make sure your paper for all of the following:
The second stage of editing is not nearly as quick as the first, but will make huge improvements to your paper. These exercises are not necessarily hard, they just take a little bit of time and careful thinking: