6 Ways For Bilingual Students To Edit Their Own Papers

Bilingual students have slightly bigger and more creative brains. And they need these brains to master the hard task of multilingual communication. Many bilingual students have issues writing, editing and proofreading their papers. Students with dyslexia share many of these ploblems, often in a much stronger form. In this guest post, Freddie Tubbs addresses the common issues and remedies.

Editing papers can be a challenge for bilingual students. However, there are many ways to edit your own papers and do so perfectly. The key is to practice this on a daily basis and get a feeling for what is right and what is wrong in a text. This goes for grammar and spelling mistakes alike.

Even though there are so many tools nowadays that correct your mistakes without you having to move a muscle, it’s a good idea to learn how to edit on your own – you’ll get a much better grasp of the language.

Here are some of our tips on editing your own papers as a bilingual student:

1. Learn the most common mistakes

The best way to know what to fix is to learn common mistakes. There are many things that you can do wrong in a paper but most people make similar mistakes for various reasons. You can do this by writing down your error each time you make it and see how repetitive it is. A few of my friends in school wrote down their mistakes in one notebook, together so that they could learn better and eliminate any common mistakes. But this way, they had more eyes on their papers and the list of mistakes was bigger.

Then, you can also read about this online in articles dedicated specifically t bilingual students. If you know what to be on the lookout for when editing, you’ll do it much faster and you’ll know which mistakes not to make next time. Soon, your papers will be mostly accurate even without editing.

2. Practice editing

Practice makes perfect, even in this case. Find time each day or each week to edit various documents. You can do this with your friend’s papers or you could find samples to edit online. All of this will help you learn the editing process better and learn about which redundancies to remove and which parts you shouldn’t eliminate. Look for mistakes in online articles or newspaper articles and try to edit those as well, if necessary. I used to practice by either reading newspapers or when my classmates gave me their work to review. Make the most out of your situation and make it comfortable for you to learn in.

3. Use online editing tools

Sometimes you can’t catch all of the mistakes yourself and perhaps using tools is not such a bad idea. These tools can give you insight into what to look out for and you can learn from them as well.

Here are some of the tools that you can use:

StateOfWriting and Via Writing are writing guides that can help you learn the most common style mistakes and learn how to avoid them.
UK Writings is an online editing tool that can edit your documents and show you where you made mistakes so you can learn from them.
Academ Advisor is a grammar guide that can assist you in learning some of the most common grammar mistakes.
Boom Essays and Essay Roo are proofreading tools for spelling mistakes that are often made.
My Writing Way can give you plagiarism tips and show you how to spot unoriginal content.
Academized is a grammar checker recommended by UK Top Writers that can help you with checking your paper for mistakes.

4. Utilize peer-editing

Peer editing is an amazing way to have a set of fresh eyes on your work and gain some perspective on it. You can probably notice other people’s mistakes better than your own. This is an amazing technique for both learning and having someone else give you their opinion on your work. Pay attention to details while editing someone’s work and give their paper a thorough edit that is also helpful – your goal is to learn more from it and help your peers learn as well. As previously stated, having more eyes on one paper is a good idea. I used to have a study buddy friend who looked over y paper and I reviewed hers in turn – this helped us notice more mistakes and fix them on time.

5. Learn how the editing process works

Editing process may seem like a pretty straightforward thing but it’s really not. There are many different techniques and ways to do it and none is alike. You can talk to other people and see how they edit or to your teachers and see what they think is the best way to edit and learn at the same time.

A good thing to do is write down all of the most common mistakes and ways to fix them and keep that list around when editing. It’s much easier when you know what to look out for.

6. Use different editing strategies

As previously stated, there are a lot of ways to edit a paper. If you want to find the one that works for you, you should learn about all of them. There is the ‘Top Down’ strategy which is pretty straightforward – you go through your document, checking for errors from the beginning until the end of it. “Bottom-up technique is slow but you’ll be sure that there are no mistakes – you start at the end and review each sentence separately. There is also the POWER technique which means pre-write, organize, write, edit, revise”, – explains Vera Braun, an Educator and editor at Assignment help and Study demic.


Final Thoughts

Even though editing doesn’t come as easy to bilingual students, they can do it with some practice. This is what I did in order to perfect my editing skills – follow these tips if you want to do it too.


Freddie Tubbs is an educator and tutor at Paper Fellows. He writes Big Assignments blog for international students and is a part-time paper editor and proofreader at Australian help.


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