What to Cut at Editing Essays | Critical and Close Studies

  • Cut out words or sentences you don′t expressly need.

    • Anything that you think sounds fancy or clever but doesn’t really contribute to your argument should go.
    • “Kill your darlings” some minor points to your argument or phrasing that you’re really proud of may end up bogging down your essay. Be tough and cut them!
  • Have one focused train of thought.

    • Does your essay branch off into sub-themes away from your thesis?
    • Do you ever say anything which is slightly contradictory to other ideas that you’ve raised?
    • Cut them! You need one sleek, logical, reasoned argument.
  • Avoid Repetition

    • Avoid repetition of techniques, ideas or quotes from the text – you want to show off your diversity.
    • Also avoid repeating the same conjunctions “however, similarly, thus” in order to join your sentences – use variety.
    • Don’t repeat adjectives either, especially ones like “engaging” and “insightful” to describe your text.
    • However, it is good to repeat the keywords of the essay question!
    • Be consistent in your reference to aspects of the text. Hopping around between “themes, ideas, notions and concerns” can be confusing for the reader, so pick one and stick to it.