How to critique your own term paper

Writing a term paper for college, university or school in general can be something that gives students a lot of stress. When you have to evaluate or critique your own work, it seems like an unnecessary step because you’ve already put in all the time to research and write it in the first place. A term paper is usually worth more of your grade than a regular essay, so you should expect the critique to be more work as well. However, there are tips you can use to make this go smoother.

Term Paper Critiques

What does it mean when you have to critique a term paper, and your own paper for that matter? It’s always a good idea to have someone else read your paper, and getting a second opinion, but there are things you can do to edit your own work.

Here are five ways that you can critique your term paper objectively:

  1. Read through it all the way once. Right after you finish the writing part, go through and make sure there’s no obvious mistakes. Fix things like unnecessary or missing sentences, redundant words, or incorrect use of a homonym word.

  2. Let it sit for a while. It’s a good idea to get some distance from your term paper, and if you can afford to, leave it for at least a week. Look at the time you have from now until the deadline and see how long you can forget about it. Do not skip this step! It makes a huge difference in your ability to see mistakes and holes.

  3. Print out your paper to read it again after the break in step 2. You need to make it look different from what you’re used to – print it, or if you already printed it for editing, change the font and font color instead. The key to this step is that you’re trying to fool your brain into thinking you’ve never read this before.

  4. Make a list of what you need to check. Think of spelling, grammar, logic, research, and clarity. Is every sentence needed? Is it clear what you’re trying to say? Make sure everything points back to the main topic.

  5. Read it out loud. This helps because it forces you to see each individual word and sentence to spot missing punctuation or words. You’ll be able to hear if your term paper ‘flows well’ and sounds smooth.

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