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The final stage in any written assignment is to edit your draft, a process in which you make the transition from writing for yourself to work out your ideas, to writing for your reader, to communicate your thoughts. It is not easy to gain distance from your own writing and see it from the perspective of a reader. You know your own ideas intimately and it is hard to anticipate where another person might not find them clear. The ideal situation, that of leaving your work for a while so you are not so close to it, may not be possible in the context of a weekly supervision essay. The editing strategies here contain suggestions as to the different things you will need to check for, as well as ways in which you might gain a critical distance from your own text. 

Editing is often left until the last minute so there is not enough time to do it thoroughly, or it is left out completely. However, as editing involves considering the perspective of your reader, it can have a significant impact on the way your work is received, from the poor impression made by typing errors to sections in which your meaning is completely obscured. It is therefore worth building in time for editing, whether you do it as you go along, or set aside time at the end. It is particularly important in work which is submitted as a portfolio or dissertation.

You will need to check for a number of aspects, and it might be helpful to separate them out, as it is difficult to bear too many things in mind on a single reading, using different strategies. For example, some aspects, such as spelling, are localised to specific instances in your text and are quite mechanical to search for; others, such as structure, are more pervasive and need a more holistic overview. It is quite difficult to check for both simultaneously; two edits might actually be quicker and more accurate.