Editing the Structure of a Paper: How to Objectively Organize and Restructure Essays and Papers

Learning how to outline, develop, and transition between ideas makes editing the frame of a paper much simpler, resulting in a successful and clear statement of ideas.

Ever written a “fluff” paper full of repetitious ideas phrased differently? How about a quality paper with brilliant ideas that lacked organization? Then it’s time to learn how to objectively edit – not just for commas and misspellings – but for organization, order, style, and continuity. Yeah, the heavy-duty stuff.

Just getting the ideas down on paper is not enough to constitute an A on your midterm, even if it’s free of spelling and grammatical errors. The ideas must make sense – to somebody other than yourself or your cat. The following steps worked out by essaywriterfree can transform unorganized sentences and paragraphs into a well-developed argument ready to win your readers – or at least your professor.

Let the Paper Rest

If possible, allow your paper to rest. Ideally, leave a week between the draft and structural edit. If you’re as busy as most, however, you’re lucky to find five minutes to leave the draft. Workaround whatever time you’re allowed. Grab dinner between drafts, skip a day of working on the paper, sleep on it.

With a fresh perspective of the paper, you can better judge strengths and weaknesses in your points and arguments as well as overall organization and continuity.

Outline the Paper

Read through the paper, asking yourself the following questions:

  • Does the thesis develop a specific idea or set of ideas?
  • Is each idea clearly explained and proven in the paper?
  • Does the paper flow from one paragraph to the next?

Next, outline the paper’s introduction, paragraphs, and conclusion and see whether the outline would make sense to somebody not reading the paper. The goal in academic papers is to present an argument clearly and directly.

The thesis should introduce the paper’s organization and state the argument. Each paragraph or paragraph should elaborate on a specific segment of the thesis, in the order stated in the thesis.

Underdeveloped Ideas and Smooth Transitions

Any idea that cannot be backed up with evidence and argued effectively should be removed or tweaked. If there are two similar ideas, especially if they’re both lacking evidence, try combining them. Once each idea is fully developed and organized into paragraphs, focus on the flow of one paragraph to another.

Just because the paper is based around a central idea or group of ideas does not mean each paragraph will naturally flow from one idea to the next. The last sentence of each paragraph should not only conclude the ideas of the paragraph, but it should also mention how the ideas will relate to the following paragraph. Similarly, the first sentence of the next paragraph should not only introduce the paragraph’s ideas but should also relate the previous paragraph’s ideas to the new ones.

Once finished with structural editing, don’t forget to check for grammatical and spelling errors. Read through each sentence to determine whether each is necessary to the paragraph and paper. Remove any unnecessary phrases and sentences that don’t directly relate to the paper or thesis. Have others read your paper and check for continuity and clarity.

Though structural editing can be tiresome and difficult, it is what will create a compelling argument that readers will more readily accept than a spattering of interesting but confusing ideas. If you’ve gone to the trouble to write the paper, you might as well make it the best it can be.

About the author: Bianca J. Ward is a professional online essay writer at essaywriterfree where she provides people with qualitative works. Besides, she is a passionate photographer and traveler who has visited 52 countries all over the world. Bianca dreams about creating a photo exhibition to present her works to others.


Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets. You may also want to check out my other blogs IELTS Practice and NCERT Guides

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