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Academic Writing

What is Reviewing and Revising?

Critically reviewing your work before submission and applying feedback given to any resubmissions and future assignments. At Northcentral University, faculty will provide you weekly feedback on your papers. This feedback should be used to incrementally improve your work as well as help you determine if additional support is needed.


At National, it is an expectation that faculty provide feedback to ensure students clearly know what they need to do to achieve the required learning outcomes. Likewise, it is expected of the student to review and apply faculty feedback into any resubmissions and future assignments. Graduate level writing involves an iterative process that involves prewriting, writing, submitting, receiving feedback, and revising and editing by using that feedback. The graph below shows that students should think of the writing process as a continuous cycle.

Reviewing and revising process

Pro Tips
  • Approach all revisions with a clear mind and be open to the suggestions of others.
    • If you need assistance with how to apply faculty feedback, you can contact Ask a Coach to ask questions or to schedule assistance with these writing issues.
  • Begin by focusing on one issue and work through all of those areas first, then move to another issue, and continue until all issues are addressed.
    • For example, focus on all APA citations issues first. You may want to take a break and then focus on grammar. The next day, you can focus on areas that need to add material or be rewritten.
  • Incorporate feedback to the entire document, not just the one area noted.
    • For example, if you are given feedback on how to correct an in-text citation, check to make sure all in-text citations are done using the correct format.
    • Use Academic Writer to assist with all APA Style concerns.
  • Leave time for revision. If a paper is due Sunday, try to leave at least a day to re-read and revise before submitting.
  • Make use of the resources in Library, Academic Success Center, and the Graduate Studies Support Center (formerly CTL).
Resource Spotlight

Grammarly, the automated grammar checker, is one resource offered through Northcentral University to assist with self-editing and proofreading. Grammarly develops essential writing skills by helping students revise their papers and providing automated instructional feedback. Grammarly extensions can be downloaded for word, email, and internet browsers to assist with writing in a variety of situations.

Grammarly error example


Create a Grammarly Account

Create a Grammarly account through the Academic Success Center so you have access to the benefits of having a premium account.

What is Proofreading and Editing?

Editing is something that can be done as soon as you finish your first draft and should be done several times as you polish your paper. Editing consists of rereading your draft to see if the paper has strong transitions, is well-organized, and has evidence that backs up your argument. Here are some areas to focus on during editing: overall structure, structure within paragraphs, clarity, writing style, and APA style. Proofreading is the final stage of the editing process that focuses on finding surface errors such as misspellings and grammar mistakes. Proofreading should be done after all other editing is complete.


At National, students are expected to turn in work that has a scholarly tone, is well-organized, uses clear and concise sentences, and has scholarly research properly cited and synthesized into the document. Learning about editing and finding a process that works for you will help you edit all papers to ensure they meet scholarly writing expectations. Likewise, students are expected to submit polished work that has been reviewed for spelling, grammar, APA Style, and sentence structure issues, which falls under proofreading. It is important to know that faculty members and academic coaches will not proofread or edit for you. Therefore, learning these skills will assist you in developing polished work. Remember the graph above on the writing process? This module focuses on the editing component of the graph, which also comprises proofreading.

Pro Tips
  • Use the assignment as a checklist to edit content first: Have you done everything the assignment requires? Are the claims you make accurate? Do you have evidence that is scholarly and properly cited to back up your claims?
    • Going back through the assignment and focusing on content is a good first step.
  • Look back through the paper to see if the draft is organized and flows well.
    • Using an organizer such as the MEAL PLAN referenced in the Organization and Format module can help you ensure all paragraphs have a main point, evidence, analysis, and linking sentence.
  • Read through the paper focusing specifically on scholarly voice.
    • Do you use “I” or “You” in the paper? If so, edit it out and stay objective by using third person.
    • Do you use contractions such as “can’t” or “won’t” in the paper? If so, edit them out by using the full words such as “cannot” and “would not” instead.
  • Do an APA style check and highlight anything that you are not if it is correct.
    • Use a tool like Academic Writer to look up how to properly format and cite.
  • Proofread papers aloud to catch spelling and grammar errors
    • For example, when reading this sentence silently, “I have to two tune in a paper this Sunday,” you may not catch the error. When reading out loud, you pay more attention to sounds and can catch grammar and spelling issues. Read the sentence again aloud: where is the error?
    • Proofreading aloud reveals holes in the paper such as a lack of transition or even missing information.
    • Proofreading aloud also helps with awkward word placement (you can hear this type of placement better than see it) and it also helps to identify repetitive word usage (e.g. using “edit” three times in one sentence).
  • Use a proofreading tool such as Grammarly Premium (offered by National) or grammar features in Microsoft Word.
    • Remember: When using Grammarly, resolve all highlighted issues before saving and sending to your faculty member.

Now that you have signed up for Grammarly, it is time to try out the resource.

  1. Follow the steps to upload or create a new document.
  2. Once you upload or add text, Grammarly will automatically check your work.
  3. Review all feedback by expanding each item (see screenshot below).
  4. Read the rules as well as the examples of correct and incorrect usage.
  5. Create a discussion post outlining some of the writing issues Grammarly highlighted.
    1. Discuss what writing issues you have seen before in your writing, which ones are new, and locate one resource (post the link) that could help you address one of the writing issues.
  6. These errors are a good place to start with looking up resources to assist with grammar.
    1. Remember you can contact Ask a Coach to ask questions or to schedule assistance with these writing issues.