I like to call myself a writer, but that doesn’t mean I have perfectly mastered the arts of diction, articulation or deliverance. If you’re lazy like me, after you’ve finished writing your college essays, you despise the editing process. We habitually procrastinate, then try to whip it out in an hour and hurriedly click submit. It is understandably hard to force our eyes to slow down as we read back through the work because we already know the intention of the message. We speed right past those glaringly obvious mistakes.
I am lucky enough to have my mom (an excellent writer herself) to proofread and edit practically (ok, literally) all my college essays. It can be such a grind in college, with five to ten page papers due at every corner; so it is helpful to have someone close to you edit your work. The more comfortable you are with the person, the more honest they can be. They can press you to expand more in one area, or to entirely omit something else without the fear of hurting your feelings. Being a pretty avid reader (like Belle was before the Beast) and a pretty decent writer myself, I always offer up my editing services to my vinas. If there is something that we excel in, it is only right and just to share it with others.
I’m not saying you have to be a bad writer to necessitate an editor. As I previously stated, I don’t think I’ll ever feel confident enough in my writing (rightly so) that I won’t need a friend (or my mom) to “fix” nearly everything I write… and I’m an english major!
I recently proofread my friend’s twenty-page paper on the privatization of the prison system. It was so well-written, I hardly needed to suggest any editing. Despite her distinct expertise in writing and her knowledge of the subject (far surpassing mine), it was helpful for her to have an extra set of eyes; someone to encourage her about the validity of her argument and all the effort she had already put into it. Literally everyone should have a friend who can read and refine their work before they submit it.
If you need a friend like this, start asking those friends of yours whom you are sure are capable. And if you don’t think you have one of these, download the Hey! VINA app and start looking for friends near you. I would suggest joining the bookworm community within the app to find vinas who are willing and able to read your papers.
As for those of you who are english majors, bookworms, or have a bomb blog: help your vinas edit their papers. It doesn’t take long– certainly not as long as it took them to write it– and it can be extremely helpful. Your extra set of eyes will find those uncomplicated grammatical errors that theirs were too tired to pinpoint; you may think of an anecdote that could easily be integrated into the piece and that would mesh well with their overall theme; you may determine that the whole essay would flow exceedingly better by simply rearranging the order of a couple sentences or paragraphs. These seemingly minor adjustments could be the difference between an A and a B.
If you love to read and love to help your vinas even more, start offering up your services, even if they are unsolicited. I’m sure they will appreciate the offer– in fact, they will probably be relieved to have some help.
I feel as though this is apparent, but maybe I should specify that I am not, by any means, encouraging you to charge for your assistance. Please do so out of the kindness of your heart, or in exchange for a gratifying, friendly embrace.
So… calling all writers: help your friends edit their essays!
Comment below if you’re ready to edit your vinas’ essays, or if you already do!
(Feature image via @atishapaulson)