Proofreading is the process of looking for flaws in your assignments before submitting them. Errors can be grammatical or typographical, but they can also include identifying problems with your paper’s narrative flow [i.e., the logical sequence of thoughts and ideas], problems with concise writing [i.e., wordiness], and identifying any word processing errors [e.g., different font types, indented paragraphs, line spacing, uneven margins, and so on] (Kim, 2018).
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Proofreading is usually the last step before submitting your academic document. It is significant because most professors score papers based not just on how well you addressed the research topic and the general organization of the study, but also on the quality of your paper’s grammar, punctuation, formatting, and narrative flow. The assigning of research papers is not only an exercise in building solid research and critical thinking skills, but it is also designed to help you become a better writer.
Guidelines Before You Proofread
Revise the main points of the content
If you still need to work on the overall focus, development, and organization of the paper, or if you need to re-arrange or change certain portions, don’t proofread for the purpose of making corrections at the sentence and word level [the act of editing].
Set your academic document aside between writing and proofreading
Give yourself a day or two between writing and proofreading your document. This will make it easier for you to spot errors. This is also a reason why you should not wait until the last minute to write your paper because you will not have enough time to step away before proofreading.
Before looking for flaws, remove any unnecessary words
Throughout your paper, avoid using inflated diction if a more concise phrase works equally well. Simple, clear language is easier to proofread than sentence construction and words that are extremely complex. Identify and replace empty or repetitive sentences at the same time.
Understand what to look for
Make a mental note of the errors you should look out for based on comments from your professor on the previous draft of the work or feedback from other classes. This will make it easier for you to identify repeating patterns of errors.
Check your reference list
Examine the sources mentioned in your paper and ensure that they are properly listed in your bibliography. Make sure that the titles cited in your bibliography are mentioned in the text as well. Before you start proofreading your document, you should correct any inaccuracies.
Tips for Proofreading
Proofread at a specific time of day
Try to proofread at a specified time of day (or night!) when you are more alert to spotting mistakes. Try proofreading in the morning if you are a morning person. If you are a night owl, consider proofreading at this time.
Print a hard copy of the document
Reviewing the document in a different format and being able to manually circle and highlight errors can help you take the reader’s perspective, identifying flaws that you might ordinarily overlook. A hard copy also gives you a different visual format (apart from your computer screen) to see the words anew.
Do not rely exclusively on grammar and spelling checkers
Although useful, programs such as Word’s spell-checker and Grammarly can misidentify or miss errors. Grammar checkers provide useful ideas and recommendations, but they are only useful if you know how to use the input they provide.
Similarly, MS Word’s spell checker may overlook words that are spelled correctly but used incorrectly (for example, distinguishing between their, they’re, and there). Furthermore, a spell checker may incorrectly mark a correct term simply because it is not in the spell checker’s vocabulary. To enhance these tools, use dictionaries and other grammatical resources to check your work.
Read your content slowly and aloud
When you read a text loudly, you can catch mistakes that you might miss when reading silently. This technique is particularly good for detecting run-on sentences and other forms of incorrect sentences. If possible, read in front of an audience. Request that a friend or family member listen to your work and provide feedback on comprehension, structure, and flow (professionalessayservice, 2019).
Look for common mistakes
If you can pick one type of error that you struggle with (maybe one that a professor has commented on in your previous work), read through the document, and look for these types of faults specifically. You can also learn from your blunders by understanding the problem concept so that it does not appear in upcoming drafts.
Proofread for one type of error at a time
You can proofread by focusing on one error at a time, which is like the previous strategy of checking for familiar errors. For example, if commas are your most common issue, go through the paper verifying only that one problem. Then proofread again for the next most common issue.
Ask someone else to look over your document
After you’ve completed making corrections, have someone else look over the document for flaws. A fresh pair of eyes and a mind apart from the writing can spot errors that you may have missed.
Proofreading is more than just looking for mistakes
Remember that proofreading is about more than simply catching errors. You want to smooth out your sentences and make them interesting and clear. Extremely long sentences should be avoided because they may be less understandable than shorter, more straightforward sentences. Pay attention to your writing’s flow; use sentences of varying lengths and patterns. Examine the content for unnecessary phrases, repetition, and awkward spots.
Proofreading is required for any document, whether it is an academic paper, a job application, an online post, or a printable flyer. You can proofread the writing yourself or hire a professional just like when you hire an academic writer for your complex subject i.e., Heallth Care Dissertation help, it is not easy to write proficiently. It depends totally on your skills.
PES, 2019. 7 Tips To Help You Proofread Your Essay Like A Pro. Online available at https://www.professionalessayservice.co.uk/7-tips-to-help-you-proofread-your-essay-like-a-pro/ [Accessed date: 1-Aug-19]
Kim, J., 2018. Same bed, different dreams: The mismatched expectations about proofreading in the writing center. International Journal of Research, 7(4), pp.89-103.