You’ve brainstormed, written, and rewritten an excellent paper, chosen engaging examples and written interesting body paragraphs, and then presented an excellent conclusion. But are you finished now? Certainly not! There’s still one more stage to go: proofreading your essay. Here’s how to proofread an essay using 12 helpful tips to help you improve your proofreading skills.
1. Make a copy of it.
When the material is printed rather than displayed on a screen, many people find it easier to read it properly. We understand that we all need to do our part to help the environment by reducing our printing, but when your grade is on the line, we believe you can afford some leeway. Just remember to recycle your paper once you’re finished.
2. Use spell and grammar checkers at your risk.
Spell checkers are helpful as a first step in identifying high-level problems. On the other hand, artificial spelling and grammar checkers are constrained. They may miss many basic grammatical mistakes. Furthermore, they occasionally make significant mistakes that can lead even the most meticulous writer astray. You need to keep in mind that spell checkers only detect misspellings. They don’t warn you about grammatically incorrect terms that are appropriately spelled.
3. Take some time off before proofreading.
If you want to proofread correctly, your mind and eyes must be sharp. Take a pause, have a cup of tea, and go for a walk before jumping right into proofreading. Clear your mind and prepare to focus. Then, when you’re ready, jump right in.
4. Control your attention.
If you’re reading fast, you might only be concentrating on one or two points in each line. Professional proofreaders employ the practice of reading aloud the writing they are editing. This practice encourages you to speak every word and engages your hearing receptors in the process, allowing you to hear how the material sounds as it is read. When you try to read something fast, your brain is forced to skip some parts and make automatic fill-ins.
You must force your vision to concentrate on each word separately. When you use one of these techniques to persuade your eyes to read carefully and properly, you might even be shocked at how many more mistakes you make.
5. Do a couple of proofreading sessions.
Proofreading is a time-consuming activity, but the more you concentrate on it, the more you get from it. If you try to detect and fix all mistakes in one proofreading session, you risk losing concentration and potentially missing big mistakes. It’s sometimes worth checking for both spelling and punctuation mistakes individually. This practice will make spotting errors much easier. For the various types of errors you detect, you can employ a range of proofreading methods.
6. Read it backward.
Since it encourages you to focus on each word individually, this proofreading method is great for finding spelling issues. Our minds will frequently deceive us into reading the right spelling based on the overall context of the paragraph. Because it encourages you to focus on each word individually, this proofreading method is great for finding spelling issues. Begin from the end of your text and work your way to the top until you reach the end of the essay.
You aren’t concerned with punctuation or grammar while doing this; you are solely concerned with spelling issues. Many proofreaders also advise reading documents sentence by sentence backward. This forces you to think about each sentence in contrast to the rest of the writing, which is useful for detecting grammatical issues.
7. Check for accuracy.
There’re occasions when the alternative you choose is less important than maintaining consistency throughout your essay when it comes to writing. Regularly proofreading your work will help you realize your strong and weak points. You can learn to look for frequent errors you make during the writing process if you’re aware of them. You will eventually learn to stay away from them entirely. But make sure you’re not switching between different solutions in cases like:
- When you use single or double quote marks.
- When bullets are followed by full stops.
- The difference between American English and British English words.
- Capitalization of technical terms.
- The rule for writing numbers as words or numerals is spelling out “one” through “nine” and using digits for 10 and higher.
8. Double-check everything.
The most important lesson I’ve learned about proofreading of a paper is to be extremely cautious about mistakes seeping in after editing. They appear when you do your final proofreading before submitting your work, and you notice an awkward sentence that may have been improved with rewriting. You make the update but don’t double-check it, resulting in a new error in your work. If necessary, make minor changes during the proofreading phase, but make sure to double-check the revised paragraph.
9. Divide your essay into smaller sections.
The chore of dividing the material into smaller parts becomes more manageable. Carefully read each paragraph. Then take a rest before moving on to the next one. This will keep you from becoming distracted by the task at hand, allowing you to focus fully on the portion of writing you’re proofreading.
10. Double-check the numbers.
Keep an eye out for out-of-date in-text references, such as “see Illustration 3” or “see Figure 5,” especially if you’ve been modifying the document structure and the Figure/Illustration numbers have changed. Similarly, if you ever mention the overall number of parts of an essay, double-check that the number you reference is the exact number you got after your final editing session.
11. Use of the resources available to you.
If you already wrote your essay, spelling and grammatical checkers can help you detect some errors while you proofread. Make any necessary adjustments to all green/red underlined words and sentences.
In case you don’t want to proofread or even write your essay by yourself (maybe you don’t have the right skill), just find a reputable essay writing service. Professional writing companies receive “write my essay” requests from students every day. This way, you can just pay an expert essay writer to write or proofread your paper, and it’ll save you much time and effort. Most writing services even provide reports to help students learn from their mistakes.
12. Avoid plagiarism at all costs.
You don’t want to get caught plagiarizing someone else’s work: schools usually run essay files through plagiarism detection software like Turnitin, which flags essays with a large rate of content that matches Internet sources. To avoid this issue, make an effort not just to copy content from publications unless it’s appropriately cited content. Think about using a plagiarism checker when you’re done proofreading your essay, just to be sure.
Seek expert assistance if you’re not entirely sure about your writing after adopting all of the above methods to make your essay error-free. However, make sure you do your homework on the company you select to proofread your work.
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