How to do effective proofreading and editing of your college essay?

thesis writing

Proofreading a paper can be a time-consuming and complicated task for some people. This is primarily due to the fact that many people don't know how to correctly proofread a paper. No matter what the document is about, following proofreading tips will help us.

There really is no substitute for thorough proofreading, and one should never treat this part of the writing process lightly. Many people say that they don't actually know how to proofread properly. For this reason, there is a compiled list of tips that may help if we wish to check our own work for spelling and grammatical errors.

The tips below form the basis of individual’s own formula for effective academic proofreading.

  • If possible, allow some time between completing the work and then proofreading it - ideally overnight. In this way, we'll be fresher when we proofread and more likely to spot mistakes.
  • If it is feasible, print the work to proofread it. It is often easier to see mistakes on paper, away from the start of the computer screen.
  • Use an easy-to-read font for your work, such as Times New Roman or Arial, and a large font size (14 point minimum) to make it easier for your eye to spot mistakes.
  • Make a list of things to check as you proofread and tick them off as you go. For example headings, page numbers, paragraph indents, sentence spacing and the style of certain words.
  • Break the proofreading down. I usually run through a text quickly several times before a close read. The first time I may look purely at heading styles, the next time at the layout, and so on.
  • Read slowly. Laborious as you may find proofreading, fast skim reading is fairly useless for spotting errors.
  • Use a ruler or a piece of paper under the line you are reading to isolate it. This stops the eye becoming daunted by the text and skim reading.
  • If in doubt, use a dictionary to check your spelling.
  • Above all, be consistent - inconsistency bothers readers and is distracting. So, if you've decided to go with 'proofreading' on page one, don't write 'proof-reading' or 'proofreading' on page two.
  • Once you've proofread your work, ask a friend or colleague (or professional) to look it over as well. You may be surprised to find what you've missed - the human eye is prone to blind spots.
  • If we are working with a long write-up break up the task. Conclude how long we can read before the concentration diminishes. One of two factors contribute to an incline in concentration, either the writing is weak or we are tired. So one should take a break and start again later to ensure they are reading the entire piece when they are alert and focused.

Thus, proofreading should not be forgotten. By simply using a spell check, reading the piece out loud or backwards, or even getting a second person to look at it can make all the difference. However, proofreading your own work, especially if it is a lengthy piece such as a novel, is not advisable. Often a writer is so familiar with his or her own work, that they cannot see the errors or inconsistencies, which a completely fresh pair of eyes will pick up on. This is why it is best to get the help of proofreading service UK to proofread and edit your work.