While essays and term papers are the most frequent written assignments in college, most students fail to complete them in a proper way. Imprudent errors spoil the first impression and perception of a paper in general. Even if your research is a piece of art and it makes a difference in a problem discussed, you still need to be very careful setting forth some information to a reader. The article uncovers the importance of proofreading and explains some of the most functional editing techniques.

Valid Points to Pay Attention to While Editing

  • Read your draft aloud and to yourself at different stages of your research. Apply this technique to the final version of your paper as well.
  • Flick through your piece of writing in reversed direction to notice some fallacies in spelling.
  • Browse a written piece bottom-up to concentrate on typology.
  • Examine your writing with a grammar or spell checker, but do not perceive a result you’ll get as a final and ideal one.
  • Ask somebody to read your essay and look for some inaccuracies. You may also read a document one by one to make the process more fruitful. Additionally, you’ll have the chance to evaluate the way your writing sounds, if it is coherent and logically structured.
  • Do not hurry up to complete the proofreading process faster.
  • Not to lose focus, make a change and use a sheet of paper as a screen for the rest of the paper.
  • Check each word separately.
  • Don’t try to fulfill all the tasks at one time. Have a look at an article each time searching for one type of mistake, for example, spelling and then font size, spaces, consistency, etc.
  • Make a list of mistakes you are going to look for in your writing. Keep it on track and you’ll avoid the possibility to mix it up.
  • When editing, you should use the advantage of "track changes" function suggested by Word. It makes possible to comment on the changes you make and keep it all well-organized and clear.
  • Try proofreading of a printed piece.
  • While checking data in tables, you should not read them across but pay attention to the columns. The way, in which the information is structured in columns, makes it easier to perceive a text and find some errors.
  • Flags are a nice tool to mark up some areas which need a more careful review, or some rows you are not sure about and would like to revise one more time during a final proof. However, do not forget to remove all flags from the resulting paper.
  • The section you should start with is the main body of writing.
  • Indeed, quite often titles include mistakes so revise whether they are related to the unit of information and sound in appropriate way. 
  • Formatting is a vital thing, which you need to check twice.
  • Be careful with abbreviation and proper names usage.
  • Pay attention to small words, like pronouns, prepositions and articles.
  • One of the last steps is page numbers revision.

Proofreading Content

  1. Think of a target audience and the needs of those people. Transform these needs into a couple of questions and examine whether your writing answers them from top to bottom.
  2. Make an attempt to identify the sentences, which cover these questions, in order to monitor whether your topic is represented in a logical sequence of argumentation.
  3. Keep your mind on simple and obvious things, as calculations, because sometimes in such a load of work you can subconsciously make some absurd slips or misprints.
  4. You’ll definitely use some prodigious scientific words, at least in a theoretical section so look up for their definitions on the Internet.
  5. Do not omit any steps from the to-do list in the editing process as far as thoroughness and carefulness play a huge role in completing it successfully.
  6. Examine the propriety of charts, pictographs and illustrations.

To sum up, proofreading strategies do not seem to be that sophisticated and tedious if you seriously take them and fulfill each item from the list. Be rigorous and decisive to detect all grammar and spelling fallacies. By the way, you should care about the proper environment for yourself to be productive. Many reasons matter, for instance, start editing in the morning, do not use fluorescent lighting, etc. We hope this article will help with proofreading and will bring you the wanted results.