A comprehensive tutorial on essay proofreading for beginners

Proofreading is the final step in finishing your essay which you generally embark on after editing and taking care of the broader aspects like readability and adherence to the principle statement. Often proofreading is omitted as you rely on the inbuilt spell check of the word processing software. It is also due of the fact that many students are unaware of the importance of proofreading and don’t have time to proofread as they finish their assignment at the last minute.

Proofreading is important as it corrects all the numerous small mistakes and disparities in your article which the reader finds highly irritable. In the process proofreading adds to the presentation and readability of the article. Listed here are some points to help you ensure a proper proofreading of your article.

  • Read your writing
  • Read your article. Read it slowly, word per word and aloud. This exercise makes you not only speak every word but also hear the words, and note any discrepancy. If you can’t do it then try to get someone read it for you.

  • Mark all the punctuation
  • This will make you look at each one of the punctuation separately. Read the sentence before and after the punctuation and try to find if the punctuation placement is justified. Comma splices can be corrected this way.

  • Read the paper backwards
  • When you read the paper backwards, one word after another, you are concentrating only on the words you are reading. This allows better checking for your spelling. Reading sentences backward takes care of another common sentence error of fragments.

  • Don’t proofread immediately
  • Let some time go by between proofreading and editing the text, at least till the point when what you have written or corrected has started to fade off. If you start the proofreading process immediately after you have finished writing or editing, the familiarity of the text and content makes you skip errors.

  • Change the medium
  • If you have been writing on a computer then try to take a print out of the article and proofread – you might find unexpected errors.

  • Convert the entire text into sentences
  • Reading the entire text as separate sentences one after the other allows you to read each sentence separately. Check for grammar, punctuation or spelling mistakes. Be careful of mixing active and passive voice and use of expletives in a sentence.

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