Proofreading Your Academic Essays Properly
Proofreading of your academic essay is the last but very essential thing you should do before submitting or printing your writing. No matter what you write you should edit and proofread it, especially when it goes about academic writing. Even if you write your essay carefully for quite a long time you are sure to make some mistakes.
There isn't a unique technique for proofreading a piece of writing, because it is rather difficult to express your thoughts in words and sometimes readers can't understand what you really wanted to say. But following these steps you will learn how to proofread your academic essays properly.
Tips to proofread your essay properly:
- Set your writing aside for a short period of time. Have a rest. Go for a walk, watch TV or read something else. No matter what you do you should leave your essay lying on the table at least for an hour or so. This step gives you an opportunity to see what you have really written and how it differs from what you intended to write.
- Make a paper copy of your essay. It will be easier for you to read and correct it.
- Choose a place where it is quiet and no one can prevent you from reading it.
- Take something to make notes, for example a pen or a pencil. Then read aloud the essay several times. Each time concentrate on a certain type of mistakes. For example, when you read it for the first time pay attention to grammar, then to word choice and spelling, then to stylistics and punctuation, etc. If you have found some mistakes, correct them directly on the paper.
- Consult a dictionary if you are not sure how the word is spelled. You can also use a spellchecker. It will fasten the process of proofreading. But you should keep in mind that it tells you only if the word is written correctly and not if it is used correctly. For example, you can write cereal or serial. In both cases the spellchecker will show that everything is all right. But, in fact these are quite different words that have nothing in common.
- Put aside the essay once more. Better for a day or two. Then look it through again. Correct the mistakes if you have found some.
- Let someone else read your essay. If there are mistakes, the new reader will immediately spot them.