Proofreading Tips For Writing Academic Term Papers

Writing an academic term paper might seem enough work in itself, but don’t go handing in your first draft just yet. Your teacher might have told you about the importance of editing and proofreading your paper, but even if she didn’t, keep reading to find out more. Proofreading or editing is often seen as optional among students, when it’s actually very important to getting a good mark on an assignment. This is especially true with something as big as a term paper, usually worth a lot of your overall grade. You need to be sure that you have some time left, even a day or a few hours, to do some editing and proofreading.

Easy Ways to Edit and Proofread

To edit means that you reorder words, sentences, or change entire paragraphs for clarity, interest, and subtlety. Proofreading on the other hand, is simply checking for spelling and grammar errors. If you’re short on time, then at least do some proofreading, and forego the editing. Even though you might be sick of your paper at this point, doing the editing will help you become a better writer. This will make future essays will be easier for you. It’s good to not just get this one over with, but also to hone your skills for other assignments at the same time. Students who are good at writing have had a lot of practice, and it’s not hard to improve if you dedicate some time to it. Here are some tips you can use for both editing and proofreading your paper:


  • Read your paper through once and correct anything that jumps out at you
  • Take a few minutes to think about each paragraph and if it makes sense, then change things if it needs some more help to get your message across
  • Double check all your sources, quotes and references
  • Get a friend to read your paper and ask them if it sounds good, if it’s interesting, and how you might be able to make it better


  • Use the included spellchecker in your document writing software, such as Microsoft Word, and make all the suggested changes
  • You can also find online spelling checkers that tell you about finer points of grammar, how to avoid passive voice, and other writing techniques
  • Have the same or a different friend read just for spelling, grammar, and typos