Three Essay Proofreading Techniques Every Student Ought To Know
Do not underestimate the importance of proofreading! If you have written what you consider to be an essay of the highest caliber, the last thing you want to do is overlook mistakes because you can't be bothered to give it a good proofing!
Perhaps you just don't quite know how to go about the proofreading. Well, worry no more, for there is always assistance at hand. Here are three great techniques to help you on your way:
Always check spelling and grammar
You can't afford to overlook spelling and grammar. Don't be afraid to use your computer program's tools to check that every word and sentence is correct - but at the same time, don't rely only on your program to do the work. If you've accidentally written 'it' instead of 'is', the program could easily overlook such things- and one mistake could actually change the whole meaning of a sentence. This is why it's so important to scrutinize every word and paragraph for yourself. Simply pay attention and you won't go wrong.
You should look only for grammar and spelling errors at this stage, because you don't want to be distracted by other proofreading concerns (as much as you can change other things as you go if you happen to spot those errors).
Other things to take note of.
Other common errors include getting notations and citations wrong or mixed up, not including appropriate page numbers/headings/footers, repeating a sentence or word, using the wrong line spacing etc.
You should make a list of all these areas before you begin proofreading so that you know exactly what you're looking for. You should already have the guidelines for your particular essay, so make sure you stick to them.
Always double check.
Perhaps the most important part of proofing is to double check that the work flows and engages as much as it possibly can. You will, of course, have already gone through your editing stage and arrived at your final draft, but once you know that everything else is in place, it certainly won't hurt to check for things like: should you have used a synonym in place of that word? Is that an unnecessary sentence? Is that paragraph too descriptive? Have you explained yourself as succinctly as you meant to in that sentence?
The more of an eye for detail you have, the more of a winning essay you'll have on your hands as your techniques will improve.