“The secret to editing your work is simple; you need to become its reader instead of the writer.”
- Zadie Smith
Are you done writing your academic papers? All prepared to get on with the tricky job of proofreading it? Great! Now, you are quite well-versed with the fact that it is significant to proofread your papers before delivering it to your professor. And that seems like quite an easy task to you; after all, you are giving your write up one more look-over, right?
Well, my friend, you are wrong. To finish it correctly, proofreading takes a little more time and effort than a quick last read-through.
If you are also one of those who do not have a comprehensive idea of what to look for while proofreading and searching for top-notch proofreading tips, then we have some good news for you. In this blog, we will have highlighted significant aspects to look for while proofreading, effective proofreading tips and much more. This will enable you to sail through your proofreading process like a champion.
Saying “I do know proofreading includes which of the following tasks?” Checking spellings, grammar, punctuation, and capitalization. Well, sure it does. However, that’s just one tiny part of the job. Errors can be anywhere in your academic papers.
According to free online proofreading services, you need to know what to look for. Here’s an info graphic of common proofreading symbols to get you started-
Yuo don’t wnat too sumbit a paper thet’s ful of speling mishtakes, doo yoo? Thanks to the computer spellchecker, very few errors like this need to be evaluated. However, always remember minute spelling errors can severely tarnish the impression of your paper. You can easily miss those words that are spelt correctly but exactly aren’t the right word. Like ‘from’ instead of ‘form’, ‘heath’ instead of ‘health’.
One of the crucial proofreading steps is to take special care with commonly used words (such as ‘your’and ‘you’re’), words with double letters (committee, possess) and thin letters (illicit, filling). Make a note of the abbreviations. Make sure to check text styles that makes proofreading challenging (like block capitals and italics).
In the opinion of professional proofreading experts, professors won’t even go through your entire paper if it is riddled with grammatical errors. Do not rely on your grammar check software completely as it works within certain limitations. Try to follow common grammar proofreading strategies to ensure you deliver a stellar paper.
Unsure of your grammar knowledge? Brush up your grammar basics. Look for a misplaced noun like ‘shop’ or verb like ‘was’, run’, and the likes. Ensure to use the correct voice. Be consistent with tense. Check the agreement of subjects and verbs to make your papers flawless.
Paying attention to your punctuation and capitalization is crucial when it comes to proofreading your text. A look at some proofreading paper examples will help you understand this step involves more than looking for errors.
Check for consistent use of punctuation throughout the text. Focus on punctuation pairs like brackets, dashes and quotation marks. Ensure not to be confused with the ‘en’ and ‘em’ dashes. Take care of commas and semicolons. Ensure to use the right capitalizations in the right places.
Though the aforementioned aspects are only4 crucial things to look for when proofreading, the task isn’t simply about reviewing the text. It is crucial to ensure that the document design adheres to established specifications.
A quick glimpse of proofreading instructions guide will reveal it is important to check page numbering, column alignment, relative fonts, sizes, headings, subheadings, captions, footnotes, etc. Inspect each type of feature separately within categories, like looking at every head, then every caption, and so on.
English is a funny old language. Hence, it is essential to ensure that your writing is consistent throughout. Especially, it is crucial to take care of numbers, symbols or contractions in the text.
Look out for words like ‘coworkers’ and ‘co-workers’. Using either one of them is not wrong, but it is essential to choose one and stick to it. Keep in mind the difference between UK and US English.
Especially, after you have tweaked and edited your work, it becomes incredibly easy for it to start sounding disjointed or incoherent. So, once you are done with the proofreading, ensure to make your content flows logically, with easy-to-follow transitions.
Pro Tip: Make it point to read your work slowly out loud to observe any issues with how your writing sounds. You can read it out to loud someone else too. Often others tend to pick up on minute issues that seem perfect to you.
Wrapping it up,
Proofreading is the final line of defense for quality control before submission of your academic papers. Turning in impeccable and polished papers is undoubtedly a skill and a work of art. However, this blog could provide you with the much-needed proofreading tips you require. Give this blog a thorough read, implement the aforementioned tips, and give yourself the best opportunity to deliver a stellar paper like never before. Here’s wishing all the luck!
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