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Proofreading Correctly: The First Steps

Man Looking in Mirror

The majority of students only have time to quickly write an essay and send it before the midnight deadline. They will overlook proofreading as something unessential. Sadly, writing an excellent piece without a single misspelling or grammatical error is practically impossible. Your professor will raise an eyebrow if your genius analysis of Shakespearian language confuses basic things like “it’s” and “its”, so it is always recommended for students to spare some time to proofread.

While Composing

Not only students, but also professional writers – while composing – make the mistake of returning to the written text and improving every word or sentence structure they deem necessary at the moment. Wait until you have all your ideas out on the paper before diving into the muddy waters of proofreading. Otherwise, you will rob yourself of the precious time you need to actually write your paper. Of course, writing correctly from the beginning is a big bonus, but do not mull over every comma and apostrophe if you are in a hurry to share your thoughts.

After Writing

Like good wine, your essay needs to be left alone for some time. Clear your head, get a drink or walk your dog before returning to your desk. It doesn’t matter if you leave your essay for fifteen minutes or a week, because when you see your work again you will look at it with the eyes of a stranger and all the errors will be visible.

Out Loud

One technique of proofreading is to read your essay aloud. Proceed slowly and carefully, as if you were reading it out to your 92-year old grandma. When you hear your own voice, you will detect the mistakes in record time.

Grandma Knitting

Cover the Next Line with Paper

We are all busy people with no time to spare, and that is why sometimes our eyes can skip a few lines or rush to the end of the paragraph. If you suffer from such a phenomenon, take a piece of paper and cover the next line with it. This will help you concentrate on each word carefully and notice the mistakes.

Use Computer to Detect Mistakes

Your computer might be a genius with an excellent spellchecker installed, but there are details that the cold heart of a robot will never understand. Homonyms, writing style and word order are just a few examples. If you confuse “your” and “you’re” often, you can type them in the find option of your paper and see for yourself if you have confused them this time too.

Concentrate on Each Type of Mistake

If you tend to make many mistakes, or if your life depends on this paper, you can always check your mistakes in groups. You can use different methods. For example you can at first look for spelling and grammar mistakes, then concentrate on structure and finally read again to check for stylistic cohesion and word choice. If nothing works and you are still unsure, you can always look for help of professionals and assign this paper to be written by our team!

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