Best proofreading tips to improve your academic writing
This article gives you a couple of simple proofreading tips to improve your academic writing, i.e. your dissertation, thesis, or college essays. First, you should know that proofreading is a task that is different from editing . Although they share some of the same skills, these tasks are not considered synonymous with each other. The verification benefits of a reliable editing process exceed the framework of the traditional definition of proofreading. Because, on the one hand, proofreading is not creative; neither is it intended to be. It is only about checking punctuation, spelling, missing details, and so on.
The text is already created and set, and proofreading comes along to catch any superficial errors that may have been overlooked. On the other hand, editing involves the process of substituting vocabulary, synonyms, homonyms, antonyms, whole texts, recasting sentences, paraphrasing, and in the end, sometimes a new text is created without even changing the originally intended idea of the author! That is the art of editing. The editor’s purpose is creative. With proofreading, this is not achievable. In short, proofreading is not intended to be creative at al.
Proofreading Tips FAQs
How can I improve my proofreading skills?
Practice! Print out your own work using double space and in the Courier or Courier Prime font. Read your work aloud, in quiet room, away from colleagues and other distractions. Mark up errors with a red pen. Use dedicated proofing software to find and fix errors that a typical spellchecker misses. Hire a proofreader for longer pieces of work. It’s also a good idea to keep track of your common mistakes and issues.
How can I proofread a document quickly?
Use dedicated software. Copy your writing or draft and paste it into a dedicated proofreading tool like Grammarly. Firstly, the font and spacing will change so you can visually identify errors more easily. Secondly, these tools will scan your document for errors and suggest potential fixes. Check your document two or three times for spelling, grammar and punctuation errors.
How can I get proofreading online?
You can get proofreading online by using popular software like Grammarly or ProWritingAid. Both of these tools work in the browser and offer a free trial to test. All you need is something to check and an internet connection.
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Nicole Harms has been writing professionally since 2006. She specializes in education content and real estate writing but enjoys a wide gamut of topics. Her goal is to connect with the reader in an engaging, but informative way. Her work has been featured on USA Today, and she ghostwrites for many high-profile companies. As a former teacher, she is passionate about both research and grammar, giving her clients the quality they demand in today’s online marketing world.
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Headings, Titles, and Lists
A lot of people forget to go over and proofread their headings, titles, and lists. Make sure you proofread everything. For some, it helps to make these one of the proofreading stages, to ensure they are not forgotten. Headings and titles are easy to forget, but if there is an error, it will be completely obvious to people reading it. Don’t forget to double check any lists in your post and ensure the numbers are in the correct order, and that there are no missing numbers.
Sometimes when you’re in the proofreading stage, you realize that you need to add a sentence or two for clarity. When doing this it’s important that you go back and reread the paragraph to make sure everything fits. It’s common for writers to add information and then forget to go back and adjust other related words in the paragraph. Make sure you edit those additional sentences you add in at the proofreading stage.
Don’t Forget Your Formatting
Do your formatting at the end, but just be sure you don’t forget it. Go over and make sure your paragraph spacing, bullets, lists, text wrap, indentations, and so on are all formatted correctly. You’ll want to leave this step for the end, because things can shift around during the proofreading process. Keep your formatting consistent. If you make a headline bold once, keep doing that throughout your article. Pick a style you like and stick to it.
Proofreading doesn’t have to be difficult. If you give yourself ample time and use a few strategies, your blog posts will be professional. Find out what your weaknesses are, and focus on those areas specifically. Take a break once you’ve finished writing before you begin to proofread. Watch out for contractions, formatting, and prepositions.
Learn how to slow down and read each word individually. If that means pointing with your index finger, or reading it all backward, then that’s fine. Don’t let a subpar proofreading process undermine what could have been a great blog post. Get into the habit of leaving ample time to polish your blog post before submission. Figure out what works for you, and be prepared to invest some time into your proofreading process.