Main Things in Proofreading
Everyone makes mistakes, but what matters is how you correct them. Proofreading is an easy way to spot silly mistakes you may have made and save yourself the embarrassment of someone else pointing them out. Here are things to look at during proofreading.
Proofread only at the end
It is generally a good idea to only proofread after you are done with the entire essay or article, or whatever it is you are writing. If you start proofreading before you have completed your work, you will have to do it once again after you complete your work.
So, it is a better idea to check your work for mistakes you may have made at the end. Also, this technique will save you time, as you will not have to read and then re-read your essay again.
Take a break
It is always a good idea to take a small break and distract yourself from what you are thinking about the essay before you proofread it. This is because when the content is fresh in your mind, you will not be looking at it from a different angle but rather just the same one. This will not allow you to spot mistakes in the way you have written.
Perhaps you will be able to take out and fix spelling or grammatical errors. However, if you start proofreading your work with a fresh mind, you will be able to structure certain sentences that need to be fixed in a better and perhaps more precise way. You will also be able to tell what is missing and what is extra in your work.
Don’t rush through
The entire essence of proofreading an essay is to read it with full attention and make sense of what you are reading so that you can see if it is any better if you change the way it reads currently.
Take your time and read through your writing, and make sure all the sentences are grammatically correct and phrased in the best way possible. Also, try to separate sentences from the entirety of the essay. Read a sentence for what it is, and read it as if it is an individual sentence, not bound to the rest of the essay.
This will help your brain concentrate on what the sentence itself is saying rather than what the essay at large is saying. This will benefit you in your aim to proofread and take out any mistakes.
Read it out loud
Reading an essay out loud can do you wonders in the proofreading department. It is actually easier to miss out on words that need to be fixed and general sentence structure errors. If you read it out loud, you may realize a sentence you wrote does not make sense or could be written and phrased in a better way.
Read it to someone else
Another great trick while proofreading is to read your work out to someone else. Perhaps you may think you have structured a sentence correctly, but it may not actually be that way. Getting help from someone else may help you get a second perspective on things, and it is always good to have someone else’s input too.
Reading backward is an old trick of the trade. It may seem like a lot of work, and actually feel like it too the first time you do it. However, it is an easy thing to get accustomed to.
Once you get it done, you will feel a lot more accomplished and will have been able to spot mistakes in your sentences a lot quicker than normal.
Also, this technique of proofreading is actually quite efficient and helps you take out more mistakes than normal. Start from the bottom of the essay and read it backward, sentence by sentence, till you reach the top.
Use software to help you edit
Using software to help you proofread is always a good idea. This is because humans make mistakes, but the software is designed not to. If you want 100% accuracy in your work, it is best to use software designed to proofread.
Also, after writing a long essay or article, it is normal to feel tired, even if you take a break before proofreading your work. Suppose you do not want to risk slipping up and leaving it to chance; download software to help you check your work.
There are options for websites available on the internet that proofread your work and do not require you to download software for it. If you are iffy about downloading something onto your computer, perhaps consider going down this route.
There are also many proofreading services in Canada. All you have to do is submit your essay to them, and they will take care of the rest!
Check and then double-check your punctuation
It is paramount that when you submit an essay, the punctuation should always be correct, every single time. This is because some words are so tricky that if you don’t punctuate correctly, they will change in meaning and change the meaning of the rest of the sentence too.
This way, you will not even be able to get your point across to the reader. An example of this is ‘your’ and ‘you’re.’ There is a difference in the placement of the comma, as well as thee. ‘Your’ would imply you are talking about ownership, while ‘you’re’ would mean ‘you are. The two are not interchangeable and have differing meanings.
Another thing to pay extra attention to is ‘their’ and ‘they’re.’ The two words have different meanings and also cannot be used in place of the other. All this will do is confuse the reader. If this is an essay or article you are submitting to a professor, it may even end up leaving a bad impression on the professor, as they will think you do not know how to use basic grammar.
Another thing you must pay attention to is numerical values. This includes decimals and other symbols too. You may have put a Euro sign instead of a Dollar sign, which would change the value of a product completely. The same goes for decimal points and numbers.
People often do not pay attention to how important it is to proofread. It may be the only difference between getting an A grade and a B grade, so make sure you do your due diligence before you submit an essay!