You have written a strong introductory paragraph and revised a good thesis, given compelling examples and written exciting body paragraphs and came up with an excellent conclusion that will definitely be going to convince and attract your reader. So do you think are you done with your writing? Not at all. There is one more vital step to go and that’s proofread your writing. Yes, proofreading is the last and must step in revising your writing. Don’t skip this step! Remember a single mistake can sometimes ruin the whole hard work of entire writing. If you don’t know how to proofread your paper, read the following 5 tips to help you proofread your writing like a pro.
What is Proofreading?
Proofreading is the last step in revising your writing, where you check your typos, grammar, punctuation marks, spelling and missing words within your essay. Despite writing a phenomenal essay and being pro in writing, the final step is a must to go for because being a human we all commit mistakes.
Why Proofreading is Important?
Proofreading is the most important step in writing. Despite writing a good essay, if you have a single silly mistake in your writing, this will definitely ruin your whole hard work. If you don’t proofread your written work, though you definitely have mistakes in your writing, it means that you are a careless writer.
A lot of students skip the proofreading step when writing their papers, they don’t know that a single mistake like misspell or punctuation mark can change the meaning of an entire sentence. As an illustration:
- Let’s eat Grandma!
- Let’s eat, Grandma!
There is only a comma added to the second sentence which changes the meaning of the entire sentence. “Let’s eat Grandma” you offer to eat your grandma. “Let’s eat, Grandma” you call you Grandma to eat with you. Remember by skipping the proofreading step, you are taking the risk to let silly mistakes slip through which can put a big impact on your marks, hence, follow these 5 tips to help you proofread your writing like a pro and show you are a good writer.
5 Tips to Help You Proofread Your Writing Like a Pro
1. Have a Human Read Your Paper
Whether you do it early after completing your writing or do it later, have a human proofread your written work. What human proofreaders could you get? You could get a tutor or essay consultant or you could get somebody at your school that could be a teacher, it could be a school counselor or it could be a librarian. Moreover, mom and dad, older brother or sister can be good people to turn to or friends whom you have that are already in college. Find a best friend who went to the best college you know him or her and see if they will agree to just look over your paper. Anybody like that you can just get to proofread it for you that’s awesome and super great.
2. Use a Digital Automated Proofreading Tool
Suppose you don’t have much time until the deadline and you could not reach anyone to proofread your writing, in this situation the best option is using a digital automated proofreading tool. There are several tools like this on the internet, but some of which I have used and worked with are:
- Editor Typely
- Proofreading Tool
- Slick Write
- Proofread Bot
You can cut and paste your written work to see for errors. Also, some of them have a Chrome extension that you can get on to you Google Chrome and if you have something in Google Docs it will automatically give you grammar advice and also proofread it.
Remember these are just tools and they are not going to catch everything, so just be aware that this isn’t perfect. You can just get help from these tools when you are not in an English speaking country and you don’t have anything else to turn to, in this situation these tools can help you a lot.
You can also use these digital tools as an intermediate step especially if you speak English as a second language then these tools can be really helpful. Most of them are free, in some form there might be a paid version on some of them, but if you do it online it’s free. If you have a lot of typos in your writing, it’s good to check your typos by using these tools before giving it to anyone to proofread it for you.
3. Proofread Activities And Short Essays
Do not neglect to proofread your activity section and short essays. The biggest mistake that students make is when they turn in their college applications, they have all of their essays beautifully and wonderfully proofread and perfect, but they don’t let anybody else set eyes on their activities section.
This is particularly important to explain what it is that you are doing to someone as if they are from an audience that has no idea what your activities are about and make sure that everything is clear. Suppose if you have sort of culturally unique things that you do and that is super awesome and that’s great we love it, so you have to explain it to me so that I understand what you are talking about.
4. Do a Final Proofread Yourself
Remember you should always do a final proofread to yourself because this is your paper. Even if you get somebody else eyes on it, you should never leave the final proofread to somebody else. You trust yourself than somebody else but that doesn’t mean that you aren’t handicapped in someone and you are.
Recommendations: Print your file out and make sure to read it on paper loud not on a screen and go through it with a red pen and make sure everything is clear. There are a few things that you have to double-check like, verb tenses and subject-verb agreement. You can use digital automated proofread to rectify mistakes like these.
Moreover, check word frequency if you are using a word over and over again, a lot of times when you read it aloud to yourself, you are going to find words or sentences that you have used many times, try to mix them up or omit them if not necessary.
Text to Voice: You can also cut and paste your writing into a text to voice app and play it and listen to it. Sometimes when you forget a word into a sentence, when listening to your writing, you will remember to add that words you wanted to. This method will not catch punctuation also it will not catch homophone or spelling errors, so you can’t completely rely on it but it is a good tool in this kind of final proofread.
5. Make a Self-evaluation Sheet
When you print out your written work for proofreading, take a red pen and read the paper thoroughly and point out the mistakes on the paper. When you pointed out your mistakes make a self-evaluation sheet and write those mistakes on the sheet and rectify them yourself. Doing so will make you learn from your mistakes and help you won’t commit those mistakes again and again.
Once you get everything done and you are sure everything is clear and you are pretty sure and confident about your writing then this is time to submit your written work. This is recommended to proofread any kind of writing like email, letter, essay, precis, composition and many more because regretting after submitting doesn’t solve the errors.