theessaywriter LV.2 Lurker
Aug 15, 2022, 10:40 PM 48 read

Guide for Proofreading an Editing Your Essay


We all know how challenging it might be to let your essay shine. As europeanbusinessreview discovered, there are even plenty of essay editing and proofreading services (link: This guide will show you how to proofread essays using 12 smart strategies. Don't let mistakes and carelessness ruin your essay or your grade! down!

  1. Print it   Many people, including me! It's easier to see the text on a printed page than on a screen.   While we all have to do our part to reduce printing waste to save the environment, when the grade is on the line, I believe you can let your guard down. Make sure to recycle any printed material after you are done.   2. Be in the now   You can put on your proofreading hat and try to separate yourself from the author of the essay. Take out your pen and read your work with fresh eyes. As if you were marking the essay's author, pretend that.   This psychological distance can be created by moving to another location.   If you are unable to move to another room, or if you have a lengthy essay to write, then take the writing to a new place. You will need to focus if your environment is calm and free from distractions.   You could wear a completely different hat if you really want to make this a big deal. Although it sounds absurd, it is possible for our brain to send powerful signals that we should behave or look differently.   3. Before you proofread, take a break   If you want to proofread correctly, your brain and eyes must be sharp.   Do not rush from proofreading to writing. Take a break, grab a cup of coffee, and walk around the block. Focus on your goals and get your mind clear.   Once you are ready, jump in.   4. Take control of your eyes   Your eyes make jumps when you read. These are called " saccades".   Your eyes are not focusing on every word. Instead, they will focus on one point every few words. This means that some words appear only in your peripheral vision. You might be reading fast and only focusing on one or two lines per line. This means that most of the words will only appear in your peripheral vision.   When you are proofreading text to ensure accuracy, peripheral vision is not enough. It's easy for things to be missed as your peripheral vision fills the gaps and assumes correctness.   To force your eyes to focus on each word, slow them down. You can trace each word with your finger, pen, or ruler. Only one row will be revealed at a time.   It is possible to be surprised at how many errors you make when you use these force mechanisms to teach your eyes to read slowly, systematically.   5. Take the time to know yourself   Recognize yourself and the most common mistakes you make. While I won't list all possible mistakes, here are some common ones to help you get started.   It is and it   You are and you   They are and they are there.   Effect and affect   Principle and principal   Use semicolons and commas with precision   Correct capitalization of words   Consistency in tenses within sentences (no switching between future and present)   Verbs that agree with their subjects   You might consider splitting your checking if you are unsure of the accuracy or length of the text. The first stage could be to check for spelling and grammar errors, then move on to a specific punctuation issue.   6. Look backwards   For hand-written essays, especially if there is no spell-check (e.g. in an exam), a good tip is to read the essay backwards.   Our brains often trick us into thinking that we are reading the correct spelling based upon the context of the rest. Therefore, whatever word "expecting", should appear at this point.   You can solve the problem by going backwards through each paragraph, beginning with the last word and working your way up to the first. You won't be able to misspell any words!   Free Exam Success Cheat Sheet   My Top 6 Strategies to Study Smarter & Ace Your Exams       Are you a…? Parent Student Educator   YES! Send me the secrets…   Privacy protected because life’s too short for spam. Unsubcribe anytime.   7. For consistency, check   Sometimes you need to make decisions in your writing. However, it is more important to stay consistent with your essay than making choices. You should not be changing between options regarding issues like:   When to use "single" or "double", quotation marks   After bullets, full stops. Or not   Do you use the British English spellings or US English?   Do you remember defining Any Technical Acronyms, (ATAs), exactly once before using them throughout your document?   Capitalization of Technical Vocabulary, which might or might not already be capitalised.   Policy regarding spelling numbers in words and numerals. You might spell "one" to “nine”, and use numerals for 10, and higher.   8. Check twice after every tweak   The most important thing I have learned about proofreading essays is to be extremely vigilant about any errors that may sneak in after editing.   You've probably seen it all: while you're proofreading your submissions, you notice a weak sentence that could be improved with some rewriting. You make the change and don't double-check it. This can lead to a new error in your work.   You can make minor adjustments in the proofreading phase, but ensure that you review the modified paragraph at the very least twice.   If you notice that you are making too many major edits, you can pause the proofreading phase completely to go through your essay again. After you have completed all edits, only return to proofreading.   9. Do not just look at the body text.   Many errors hide in places such as:   Footnotes/endnotes   Bibliography/reference sections   Figure labels, charts and captions   Even your titles!   Do not allow errors to slip through at any of these locations - be sure to check them individually.   10. Take a look at the numbers   Be aware of outdated in-text reference - this is where you write things like "see Figure 6", or "see Section 2" especially if you have been editing the document structure.   Similar to above, if you refer to the total number or sections of an essay, ensure that the number you quote actually represents the final number after all edits.   11. Make the most of all available tools   After you have proofread your essay, spell- and grammar check can help you catch any (but not all) errors.   Make sure to go through all the red/green underlined words or phrases and make any necessary adjustments. You may not find every error to be a mistake.   Grammarly has been a great addition to my writing arsenal. I wish I had done it many years ago. It's like a turbo-charged spelling check, helping me to catch more mistakes. Although it isn't perfect and may flag incorrect words or phrases as errors, I would rather it did so than not flagging any potential errors.   As writing is an integral part of my daily life, I am now on the pro version. However, Grammarly's free version * is a significant improvement over the default spelling and grammar check.   (*Please note: Grammarly is one product I am sufficiently passionate about to recommend to my reader and I might earn a small commission if I refer you to Grammarly services via the links above.   12. Plagiarism is a problem.   It is not a good idea to copy other people's work. Colleges and Universities often use tools such as Turnitin, which will flag essays that have too much text matching source material online.   Even if you don't mean to cheat, sometimes a late-night library moment could allow a phrase or passage of text that you had copied into your research notes to end up in your final essay. This problem can be avoided by establishing a rule that you will not copy text from articles or books unless it is a clearly identified direct quote.   You can have additional peace of mind by running your important submissions through a plagiarism-checker.   I wish you all the best with your submission.   You have worked hard and you now know how to proofread an essay like a professional: Once your essay is ready, don’t delay. Get it done, take it off of your mind and relax.   Now your essay or thesis is ready to go. Please refer to my guide to printing and binding your thesis before you submit it!   Till the next one...   See also:

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