Do you know how to proofread your essay? If not, here is a quick guide to proofreading for rookies.
Proofreading is the best way to assure a high-quality and well-structured written output. It allows you to correct mistakes before submitting a paper and guarantee good marks. Even professionals proofread their work, and some also hire professional editors. However, some beginners and modern writers take this for granted.
What is Proofreading?
Proofreading is the process of carefully checking for errors in a written output such as academic papers, stories, and web content. It is the last phase in the writing process before publishing the text on printed materials or online. Hence, proofreading fixes grammar errors, misspelled words, punctuation mistakes, syntax issues, and typos to ensure good quality output.
Is Proofreading and Editing the Same?
Proofreading and editing are different. These are two separate steps in writing and revising process of a text. The function of proofreading is to spot minor technical mistakes on the written output.
Editing, on the other hand, is a process that involves significant changes to the text. In this stage, editors correct the syntax, structure, and language of the output. In a nutshell, proofreading centers on minor corrections, whereas editing is for inconsistencies.
Basic Proofreading Tips
Every writer must have at least basic proofreading skills. In this way, you can immediately correct mistakes without asking for help from professionals. Although there is a free Run on sentence checker, sentence fragment checker, and spell checkers online. Having this skill comes in handy on all occasions.
Here are some pointers for effective proofreading.
#1 Get Distance
If you have just finished writing, don’t proceed to proofread right away. It is harder to spot mistakes when proofreading immediately after writing since the text is still familiar. Get some distance from your text for a few hours. Do other activities to freshen up your mind, such as listening to music, running, or take a stroll in the park.
After doing so, go back to your paper. Notice that it is easier to look for mistakes after taking a break.
#2 Proofread From the Bottom
This technique works well. You might find it weird and awkward at first, but once you get used to it, you’ll notice that it is quicker to look for mistakes in this manner.
Backward proofreading helps check your paper with fresh eyes. You can do this without taking a break after writing. Hence, this technique is the best option when you are in a rush to proofread your output.
#3 Change the Look of Your Output
Altering the document’s spacing, font size, style, and color works well in spotting errors. The idea is to trick your brain from seeing an unfamiliar document. Since it looks ‘fresh’ to the eyes and somewhat unfamiliar, it gives you another perspective on the document.
#4 Verify Spellings
Use a dictionary when you need it. Also, make sure to verify the spellings of names, titles, and unfamiliar words. Likewise, verify the days, dates, and times of events written on your paper.
#5 Ask Someone to Proofread
If you are in a hurry to submit your output, you can ask someone to proofread your document. Make sure to ask for help from a reliable person or a professional editor. Also, there are online sources that offer proofreading and editing services. You can check them out.