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How to proofread my paper: basic rules

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Proofreading is a careful verification of the written text in order to find and delete any kind of mistakes in punctuation, grammar, structure, style and spelling. Our editors from GetEssayEditor.com have already shared several advices on essay proofreading and resume proofreading. Here are some tips from paper proofreading service:

  1. What to do before proofreading
  2. What to pay attention to when proofreading papers
  3. What to do when you want to learn more about paper proofreader
     

What to do before proofreading

Before you start proofreading your paper make sure that you have completed revision of the general aspects of your text. Before you start making corrections on a sentence level, make sure that your content, structure, organization are coherent and correspond to the headings and paragraphs.

In order to achieve concentration and better results, put away your text for at least 15 minutes or a few days. The time interval between writing process and proofreading must be at least a few days. Thus, you will be able to detect your own mistakes easier.

When revising your paper before proofreading you should remove irrelevant excerpts of the text to make your writing more understandable, clear and concise. Avoid indirect sentences and replace them with direct ones.

Learn from your previous mistakes. Find your past papers or instructors comments and write down your most common mistakes to know what should be avoided.

What to pay attention to when proofreading papers

-Do not proofread papers on a computer screen. It is better to print out a draft version of your document and work on it. (The exception is using Microsoft Word Spellcheck while writing the paper. It can help you to find some kind of mistakes).  

-Read your document out loud. Do not neglect this advice and read your text to someone.  It will help you to detect run-on sentences and other issues, which could be unnoticeable when we read the text silently.

-Take a blank piece of paper and cover the lines below the text you are reading .This will help you not to hurry up while reading. Thus, you can avoid skipping lines with possible mistakes.

-You can also search for the most common mistakes using Search Function (Ctrl+F) on your computer. Search for the most widespread mistakes (you can read about the most common mistakes in our blog).

If you are an international student and always make many mistakes, check each kind of mistake separately. Move from the most widespread or from the most important ones. This technique should be identified by you. You may read your sentences twice or 4 times, it does not matter. The main goal is to detect the slightest errors in grammar, spelling, sentence structure and punctuation.

Some students prefer to use online spellcheck software to verify the spelling. Having years of experience in the field of academic proofreading, our editors came to the conclusion that automatic spell check programs make multiple mistakes and avoid  a lot of issues that must be corrected. While a human being can easily detect those problems at a first glance. For example, automatic tool will never detect a mistake with homonyms (for example, “there, their, they’re”) or particular typos (for example, typo “he” instead of “the”).

-Read your document backwards. This technique is widespread among students who need to check spelling. Start with the last sentence at the end of the paper and read up to the very first word. Try to read one word at a time. Using this technique will not help you to check paper content, sentence structure and punctuation, grammar and stylistic. It will not make any sense, because your focus will lie on a separate words and their spelling. This technique was created to help students avoid being distracted by content of the text.

What to do when you want to learn more about paper proofreader

  • Take a class on English grammar or attend different workshops.
  • Read more books.
  • Use a grammatical handbook. A great number of handbooks are available at your university or local library. There are also many of them online.
  • Consult your supervisor or instructor. Of course, your professor will not proofread your paper, but he will give you a lot of advices and will be glad to point out and explain some mistakes. An instructor may help you to find ways to identify and fix your errors from the very beginning.
  • Apply for help to a professional online paper proofreader. The services offered online can give you an exclusive opportunity to entrust your paper to a professional editor and save your time and money.

What do professional proofreaders do?

An expert editor or proofreader will

  • Check the overall tone and mood of your written document;
  • Verify the sentence structure and word flow;
  • Review your writing from the very first sentence to identify common errors;
  • Consult APA, MLA or Chicago Manual Guide and correct your formatting and referencing;
  • Edit and re-read your paper to make sure that it is well organized, paragraphs are coherent and thesis statement is backed by strong evidence;
  • Search for wrong spelling, grammatical and punctuation errors;
  • Pay a close heed to sentence structure, organization and word choice.

Proofreading is a process of learning. It is not just about looking for mistakes that you are able to recognize. You’re learning to find and avoid new mistakes. You are learning new grammatical rules when you refer to the dictionary. Check our Live Chat for information on how to make an order with GetEssayEditor.com.