Six tricks for effective proofreadingFrancesca Godfrey
Ever been in a situation when you submitted an essay project to your professor hoping that you will be getting top grades but what you receive in the result was an embarrassing ‘D’? Upon inquiring about the reason behind getting a low grade, you may find that despite the splendid ideas you used in your essay there were many grammatical and semantic mistakes that marred the impact of your writing.
Now for university students who are required to score high in prerequisite English language tests before getting admission, receiving low marks in a project on account of bad grammar is a big stigma and something that you do not deserve at all.
So why do people make these small mistakes when they are supposed to be very good with the use of language? There can be many reasons behind it, but one workable solution to resolve it that is effective proofreading.
It is not just reading twice or asking someone for essay writing service or pleading someone to review your work for you. You will realize that there is more to it than meets the eye when you are searching for seemingly tiny mistakes which can cost you big.
Here are the six tips for effectively weeding out blunders from your writings.
1. Focus first
When you are going to zero in on your own mistakes, you need to be in a calm and attentive state of mind. If you cannot build attention then do not proofread your document just now. Have a break for a good long time, then try to concentrate on your work. Also, make sure that there are no distractions such as a cell phone or a stereo playing nearby to divide your attention.
2. Print it out
People find it easier to read from a paper than from a screen, therefore it is better that you get a print out of your work before proofreading. Use of different fonts, their sizes, and colors also affect the readability of a document.
3. Beware of the homophones
Homophones are the words having similar pronunciation but different spellings; for example, ‘affect’ and ‘effect’, ‘here’ and ‘hear’, ‘there’ and ‘their’ etc. You don’t have to be bad at English to confuse these similar sounding words, even a professional with sound level language skills can get deceived sometimes.
4. Be careful with abbreviations
At least once in your career, you will stumble on the words such as ‘its’ and ‘it’s’, ‘your’ and ‘you’re’, so you need to be super cautious when dealing with contractions using an apostrophe.
5. Don’t forget punctuation
After dotting your ‘I's and crossing your ‘t’s, the most important thing left is to look for punctuation errors. So watch out for the words which should be capitalized, any commas absent or used extra in a sentence, or missing periods.
6. Correct the numbering
When writing a purely literary writing, it is encouraged that you use ‘ten thousand’ instead of 10,000. But when you are doing technical or commercial writing, there the use of digits is perfectly permissible. Here also pay attention to the number of zeros which usually prove to be a nuisance when you are dealing with large numbers.
Nowadays the editing software has become very intelligent at detecting mistakes, however, they cannot be an alternative to human intelligence. Therefore it is important that you get your work proofread by professionals to give a touch of originality to your essays for grabbing the top grades.