What this handout is about
Proofreading – 5 Tricks To Goof Proof Your Writing
This handout provides some tips and strategies for revising your writing. To give you a chance to practice proofreading, we have left seven errors (three spelling errors, two punctuation errors, and two grammatical errors) in the text of this handout. See if you can spot them!
Is editing the same thing as proofreading?
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Not exactly. Although many people use the terms interchangeably, editing and proofreading are two different stages of the revision process. Both demand close and careful reading, but they focus on different aspects of the writing and employ different techniques.
Some tips that apply to both editing and proofreading
- Get some distance from the text! It’s hard to edit or proofread a paper that you’ve just finished writing—it’s still to familiar, and you tend to skip over a lot of errors. Put the paper aside for a few hours, days, or weeks. Go for a run. Take a trip to the beach. Clear your head of what you’ve written so you can take a fresh look at the paper and see what is really on the page. Better yet, give the paper to a friend—you can’t get much more distance than that. Someone who is reading the paper for the first time, comes to it with completely fresh eyes.
- Decide what medium lets you proofread most carefully. Some people like to work right at the computer, while others like to sit back with a printed copy that they can mark up as they read.
- Try changing the look of your document. Altering the size, spacing, color, or style of the text may trick your brain into thinking it’s seeing an best essay service, proofreading essay, english editing service – adh http://proofreadingessay.com/proofread-my-paper jules best essay editing service léger, journalist law professor find out unfamiliar document, and that can help you get a different perspective on what you’ve written.
- Find a quiet place to work. Don’t try to do your proofreading in front of the TV or while you’re chugging away on the treadmill. Find a place where you can concentrate and avoid distractions.
- If possible, do your editing and proofreading in several short blocks of time. Your concentration may start to wane if you try to proofread the entire text at one time.
- If you’re short on time, you may wish to prioritize. Make sure that you complete the most important editing and proofreading tasks.
Editing is what you begin doing as soon as you finish your first draft. You reread your draft to see, for example, whether the paper is well-organized, the transitions between paragraphs are smooth, and your evidence really backs up your argument. You can edit on several levels:
Have you done everything the assignment requires? Are the claims you make accurate? If it is required to do so, does your paper make an argument? Is the argument complete? Are all of your claims consistent? Have you supported each point with adequate evidence? Is all of the information in your paper relevant to the assignment and/or your overall writing goal? (For additional tips, see our handouts on understanding assignments and .)
Does your paper have an appropriate introduction and conclusion? Is your thesis clearly stated in your introduction? Is it clear how each paragraph in the body of your paper is related to your thesis? Are the paragraphs arranged in a logical sequence? Have you made clear transitions between paragraphs? One way to check the structure of your paper is to make a .)
Structure within paragraphs
Does each paragraph have a clear topic sentence? Does each paragraph stick to one main idea? Are there any extraneous or missing sentences in any of your paragraphs? (See our .)
Have you defined any important terms that might be unclear to your reader? Is the meaning of each sentence clear? (One way to answer this question is to read your paper one sentence at a time, starting at the end and working backwards so that you will not unconsciously fill in content from previous sentences.) Is it clear what each pronoun (he, she, it, they, which, who, this, etc.) refers to? Have you chosen the proper words to express your ideas? Avoid using words you find in the thesaurus that aren’t part of your normal vocabulary; you may misuse them.
Have you used an appropriate tone (formal, informal, persuasive, etc.)? Is your use of gendered language (masculine and feminine pronouns like he or she, words like fireman that contain man, and words that some people incorrectly assume apply to only one gender—for example, some people assume nurse must refer to a woman) appropriate? Have you varied the length and structure of your sentences? Do you tends to use the passive voice too often? Does your writing contain a lot of unnecessary phrases like there is, there are, due to the fact that, etc.? Do you repeat a strong word (for example, a vivid main verb) unnecessarily? (For tips, see our .)
Have you appropriately cited quotes, paraphrases, and ideas you got from sources? Are your citations in the correct format? (See the for more information.)
What this handout is centered on
This handout offers some tips and strategies for revising your composing. To present you a chance to apply proofreading, we have kept 7 flaws (some spelling blunders, two punctuation faults, and a couple grammatical issues) within the text message of this handout. Try to position them!
Is enhancing a similar thing as proofreading?
Not exactly. Although a lot of consumers work with the terms and conditions editing, interchangeably and proofreading are two various periods for the revision practice. Both demand close and careful reading, but they focus on different aspects of the writing and employ different techniques.
Some tips that connect with equally croping and editing and proofreading
- Find some good extended distance from the word! It is hard to redo or proofread a paper that you have just final crafting-it’s nonetheless to familiarized, and then you often neglect in excess of plenty of problems. Put the paper aside for a fewdays and hours. Alternatively, weeks. Take a run. Travel towards the beachfront. Clean your head of what you’ve written to help you require a refreshing think about the report and see what the heck is genuinely on the web page. Even better, allow the old fashioned paper for a colleague-you cannot get much more yardage than that. Somebody who is looking through the document for the first time, pertains to it with entirely innovative little blue eyes.
- Make your mind up what average helps you to proofread most carefully. Quite a few people love to do the job ideal around the computer, and some prefer to unwind using a personalised clone they can signature as they learn.
- Try out evolving the appearance of your document. Adjusting the color, size and spacing or sort of the written text could possibly strategy your mind into imagining it is witnessing an unfamiliar paper, and that can help you find a distinct angle upon which you’ve written.
- Choose a quiet spot for a job. Never seek to do your proofreading while watching Television programs or while you are chugging at a distance within the running machine. Locate a area where one can concentrate and avoid interruptions.
- If possible, do your editing and proofreading in several short blocks of time. Your concentration may start to wane if you try to proofread the entire text at one time.
- If you are small in a timely manner, you may wish to focus on. Just be sure you total a vey important enhancing and proofreading duties.
Editing and enhancing is what you commence working on when you first surface texture your first draft. You reread your draft to observe, for instance, regardless of if the document is well-sorted, the transitions around paragraphs are soft, and also your information really backs increase case. You may redo on quite a few amounts:
You may have conducted everything the project necessitates? Would be the cases you get genuine? Does your paper make an argument if it is required to do so? Would be the argument complete? Are all of your current promises regular? Have you backed each and every issue with ample evidence? Is all the advice as part of your document related to the assignment and/or your entire crafting aim? (For even more guidelines, see our handouts on being familiar with responsibilities and .)
Does your newspaper present an acceptable introduction and conclusion? Is the thesis clearly stated in the beginning? Do you find it apparent how every paragraph within your body of your own newspaper is related to your thesis? Include the lines arranged in any reasonable pattern? Get you crafted obvious transitions around paragraphs? A good way to check out the building of your respective papers is to establish a .)
Shape in lines
Does each individual section possess a clean niche sentence? Does each and every section keep on with a single primary suggestion? What are the extraneous or missing out on phrases in any of your paragraphs? (See our .)
Have you ever defined any important conditions which might be unclear into your visitor? May be the concept of every sentence apparent? (One technique to help answer this should be to browse your newspaper a single phrase at a time, starting off at the conclusion and doing business backwards which means you not instinctively fill content material from earlier sentences.) Is it obvious what each individual pronoun (it, who, this, she, they, he and which and many more.) means? Have you ever chosen the proper words and phrases to show your ideas? Avoid using key phrases you get from the thesaurus that are not component of your common vocabulary; you could possibly improper use them.
Have you ever applied the ideal sculpt (formal, persuasive and informal and so forth.)? Will be your application of gendered vocabulary (feminine and masculine pronouns like And#8220;heAnd#8221; or “she,” thoughts like “fireman” that include “man,” and words that many people erroneously assume connect with just one single gender-by way of example, a number of people assume And#8220;nurseAnd#8221; need to refer to women) suitable? Get you versatile the structure and length to your phrases? Will you usually use a inactive speech many times? Does your composing have loads of unwarranted keyword phrases like “there exists,” “there are,And#8221; And#8220;due to the fact that,” etcetera.? Does one perform an intense term (to illustrate, a dazzling major verb) unnecessarily? (For hints, see our .)
You may have suitably reportedquotes and paraphrases, and concepts you received from resources? Are your citations in the perfect format? (View the for additional information.)
Whenever you change at each one of these amounts, you can expect to make essential revisions with the article content and wording within your newspaper. Keep an eye out for patterns of error; knowing what kinds of problems you tend to have will be helpful, especially if you are editing a large document like a thesis or dissertation. After getting uncovered a design, you may produce processes for recognizing and fixing foreseeable future instances of that routine. For example, if you notice that you often discuss several distinct topics in each paragraph, you can go through your paper and underline the key words in each paragraph, then break the paragraphs up so that each one focuses on just one main idea.
Proofreading could be the ultimate place for the croping and editing technique, concentrating on surface faults for example misspellings and issues in grammar and punctuation. You need to proofread only once you have accomplished every one of your other croping and editing alterations.
Why proofread? It is this content that really concerns, correct?
Content is very important. But as if it or perhaps not, the way that a document seems to be has an effect on exactly how some evaluate it. When you’ve been working very hard to build and provide your thoughts, you don’t want clumsy issues distracting your audience from what you should say. It’s value watching the details that allow you to make a very good effect.
Many people invest only a few minutes or so to proofreading, aiming to capture any glaring problems that bounce out of the web page. But a quick and cursory browsing, in particular following you have been working extensive and difficult on a report, often misses considerably. It is considerably better to cooperate with an absolute program that helps you to look for systematically for particular sorts of problems.
Sure, this takes a little extra time, but it pays off in the end. You can worry less about editing while you are writing your first drafts if you know that you have an effective way to catch errors when the paper is almost finished. This will make the entire publishing proccess more effective.
Try to keep the editing and enhancing and proofreading steps distinguish. Whenever you are editing an early write, you don’t plan to be troubled with contemplating punctuation, grammar, and spelling. You’re not focusing on the more important task of developing and connecting ideas.
The proofreading process
Maybe you undoubtedly use many of the practices discussed underneath. Try out distinctive techniques before you get a system that can be useful for you. The important thing is to create the method organized and on target to ensure you capture as much issues as they possibly can on the the bare minimum duration.
- Don’t count solely on spelling checkers. These can be useful programs however they are faraway from foolproof. Spell checkers take a small dictionary, so some words and phrases that show as misspelled could possibly definitely just not be in their memory. Additionally, spell checkers will never capture misspellings that shape another valid phrase. For example, if you type “your” instead of “you’re,” “to” instead of “too,” or “there” instead of “their,” the spell checker won’t catch the error.
- Sentence structure checkers might be even more a problem. These programs employ a modest range of guidelines, so they really can not recognize each and every fault and in most cases make some mistakes. In addition they forget to give methodical answers to guide you realize why a phrase should really be improved. You need to be able to evaluate the feedback it provides.
- Proofread for only one kind of error at a time. If you try to revise and identify too many things at once, you risk losing focus, and your proofreading will be less effective. It’s easier to catch grammar errors if you aren’t checking spelling and punctuation at the same time. On top of that, examples of the skills which actually work effectively for spotting an individual kind of blunder won’t get others.
- Browse slow down, and read almost every text. Test , which energies people to say each and every term as well as helps you listen to exactly how the key phrases audio at the same time. If you examine quietly or too rapidly, you might miss throughout faults or make unconscious modifications.
- Individual the written text into unique sentences. It is one other method to guide you to find out almost every phrase mindfully. Easily press the returning key once just about every interval to ensure that any sections commences a fresh sentence. Then learn each one phrase individually, seeking grammar, punctuation, or spelling errors. If you’re working with a printed copy, try using an opaque object like a ruler or a piece of paper to isolate the line you’re working on.
- Group each punctuation symbol. This factors you to observe each one of these. As you circle, ask yourself if the punctuation is correct.
- Look at papers in the opposite direction. This technique is useful for viewing spelling. Start out with the past text for the previous page and work your path to your first step, studying every word separately. And grammar won’t make any sense, your focus will be entirely on the spelling of each word, becausepunctuation and content. You can even go through backwards phrase by phrase to take a look grammar; this enables you to steer clear of turning out to be derailed by subject matter concerns.
- Proofreading is usually a discovering procedure. You’re not just for trying to find problems which you discover; you are also learning to realize and fix new errors. Here is where handbooks and dictionaries are available in. Maintain the people you notice valuable shut at your fingertips as you may proofread.
As you edit at all of these levels, you will usually make significant revisions to the content and wording of your paper. Keep an eye out for patterns of error; knowing what kinds of problems you tend to have will be helpful, especially if you are editing a large document like a thesis or dissertation. Once you have identified a pattern, you can develop techniques for spotting and correcting future instances of that pattern. For example, if you notice that you often discuss several distinct topics in each paragraph, you can go through your paper and underline the key words in each paragraph, then break the paragraphs up so that each one focuses on just one main idea.
Proofreading is the final stage of the editing process, focusing on surface errors such as misspellings and mistakes in grammar and punctuation. You should proofread only after you have finished all of your other editing revisions.
Why proofread? It’s the content that really matters, right?
Content is important. But like it or not, the way a paper looks affects the way others judge it. When you’ve worked hard to develop and present your ideas, you don’t want careless errors distracting your reader from what you have to say. It’s worth paying attention to the details that help you to make a good impression.
Most people devote only a few minutes to proofreading, hoping to catch any glaring errors that jump out from the page. But a quick and cursory reading, especially after you’ve been working long and hard on a paper, usually misses a lot. It’s better to work with a definite plan that helps you to search systematically for specific kinds of errors.
Sure, this takes a little extra time, but it pays off in the end. If you know that you have an effective way to catch errors when the paper is almost finished, you can worry less about editing while you are writing your first drafts. This makes the entire writing proccess more efficient.
Try to keep the editing and proofreading processes separate. When you are editing an early draft, you don’t want to be bothered with thinking about punctuation, grammar, and spelling. If your worrying about the spelling of a word or the placement of a comma, you’re not focusing on the more important task of developing and connecting ideas.
The proofreading process
You probably already use some of the strategies discussed below. Experiment with different tactics until you find a system that works well for you. The important thing is to make the process systematic and focused so that you catch as many errors as possible in the least amount of time.
- Don’t rely entirely on spelling checkers. These can be useful tools but they are far from foolproof. Spell checkers have a limited dictionary, so some words that show up as misspelled may really just not be in their memory. In addition, spell checkers will not catch misspellings that form another valid word. For example, if you type your instead of you’re, to instead of too, or there instead of their, the spell checker won’t catch the error.
- Grammar checkers can be even more problematic. These programs work with a limited number of rules, so they can’t identify every error and often make mistakes. They also fail to give thorough explanations to help you understand why a sentence should be revised. You may want to use a grammar checker to help you identify potential run-on sentences or too-frequent use of the passive voice, but you need to be able to evaluate the feedback it provides.
- Proofread for only one kind of error at a time. If you try to identify and revise too many things at once, you risk losing focus, and your proofreading will be less effective. It’s easier to catch grammar errors if you aren’t checking punctuation and spelling at the same time. In addition, some of the techniques that work well for spotting one kind of mistake won’t catch others.
- Read slow, and read every word. Try , which forces you to say each word and also lets you hear how the words sound together. When you read silently or too quickly, you may skip over errors or make unconscious corrections.
- Separate the text into individual sentences. This is another technique to help you to read every sentence carefully. Simply press the return key after every period so that every line begins a new sentence. Then read each sentence separately, looking for grammar, punctuation, or spelling errors. If you’re working with a printed copy, try using an opaque object like a ruler or a piece of paper to isolate the line you’re working on.
- Circle every punctuation mark. This forces you to look at each one. As you circle, ask yourself if the punctuation is correct.
- Read the paper backwards. This technique is helpful for checking spelling. Start with the last word on the last page and work your way back to the beginning, reading each word separately. Because content, punctuation, and grammar won’t make any sense, your focus will be entirely on the spelling of each word. You can also read backwards sentence by sentence to check grammar; this will help you avoid becoming distracted by content issues.
- Proofreading is a learning process. You’re not just looking for errors that you recognize; you’re also learning to recognize and correct new errors. This is where handbooks and dictionaries come in. Keep the ones you find helpful close at hand as you proofread.