How to Proofread Professionally Like an Experts Do

how to proofread an essay Sofia Woodstone Writer
Sofia Woodstone
Content strategist and writer

What You Should Know To Complete a Winning Academic Paper

Deadlines are coming closer, but nobody from your surrounding can help with reviewing and critical evaluation of your papers? This article presents current essay requirements in education institutions – tips on how to upgrade your scientific paper. You may also use our proofreading service.

It goes without saying that proofreading is an essential part of every writing process. After you have finally managed to put your ideas and thoughts on paper (hopefully, in a more or less logical and comprehensible manner), it’s totally a must to flick through it a huge number of times. However, the question arises: what should you think of when editing? Interestingly, the very notion of editing includes a magnitude of practices like restructuring the paragraphs of the paper; correcting spelling, grammar, or punctuation mistakes; eliminating logical fallacies or style inconsistencies; adding linking words etc. Most importantly, it’s always a concluding stage that helps you put the finishing touches to your writing.

Every single day we work for eliminating problems in the field of academic writing. A great number of students refer to us because they are overloaded with work and feel like they are stuck with such a daunting task as a scientific paper. A team of experts in the field does their best to fulfill the requirements and complete top-class essays. Additionally, the fact that our editors are native speakers guarantees the authenticity of the language. We aim at creating a coherent, informative and catching academic paper for you.

If you have a calling and would like to edit your paper without any additional help, there is a list of proofreading tips to assist you and lighten the task:

  1. Reread the text in a slow mode

Having compiled the research work, students tend to look through it very quickly not paying attention to details. That is a core problem that makes us leave a number of mistakes in the written piece. Devote some time to proofread the paper quite slowly to spot any kind of incompatibility, loss of idea, spelling or grammar mistakes. You should examine every word, estimating its relevance in the sentence and in the text as a whole. Do it twice to ensure correctness and propriety of the writing.

  1. Scrutinize one complication at one go

If you want to do everything at once, resolving all problematical issues on the spot, you can be stuck working in such a way. Arm yourself with patience and work step-by-step with every editing category. It is impossible to keep all of them in mind, that’s why do it gradually. For instance, you could start with punctuation and looking over the writing to find this type of inaccuracy. Following this strategy, you will stay concentrated. What is more, there will be almost no chance that you omit an error.

  1. Get to work with the biggest challenges first

Spelling or rewriting some grammar structures is the minor task, which should be completed after the other more confusing stuff is done. The editing procedure will be the most efficacious if you encounter troublesome issues first. Only then be sure to check all those micro problem in the paper. Considering macro issues, we take into account plot, argumentation, organization, order, characterization and other aspects. There is no point to worry about an inappropriate comma, when there may be an extraneous paragraph or even a chapter.

  1. Take care about citations and endnotes

In the same manner as in thesis, footnotes and supplemental explanations are required in the academic papers. They are usually presented in the bottom of the page or in the end of the entire paper. Probably, you will wonder whether somebody truly reads them. The answer is positive if we talk about highly qualified scholars. However, it is a serious reason to bring matters under control. Placed on every page, the endnotes should be of a very small size that could make it very difficult to read them at all. To avoid this complication, make them of a bigger font size for the period of checking.

  1. Create a list of things you should review

Keep things organized to maximize the quality of the writing and the time spent for its revision. The list you will compile may be too long and, for sure, you will not cover all the items mentioned in it. But still it will not give you the possibility to forget something. After you have worked with an issue, do not forget to put a checkmark near it. It will definitely encourage you and will create the feeling of completeness.

  1. Do not use justification

During the process of editing, it is a sensible idea to turn off the justification. It might push text against the right margin. It does not let you to spot the extra spaces, entities and lengths that may be a problem in a printed version of the paper.

  1. Ruler is a significant tool in proofreading

You may not be able to view correctness of the text placement on a page. Every time you examine a sentence, you should place a ruler below it. That makes it easier to be concentrated on the very piece of the paragraph and to check if it has a right position on the page.

  1. Edit the written piece with the help of different software

While most students have a tendency to use classic programs such as Microsoft Word, we advise you to counterchange a text processor. The advantage of such a decision enables you to have a look at the paper in a totally new perspective. This is the reason that proves the pros of non-linear editor. A very good one to try is Scrivener. It makes it possible to write in chunks and move them to improve the order. It is truly the best variant for those who have many illustrations in the paper.

  1. Make sure your changes are relevant

The biggest mistake may be a desire to make a great deal of changes and not rereading them. Sometimes, the initial material is much more appropriate and understandable. You may add new fallacies and misinterpretations to the written piece, that is why you should be very careful changing any kind of material.

  1. Pay attention to every single syllable

On average, a word may consist of three or four syllables. It is a trivial thing to miss a letter or put there an additional one. Surely, this is not a huge mistake, but it creates a negative impression and might ruin the perception of the entire writing. That is not the effect you struggle to have, so try to scan not words but separate syllables.

  1. Use the concept of locating from the very beginning

This method is widespread among those who write fiction books. Is it possible to perceive anything if the characters appear from nowhere and there is no any background? Research writing demands the same thing from the writer. You should also distinguish if you locate the target reader without delay. Otherwise, the reader could be misled or puzzled. People would like to know the aim and the writer’s intention before they read.

  1. Make a fascinating introduction

You should light the sparkle of interest in your reader from the very beginning. Attract attention to the subject of your writing, state its significance and make it intriguing which resolutions have you found out for the problem. The competition is tough and everyone aiming at success should sound catching and promising.

  1. Dig it deeper to undertake a valuable research

Quite often, writers notice that some issues need additional background information to be clear for the reader. Some sections, which are not developed fully, should be presented as the prospective ones for the future research. However, if possible, do your best to cover those mysterious sides of the subject which might present a great interest to your target audience.

From the first glance, editing might seem to be an easy action point, but that is not true. It requires much time for qualitative examination of all issues related to grammar and to the message, which it delivers to the reader. During this process, you should be careful and decisive at the same time. Do not be afraid to cut out some parts or add missing information.

Basic tips for efficient proofreading your writing are as follows:

  • Take your time to read it aloud as well as silently a couple of times to concentrate on different areas (logic, examples and illustrations, spelling, grammar, punctuation, unity and coherence, font size, missing and/or additional spaces etc.).
  • Try using some online tools to check spelling and grammar, but don’t rely on them too much. Your formidable brain can’t be superseded by even the best state-of-the-art technologies, right?
  • Ask your friends, relatives, or ideally teachers to give feedback on the assignment.
  • Follow the text with your finger to be able to concentrate on smaller bits of information at a time.
  • Create a list of the errors you typically make and always run this special check at the end of the proofreading stage.
  • It’s highly advisable to print it out and check it as reading from a screen is more often than not a way less effective than reading from some more tangible sources.
  • Consider using editor’s flags. For instance, mark the areas in the file that reviewers must pay special attention to or next to the wording that should be double-checked at the end. Eventually, search for all those flags and remove them upon the completion of the check.
  • At first, cast a critical eye on the body paragraphs. After that, check the headings as copy editors don’t concentrate their attention enough on these issues.
  • Make sure that the font styles and sizes are consistent throughout the paper.
  • Always check twice some debatable things like some proper names, dates, historical events, or titles of the companies and organizations.
  • Rifle through the paper to find out if prepositions and linking words are used correctly.
  • Pay close attention to page numbers, citations, as well as footings or headings to ensure accuracy and logical order of the issues mentioned.
  • Create a special document with the discoveries that you personally made in editing. There are myriads of things that you believe you’ll check in the near future but never really get round to doing. Having such document will save you huge amounts of time in the long run.
  • Check if the text provides the answers to the questions you think it should provide. There are no golden rules here. Just rely on your profound editor’s expertise.
  • If there are any lists, make sure they are all in place. Don’t forget to check if in-text citations match the references in a right sequence. Try writing at the end of the day and editing in the morning. Taking longer breaks or even some naps in between will definitely come in handy.
  • Listen to some classical music or try chewing a gum as you’re proofing papers. Although this activity doesn’t generally require critical thinking, sometimes it can be very mundane, so find the methods for releasing the tension and increasing your concentration span.
  • Do carve out some time every now and then to recap on fundamental grammar rules or the issues you find the most dubious in the domain of editing.

In summary, it’s absolutely crucial to revise the paper once you finished writing it. Not only does this stage help to eliminate numerous content errors and typos, but it also ensures that there are meaningful examples and illustrations. So, keeping these recommendations in mind, you would be able to edit fast and effectively. Good luck!

Share the tips that you use while editing in the comment section below.

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