13 Tips for Effective Proofreading

13 Tips for Effective Proofreading

When it comes to proofreading your academic research work, whether it is a conference paper, journal paper, thesis or dissertation, there are many tips available that you can consider to help make the proofreading process more effective. Sometimes it is easy to forget these tips, and this way we do not take advantage of them. To easily remember these tips, it is better to write them down or print them and read them again before you start to revise your work. Thirteen of the most effective tips and techniques are:

  1. Leave it for a while. Sometimes when the work is still in your mind, you would be reading, since you already know what is written. It is better to leave your work for a day or two, and then come back to it so that it would not be so fresh in your mind and that you would be forced to read every word of what is written. When you do this, you would be able to spot more grammatical and other kinds of errors in your work.
  2. Read your work aloud. There are errors that are hard to spot when simply just reading them. Instead, you can read your work aloud, and this way, you will easily spot more errors that are hard to detect while reading.
  3. Be careful after cut and paste. We all tend to move things around with cutting a phrase and pasting it somewhere else. This causes errors in the new sentences created, and that is why it is better to reread any sentence that has been changed. Read both the new sentence formed that you cut from, and the new sentence formed that you pasted into. This way, if the sentence has errors in it after the modification, it would be easier to detect these errors.
  4. Print your work. It is much easier to proofread and edit your work for English errors when you read it off a paper, and not off the computer screen. Another positive thing about reading off paper is that it does not cause eye strain like a computer screen does when reading.
  5. Read the words backward when checking for spelling. When it comes to spelling, it is better to read the text backwards. This is because when you read normally to check for spelling mistakes, you would naturally read quickly since you already know what your work is about. However, if you read backwards, you would be forced to read your work word by word, and this is what is needed for ensuring spelling is correct in your work. It would be easier to detect any words that are spelled incorrectly.
  6. Read sentence by sentence when checking for grammar or punctuation. When checking for grammar and punctuation, read once sentence at a time, and then stop after each sentence. This way, you would slow down the process of reading and find more mistakes.
  7. Use a grammar reference book or handbook. It is good to have a grammar reference book ready, so that whenever you are not sure about the way of writing a certain sentence, you could always refer to the grammar book to ensure your sentence is written properly. Many people ignore this and end up with errors, when the solution is right in front of them.
  8. Check illustrations, figures and tables. The last step after proofreading is to check the numbers of all of the figures and tables, and ensure they are in the correct order. It is also good to go over them one by one and ensure nothing is missing or incorrect.
  9. Get ready mentally. This process of checking your work requires a good amount of focus. It is better to get yourself ready by directing all your focus on it, and turning off the television, music, social media apps, and everything else that may be a source of distraction.
  10. Take breaks. Do not sit for one long period and proofread the entire thesis. It is better to take occasional breaks where you do something else to relax your mind. This way, when you come back you will be ready to get back to work. Otherwise, you would get bored and your mind would start to shift focus on other things, or you would start reading quicker to finish in a shorter amount of time.
  11. Proofread again. Once you are done with the revision. Take some time off and read it again. People always find mistakes on their second time that they missed the first time.
  12. Get someone else to read it. Try to get a friend or colleague or classmate to read it over. Sometimes other can see mistakes we miss. Another pair of eyes is always an advantage.
  13. Send it to a professional proofreader to edit it for you. Sometimes you do not know how to spot all errors, or you just do not have the time to edit your work accurately. In this case, that is why we are here. You cansend us your work and let us have a look at it. We correct all errors. We are accurate. We are fast. We are affordable 🙂

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