What this handout is about
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?
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 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 dissertation proofreading & editing services, all topics dissertation editing service dissertation editing services and proofreading service for students across all 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 concerning
This handout offers some tips and strategies for revising your creating. To provide you to be able to training proofreading, we have now allowed to remain six blunders (three spelling faults, two punctuation problems, as well as 2 grammatical problems) from the words on this handout. Try to spot them!
Is croping and editing the same as proofreading?
Not quite. Although a lot of many people take advantage of the terms editing, proofreading and interchangeably are two distinctive phases in the revision operation. They focus on different aspects of the writing and employ different techniques.
Some tips that relate to equally modifying and proofreading
- Have some distance from your text! It’s hard to change or proofread a document that you have just done posting-it is nevertheless to familiar, and you simply are likely to ignore over a whole lot of flaws. Put the paper aside for a fewdays and hours. Alternatively, weeks. Choose a operate. Travel towards seashore. Crystal clear your mind products you’ve written to help you to take a innovative glance at the cardstock and then judge what the heck is actually around the page. Much better, give the document for a pal-you can’t get way more distance than that. Somebody that is reading the newspaper the very first time, goes to it with completely healthy little blue eyes.
- Choose what medium helps you proofread most carefully. Most people want to work perfect around the personal computer, while some want to settle back which has a imprinted replicate that they may indicate as they read through.
- Have a shot at evolving the appearance of your document. Changing the spacing, size and color or design of the words may well secret the human brain into reasoning it is witnessing an different report, and which can help you get a different view on what you have written.
- Get a peaceful area to job. Never make an attempt to do your proofreading ahead of the Television programs or while you’re chugging absent to the fitness treadmill. Choose a put which you could avoid and concentrate disruptions.
- If you’re simple in time, you may wish to focus on. Make sure that you finished the most critical editing and proofreading responsibilities.
If you try to proofread the entire text at one time.If possible, do your editing and proofreading in several short blocks of time. Your concentration may start to wane>
Croping and editing is what you start working on as soon as you surface texture the initial draft. You reread your write to check out, one example is, regardless of if the newspaper is very well-ordered, the transitions concerning paragraphs are effortless, and then your facts definitely backside your debate. You could alter on a variety of values:
Get you done all sorts of things the assignment involves? Will be the boasts you earn reliable? Does your paper make an argument if it is required to do so? Could be the issue accomplish? Are all your promises reliable? Get you supported each one issue with satisfactory verification? Is most of the info within your paper strongly related to the task and your current composing goal? (For even more strategies, see our handouts on becoming familiar with projects and .)
Does your old fashioned paper have an correct introduction and conclusion? Will probably be your thesis plainly stated as part of your guide? Could it possibly be crystal clear how every one section within your body of the document relates to your thesis? Are the paragraphs set up with a reasonable series? Get you crafted crystal clear transitions in between sentences? One particular way to verify the composition from your cardstock is to produce a .)
Structure throughout paragraphs
Does each paragraph have got a crystal clear theme sentence? Does every section remain faithful to just one key suggestion? Are there extraneous or missing phrases in any of your paragraphs? (See our .)
You may have characterized any vital phrases that may be not clear to the website reader? Certainly is the meaning of every single sentence obvious? (A great way to response this question should be to check out your old fashioned paper 1 sentence at a stretch, starting up at the conclusion and doing business in reverse which means you not subconsciously complete article content from former phrases.) Can it be distinct what each individual pronoun (she, which, it, he, they, this and who etcetera.) represents? Get you preferred the suitable text to convey your thoughts? Avoid using thoughts you find in the thesaurus that aren’t portion of your regular terminology; you could improper use them.
You may have utilized a proper develop (informal, persuasive and formal and so on.)? Will probably be your consumption of gendered language (feminine and masculine pronouns like And#8220;heAnd#8221; or And#8220;she,” phrases like And#8220;fireman” that contain “male,” and words and phrases that a number of people wrongly believe connect with only 1 gender-such as, a number of people expect “health professional” needs to mean a woman) appropriate? Maybe you have different the length and structure within your sentences? Do you has a tendency to use a unaggressive voice too frequently? Does your authoring include a whole lot of unwarranted words like And#8220;there exists,And#8221; “you can find,” “mainly because that,And#8221; etcetera.? Do you duplicate an excellent phrase (for example, a stunning major verb) unnecessarily? (For ideas, see our .)
Have you suitably reportedparaphrases and quotes, and ideas you became from places? Are your citations on the correct set up? (Begin to see the to read more.)
As you may revise at every one of these quantities, you will usually make vital alterations with the article content and wording from your report. If you are editing a large document like a thesis or dissertation, keep an eye out for patterns of error; knowing what kinds of problems you
tend to have will be helpful, especially. Upon getting acknowledged a habit, you can easily cultivate tactics for recognizing and correcting near future cases of that layout. 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 definitely the last phase within the croping and editing practice, working on covering mistakes including misspellings and errors in grammar and punctuation. You have to proofread only after you have completed all of your current other editing changes.
Why proofread? It’s this content that absolutely matters, ideal?
Content is critical. But want it or perhaps not, the way in which a papers appears impacts the manner in which people assess it. When you’ve labored tricky to cultivate and provide your thoughts, you don’t want foolhardy issues annoying your visitor from what you must say. It’s truly worth focusing on the details that show you how to produce a fantastic appearance.
Many people invest just one or two short minutes to proofreading, seeking to hook any glaring problems that hop out from the web page. But a cursory and quick looking through, specially subsequent to you’ve been working hard lengthy and difficult on a document, often misses a lot. It’s considerably better to partner with a definite program that helps you to browse systematically for particular types of flaws.
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 complete composing proccess far better.
Keep the modifying and proofreading activities distinguish. If you are editing and enhancing an earlier write, you never would like to be concerned with contemplating punctuation, grammar, and spelling. You’re not focusing on the more important task of developing and connecting ideas.
The proofreading practice
You most likely already use some of the techniques and strategies explained listed below. Test out diverse tactics until such time as you get a product that works well for you. What is important should be to create the course of action methodical and focused to ensure you get countless flaws as they can on the very least duration.
- Don’t count fully on spelling checkers. These can be appropriate instruments but they are definitely not foolproof. Spell checkers employ a restricted dictionary, so some thoughts that demonstrate up as misspelled may perhaps genuinely just not stay in their reminiscence. Additionally, spell checkers is not going to catch misspellings that develop another reasonable term. 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 is usually a lot more difficult. These applications work with a restricted selection of principles, in order that they cannot detect each mistake and usually get some things wrong. They also fail to give detailed answers that will help you realize why a phrase really should be revised. You need to be able to evaluate the feedback it provides.
- Proofread for only one kind of error at a time.. If you aren’t checking punctuation and spelling at the same time, It’s easier to catch grammar errors. Furthermore, most of the procedures that work well very well for spotting just one types of error won’t find other folks.
If you try to revise and identify too many things at once, you risk losing focus, and your proofreading will be less effective,
- Go through slow, and skim every phrase. Look at , which pushes one to say each and every text as well as helps you get to hear how the ideas smart with each other. Whenever you check out quietly or too rapidly, you may neglect throughout glitches or make unconscious corrections.
- Split the written text into person sentences. This is some other technique to guide you to find out every last phrase carefully. Simply just hit the come back primary right after each time so just about every range will begin a completely new phrase. Then learn each one phrase independently, trying to find sentence structure, punctuation, or spelling blunders. 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 each and every punctuation sign. This forces you to look at each of them. As you circle, ask yourself if the punctuation is correct.
- Check the old fashioned paper backwards. This approach helps for checking spelling. Start out with the final expression within the keep going work and page towards you back to the start, reading through each concept independently. And grammar won’t make any sense, your focus will be entirely on the spelling of each word, becausecontent and punctuation. You can even read through in reverse sentence by sentence to check grammar; this can help you steer clear of growing to be distracted by material problems.
- Proofreading is actually a mastering procedure. You are besides in search of problems that you just understand; you are also learning how to figure out and correct new glitches. This is why dictionaries and handbooks can be bought in. Maintain your versions you get helpful shut at your fingertips once you 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.