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Proofreading

There are different proofreading definition and meaning but is serves a crucial purpose in writing. It implies that the write has to examine his text carefully to identify and correct any mistake that relates to typography, grammar, style, and spelling. Effective writing also involves revising the written document and proofreading is an integral part of this process. Writers will always depend on those doing proofreading jobs to ensure the work is flawless.

The primary objective of proofreading is to ensure that the written document is 100% perfect and nothing less.  Effective proofreading involves the following aspects:

  • Sentence structure
  • Grammar
  • Punctuation
  • Spelling
  • Capitalization
  • Consistency
  • Numbers
  • Formatting

Proofreading usually comes last in the writing process. However, even though it is confined I the periphery of the writing process, it does not lower its importance. This process is essential in maintaining the high standards that are set especially in academic writing. Those people who do it professionally are very serious about it and many of them have to take each paper through several tests to ensure it is free from the slightest mistakes of a misplaced full stop.

Can one proofread his work?

You can proofread your work, but you cannot solely depend on your own proofreading. This is because you were at the center of the process of creating the document. Irrespective of the many times you check it, there will be some errors that you will inadvertently overlook. Your eyes sees what is on the page but your brain interprets what is wants, or expects to read, not always what is actually there.

This is why it is recommended you use a new set of eyes through those who do proofreading jobs to flush out any other mistakes in our document.

You also have to understand that a qualified proofreader is an English expert and has extensive knowledge on proofreading jobs, grammar, vocabulary, spelling, and punctuation. They are the best-placed people to assist you in your quest to add value to your document. They make the document shine in a manner that you could not.

Before you proofread

  • Before you start the proofreading process, ensure that you have revised the larger aspects that relate to your paper.
    Do not make corrections and the word and sentence level if you have not worked on focus, organization, and development of the whole paper, sections or of paragraphs.
  • Set a specific time for proofreading your text
    You can set 15 minutes, a day, or week to enable you see mistake easily. When you take some time off from the text, you will be able to address it with new and fresh eyes as well as perspective.
  • Eliminate unnecessary wording before looking for mistakes
    Refrain from using inflated diction where a simple phrase works better. Simple and precise language makes proofreading easier than overly complex wording of a sentence.
  • Know what you are looking for in the document
    Identify this by using past comments from your professors or a writing instructor to enumerate the mistakes that you need to look out for.
  • Review your list of references
    Review every source that is mentioned in your paper and ensure that they are properly cited in the bibliography. The titles cited in your bibliography should be mentioned in the text. If you encounter a revision that is not specified, always seek clarification.

It is worth noting that revising your paper is not the same as proofreading jobs. With editing, the writer seeks to tighten up the language to make the paper easy to read and understand. This is what you are supposed to focus on when proofreading. If you are asked tom revise your paper, it indicates that there is something in your text that must be changed, reorganized, or improved in a significant way. If the reason for the revision has not been specified, seek clarification. In other words, you have to know the proofreading definition. 

Individualized proofreading

Individualizing your proofreading will assist you in improving your proofreading skills more efficiently and effectively.  For instance, you might be are making subject-verb agreement errors, accept the fact that you cannot check for anything. Become introspective about the typical problem areas that affect you and look for each type of errors one by one. This is how to go about it:

  • Think about the errors that you commonly make
    You can review the comments of your instructor about your writing.
  • Learn how you can fix these errors
    Engage the insights of your professor and let him help you in understanding why you make the errors so that you ca learn how to avoid them.
  • Use specific strategies
    Come up with strategies that you are comfortable with and correct your errors in usage, sentence structure, spelling, and punctuation.
  • Where you proofread is important
    Efficient and effective proofreading requires concentration and extended focus. If you are easily distracted, find the quietest place and do your proofreading.
  • Proofread in several short period
    Refrain from reading the entire material at once, otherwise, you will not be able to concentrate. The best strategy is to start proofreading each time at the beginning of the paper. It takes longer to make corrections, but you will see how effective the strategy works.

The difference between editing and proofreading

In most cases, people have always confused proofreading to mean editing and vice versa, especially when looking for proofreading jobs and services. The two terms are used interchangeably at times but there are significant differences between the two.

With proofreading, the concentration is on the superficial errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax and formatting. This step occurs at the end of the writing process and as a final step before making submissions of your paper, which is otherwise ready for publication.

Conversely, editing focuses on the presentation of ideas and information. While it may include all the steps in proofreading, it narrows down to making changes in the document that enhances its understanding, better organization, and the suitability for the audience. Editing is an essential part in formulating a research argument, it occurs multiple times in throughout the writing process.

Techniques applicable in proofreading

Whether you are writing news or magazine article, a college essay, a research paper or a simple email to a client, you have to ensure that your text is free from mistakes. The spellchecker might help, but still, it is not foolproof. This is why proofreading becomes important.  The following tips and techniques will assist you in making your proofreading more effective.

  • Concentration
    If you are going to identify and correct mistakes, then you need to concentrate. You have to get rid of all distractions that might interfere with the process. This includes cells phone, television or radio, social media and so on.
  • Write it down
    The way people read on screen is not the same when it is on paper. This makes it important to print out your work on paper. If you read it aloud, you might catch some errors that you may have not noticed.
  • Look out for homonyms
    These words have the same spelling or pronunciation but have different meaning. You cannot switch words like ‘accept’ with ‘except’. You have to pay attention to such words.
  • Beware of contractions and apostrophes
    In most cases people mistake ‘their’ and ‘they’re’, ‘your’ and you’re’ and so on. This can hurt the credibility of your text and put your command of the language in question. Understand that an apostrophe is not used to form plurals.
  • Check your punctuations
    You cannot neglect punctuation even as you go along correcting words. Pay attention tom capitalization, missing or misplaced commas, period used inappropriately and so on.
  • Reading it backwards
    When in the process of writing, one subconsciously ignore the mistakes because the brain autocorrects everything, or so it seems. For you to break pattern, you ca try reading the text from the end towards the introduction.
  • Use a blank sheet of paper to cover whatever that is in the lines below the one you are reading
    This enables you to avoid skipping ahead of possible mistakes. Sometimes the eyes can miss some things especially if you have been writing continuously for quite some time.
  • Check your numbers
    If you state that, the value of acquisition was $20000 instead of $20000 is not the same thing. The idea is to ensure that the numbers are correct.
  • Get someone else to proofread your work
    Once you have completed your own proofreading, get someone else to do proofreading jobs for you. You will get shocked at the mistakes that you have missed. A second person will be able to evaluate whether the sentences make sense or not. 

Poor language is one of the mistakes that some students perform badly in some papers. It is also the reason why some journals reject articles. If you proofread your article, essay, research paper or any other type of a document, you enhance its effectiveness. Whoever reads it will easily understand its contents, the message will reach home and the document will have served its purpose.

Every document you write for an audience must be examined critically to ensure it meets the high quality standards. To a student, make the proofreading process count because it is crucial to your paper.

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