You’ve done it! After days of slaving away at your laptop, you’ve finally finished your paper. Instead of instantly submitting it, proofread it first. Try these tips to make sure you get top grades, every time.
Work on a print out version of your text
Even if you’ll be submitting your work electronically, print out a copy to proofread. Errors often jump out at you more on paper, and it’s a lot easier to mark it up, ready for you to correct any mistakes on screen.
Use writing tools
There are plenty of writing tools available online that can help you in your proofreading efforts, why not try some out?
Pro Writing Aid: Another readability tool, paste your work in and get suggestions on how to edit it to make it great. It’s clean interface can help those who get easily distracted and helps you focus on the task at hand.
Boom Essay service: An online writing company staffed by competent writers, that offers writing, editing and proofreading assistance for students. It’s a great service if you’re looking for an expert opinion of what you’ve written.
Readability Score: Paste your text in here to get a ‘readability score’, based on what education level a reader will need to be at to understand your work. It’s a great way to check whether you’re going over your intended reader’s head, or speaking down to them by accident!
X Essays: A constantly evolving writing service, the writers here keep on top of the latest topics and trends so their advice will stay relevant to you and your work. They offer many free features, great for cash strapped students.
Hemingway App: Paste in your work and the app will highlight any issues for you, including run on sentences, overused words and use of the passive voice. It’s highly visible nature will help you spot errors almost straight away.
Smart Edit: Located directly in Microsoft Word, this tools helps you edit within the program itself. This is great if you’re trying to stay offline to avoid distraction.
EssayRoo: An Australian writing company that provides editing and proofreading consulting for students. The service hires professional tutors and PhD writers and suggests assistance to both aussie and international college students.
Make several passes
Every time you read through your paper, look for different types of errors. On the first pass look for spelling and grammatical errors, on the second look for incorrect references, and so on. It’s a lot easier if you’re only focusing on one thing at a time.
Read out loud
The quickest way to find out if a phrase in your paper doesn’t make sense is to read it out loud. Sometimes errors don’t show up in a paper until you hear them read aloud.
Invite someone else to read your work
If a friend can read your work and pick up on the main themes, then you know you’re doing it right. Plus, you can then offer to read their papers too and help each other out.
Double check your references
On one of your passes, check that all the factual data you’ve included is correct. This may mean poring back over books and online journals to make sure you’ve put in the right date or name, but the time spent now is worth it to avoid losing marks over simple errors.
Take your time
Instead of a simple read through, take your time over your work. Read it through carefully, and make a point of examining every word for errors. It may feel tiresome, but it’s worth it in the long run.
Now, you have the tools and know how to make your paper the polished piece you know it can be. Set the time aside to proofread, and you’ll have top grades in no time.