The Importance of Proofreading and Editing

The Importance of Proofreading and Editing

Mar 05, 2019

Preparing a good college project always requires a lot from an average student. It takes all your efforts and diligence and makes you stay focused from the first to the very last word. On the way to an A-grade assignment, your task is to deal with a range of nuances that are to be counted:

  • Formulate a relevant topic
  • Devote your time to a research
  • Prepare reasonable grounds for the assignment
  • Make up an outline and follow it step by step
  • Be aware of the major requirements and standards
  • Apply analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Meet the deadlines

Thus, every college project is a challenge a student has to accept and deal with thoroughly. To do so, you'd better keep in mind a particular stage that shouldn't be omitted, and that is editing and proofreading.

Many students neglect to proofread. That is understandable - when the last full stop is put, your fondest wish is to get that several-days-of-nightmare assignment right off your shoulders and successfully forget about it. You don't want to waste several more hours to check whether the writing is perfect, and all the trifles like spaces or commas don't really matter. Here, the mistake lies.

In this article, we would like to explain why we need to revise our assignments and emphasize the issue of how the proofreading helps us come up with a perfect project and get the best grade.

Why Proofread Your Paper?

Proofreading is a profound process during which you can look at your writing with a fresh eye. Here, you have to pay attention to the following aspects of your paper.

  • Format and style
  • Grammatical appropriateness
  • Proper language and punctuation
  • Typographical particularities

But, don't mistake it for an editing stage! When you edit, your task is to ensure logic and coherence for your writing, add smooth transitions for each paragraph, fix misspelled words, and - the most importantly - meet the purpose of the paper. This way, after the editing, you have to get a well-expressed text with clearly described and reasonable ideas in it.

As for proofreading, it consists of the final touches aimed to refine your assignment. That is like a general cleaning that you have while waiting for important visitors to come. Your apartment can shine with cleanliness, but you won't rest until the last speck of dust is wiped out. In a case with writings, at this stage, you have to perceive the text as a whole. Consider its layout and think about how to improve it, if necessary. For that, you need to read the paper attentively word by word, assess it honestly, and ensure that your assignment doesn't contain any unnoticed errors.

Pitfalls to Be Aware Of

In this section, we would like to turn your attention to the most common mistakes a student should fix while proofreading.

  • Consistency.
  • You should have one tense throughout the whole writing. Make sure the text is written in one time or formatted appropriately if there are several events with different time circumstances.

  • Grammar.
  • Correctly use words with similar spelling or meaning. For instance, poll (voting) and pole (long piece of wood or steel). "She nailed a poll/pole" - the meaning is changing dramatically!

  • Stylistics.
  • Pay attention to the use of an apostrophe and quotation marks, especially in cases with "its" (possession) and "it's" (it is). Don't confuse the subjects and objects of your sentences: not "I was glad to see he," but "I was glad to see him."

  • Modality.
  • Use modal verbs according to the rules - recall specific particularities and the difference between such words as "should/would," "can/may," "have/need," etc.

  • Attention.
  • Be careful with pairs of words that can be automatically omitted or remain unrecognized as mistakes by online tools: were/we're/wear, etc.

There are more than these mistakes and proofreading aspects, but we hope it will help the editor (you) catch the primary purpose of the task at this stage.

Tips That Should Be Remembered

There are two ways of proofreading: you can check your own writing or be asked to deal with someone else's one. Both options have their own challenges and particularities. This way, while proofreading something written by yourself, you know the context and are aware of the main ideas. But here is a problem - it can be rather tricky to recognize your own mistakes.

In a case with working on somebody's paper, everything is the other way round. You can easily spot the errors and rewrite a certain sentence for it to sound better, but you can affect the context badly since the lack of knowledge about the author's primary intentions. But, that is not a big deal because you can find a "partner in proofreading" who will help you notice tricky errors or provide you with a reasonable evaluation for your writing.

If you're going to proofread your own paper, look through our recommendations and a simple step-by-step strategy that we have prepared for you to refine the writing easily.

Firstly, don't embark on proofreading as soon as the last word has been written. Give yourself some time to distract from the text - thus, you will clear your thoughts and take a break. It can be one hour or even a whole day (if it is possible considering the deadlines). Then, take these three steps.

  • Read the entire text without hurry. Does a central idea make sense to you as a reader? Also, check how well each part of the writing is interconnected with another and whether there is something you've missed during the editing.
  • Read the text again to fix the mistakes. We suggest you work with it using several approaches to focus on different types of errors separately.
  • To avoid typos, you can read the text from its end to the beginning. This way, you will be able to distract from the context and pay attention to the last errors in the writing.

Now, you can be confident that your assignment is absolutely refined - submit it and breathe a sigh of relief!

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