How to proofread an essay: basic steps

Can you mention the most terrible thing about the writing process? Most people think that this is nothing, but proofreading. The process of proofreading means that the writer of an essay does his best to find spelling, grammatical, and punctuation errors, typos and omitted words. However, “proofreading” is not the same as just “reading”. It's a well-known fact that “reading over” your paper is just not enough to find all the errors, so you'd better use some proofreading methods. Let us describe them to you.

Start to keep a log of common mistakes

Some students think that it's almost impossible to proofread themselves. Is that you? Then, there is one effective way to check your typical grammatical and punctuation errors, sentence structure first. You should start to keep a log of that errors when your teacher makes corrections of your essay. It will surely help you to avoid your typical mistakes.

Read your essay out loud

Did you know that reading out loud may influence positively on your reading speed? As a result, you read as fast as your brain can react to errors presented in your essay. When you read your essay silently, you might miss some spelling or grammatical mistakes. In case you are not a native English speaker, you may fail to hear your mistakes. What to do? See the next paragraph.

Ask someone to read your essay out loud

Let your friend/mother/boyfriend read your essay out loud. While listening to this person, you'd better pay attention to his/her falters in the process of reading. It could happen where a word is misplaced or missing. In case the reader can't read fluently, that might signal that your text contains problems: sentence structure, punctuation, and grammatical errors, word choice troubles, etc. (In addition, you might have some content problems, so you should also check this carefully.) Remember that the reader tries to help you with your essay, so don't be shy to ask him/her to underline all the words, sentences he/she thinks are unfamiliar, weird etc.

Try to use different strategies to read your paper

What does it mean? We advise you not to read only in your normal rhythm/voice/intonation. Go google some useful techniques to read texts differently. One of the famous strategies is to use a pencil or finger to point to each punctuation mark or word.

Don't perform your proofreading asap

It is a fact that proofreading is more effective when more time has passed since the time of writing. Actually, there are more chances that you've already forgotten specific spelling or wording, which may help you to find more errors. So, keep calm and do the proofreading. Now you are ready!
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