Writing a college essay can be a stressful experience. Sometimes you're overworked and have to wait until the last possible minute before you can start writing. Or even worse, you have multiple essays due at the same time. Proofreading is one of the most important aspects of writing any successful essay or thesis but it's often one that's overlooked. Thankfully, you can cut back on your stress levels by following these three easy tips on how to proofread an essay.
Swap Papers with a Friend or Classmate!
One of the most helpful things you can use to spot the most common errors is a fresh set of eyes. Having somebody read over your essay will go a long way when it comes to pinpointing the pesky mistakes that your eyes refuse to see. So it's a good thing there's a whole classroom full of students in the same situation as you. If you exchange essays with a friend or fellow classmate you can proofread each other's assignments, giving you a long overdue break from essay writing and a different perspective on your own work. If you don't know any of your classmates and don't feel comfortable approaching them then reach out to family members. There's bound to be one with some free time who owes you a favor or two.
Proofread Multiple Times with a Different Purpose in Mind!
When it comes to proofreading an essay there are a variety of things to look for. Spelling, grammar, repetition, consistency with font and capitalization; these are all things that you should be looking for when reading over your essay. Trying to spot everything at once can overwhelm you and slow down the entire process, so you should do multiple passes focusing on a different aspect each time. The first time you proofread focus on your spelling (never rely one hundred percent on a spell checker) and then proofread it again focusing on grammar. Make a list of everything you're looking to correct in your essay and then work your way down, proofreading once for everything on the list.
Avoid Multitasking to Limit Distractions!
Technology today is fantastic. There's always a video to watch or a text message to reply to or a status update to read; all things that can distract you from your task at hand. Proofreading may not be fun but it's a necessary step when it comes to successful essay writing. Having the television on in the background while you proofread may be a great way to catch up on the newest guilty pleasure reality show, but it's also a great way to overlook errors in your essay. Create a playlist of music in advance that matches the length of time you want to spend proofreading. This will act as a timer so that you remember to take a break but will also stimulate your brain without distracting you.
Proofreading should not be as difficult or time consuming as writing the essay and by following these three easy tips you can make sure you get the results you need while managing your time effectively.
This guest post was written by the team at Cambridge Proofreading, the experts at proofreading for all skill levels and every kind of writing. Thanks for reading!