While many students use the words interchangeably, proofreading and editing are two different steps of the revision procedure. Each demands careful and close reading, however they concentrate on different elements of your writing and utilize different techniques. The following are some tips that apply to both proofreading and editing.
Do Not Rush Things
Take some time away from the text. It is difficult to proofread or edit an essay you have just written. It is still too familiar, and you will be prone to miss many of the mistakes. Place the essay to one side for a period of time. Visit the beach. Go for a jog. Clear your mind of everything you have written, and come back to your essay with a fresh pair of eyes that will be able read the text as it really is. Better yet, give your essay to a buddy, as this distances you from the process even more. A person who reads your essay for the first time will be able to offer a completely objective assessment.
Comfortable Studying for Greater Productivity
Choose the medium that you find most conducive for accurate proofreading. Some students prefer to work sat at their computers, whilst others prefer to sit down with a printout that they can write the corrections on as they are reading. Try to change the appearance of your essay. Adjusting the spacing, size, style or color of the text might trick your mind into believing that it is reading a completely new essay. This will help you to gain a new perspective on what you have written.
Find a peaceful place to work. Do not attempt to carry out your editing whilst watching television, or whilst you are working out on the treadmill. Locate somewhere you can focus clearly and avoid any distractions. Preferably, carry out your proofreading and editing in a few short time blocks, as opposed to trying to finish it all in one go. Otherwise, you will be more likely to lose concentration.
If you are nearing a deadline, you might want to prioritize your proofreading and editing tasks to ensure that the most essential tasks get completed first.
Other Tactics and Concerns
Of course, one straightforward way of proofreading your text is to use the standard spellchecker that every word processor has. This will allow you to detect repeated words, grammatical errors, and misspelled words in many cases. Also, it is a good idea to read your essay out loud, or ask a buddy to read it out loud instead. Doing this will enable you to hear a mistake or error that you may not have noticed on the paper or screen. If you can get a printout of your essay, you should review each line individually. Scour the document for errors and make sure you highlight them.
Proofreading and editing are not just restricted to correcting grammar. They involve checking the accuracy of the facts, figures, and other data that you have mentioned in your essay. Take great care with this information, particularly with statistics and names. This is factual information and not opinion, so it must be entirely true and accurate.
It is a grave error to submit your essay without editing and proofreading it first. If your essay has any misspellings, grammatical errors or any other mistakes, it will certainly impact your grade. Additionally, the grader may feel negatively about the essay if they catch even just a single error. Thus, it is extremely important to edit your essay, or get it edited by someone else before handing it in to your college professor. Remember, if you fail to carry out these simple checks, you could be jeopardizing both your education, and your future job prospects.
Ryan Ayers is a writer who creates informative articles in relation to education. In this article, he offers a few tips on proofreading and editing and aims to encourage further study with an education master’s degree online.