Proofreading an Essay

Proofreading is the final phase of the editing process and it concentrates on the spelling errors, grammar and punctuation. Proofreading means going through completed work to ensure that each sentence and each word written important. During the proofreading process one must have relevant reference resources, for example dictionaries and encyclopedias.

Technology has contributed immensely towards editing in an easy way with the advent of computers. Modern computers have inbuilt dictionaries that immediately highlight spelling and grammatical errors. Despite this advancement however, there are errors that cannot be detected by the computer. Errors of inconsistency for example cannot be detected by a computer with an inbuilt dictionary.

One of the initial steps when editing is looking at the introduction. It should be clear enough to give a hint on what the essay is talking about. It should be compressed enough as to set the tone and invite the reader. The paragraphs should be well ordered, with each focusing on one main idea or fact.

Research studies have shown that the well placed person to proofread is one who has not done the original work to be edited. To overcome this hiccup one can edit own work if he can give a time lapse of say 24 hours from period of doing it. This accords a fresh opportunity of looking at the general organization of the work.

Writers at times over use words and it is the proofreader’s task to ensure that such words are omitted. Roy Peter Clark, author of writing tools, urges editors to be ‘ruthless’ when proofreading. He goes ahead to say that any word or group of words that portray irrelevance in a text should be removed.

Proofreading an Essay

A close look should also be accorded to format when proofreading. This entails crosschecking features such as font size, spacing and citation style to ensure that they conform to the adopted style of writing.

Since proof reading is not only about identifying errors and mistakes, any weak sentence whose meaning is unclear should be deleted. Transitional devices used within the text should be meaningful and should illustrate a proper sequence of thought. One should also cross check the facts presented to confirm if true. This may include statistics, dates or any other quantitative information.

There are common mistakes that writers always make such that they have almost become part of us. This makes proofreading on the part of the writer a little easier since upon the proofreading process you focus your attention on the stylistic mistakes you commonly make.

Finally, an essay should be checked to ensure that it adhered to the rules of the assignment. At times the number of words required is indicated, and writers should strictly adhere to this. There could also be rules as concern the writing style to use, for example APA, MLM, or any other mentioned writing style.