Proofreading Paper: Effective Strategies


If after reading this title a question “proofreading my paper – why should I do that?” appeared in your head, then, my friend, you are on the verge of a big discovery. Proofreading your work will help you to detect any errors, grammar or spelling mistakes, punctuation fallacy and flaws in your arguments or awkwardly built structure of your essay. Proofreading is what separates a great essay from a mediocre one. So how can you do it? There are two ways, which you can use: hire a professional, the best editors, proofreaders and essay writers in the field can be found here, or check your work by yourself. In this essay, we will share some great strategies that you can use to proofread your work.

Before you start

Make sure you have revised the structure and paragraphs of your work and take a break after finishing writing and before proofreading, it can be fifteen minutes, a day or a week – it is up to you. Think about the mistakes that you often do in your writing, make a list of them and google the most common mistakes that people usually do when writing essays – this way you will know what to look for when proofreading.

Remove yourself from distractions

Find a quit place, turn off the TV, your phone, music and shut down all of your social media platforms. Close the door and let your flat mates, friends or parents know that you’ll be working on your paper and you cannot be distracted.

Get your time right

Save yourself an extra time on proofreading. Know the timeline of your paper and follow it strictly. You need to have a few days or better a whole week before handing your work so that you can look at it with a fresh mind.

Know your resources

Take the advantage of every single tool that is available to you. Nowadays there are a lot of websites and platforms that can help you with your work, like dictionaries and thesaurus, but also don’t neglect libraries, citation guides, and handbooks – you never know what will come to use.

Print your work

It is much easier to edit and proofread a printed version of your paper. Mark all of the mistakes and errors you find and fix them in the version on your computer.

Read out loud

It is known that when we read silently we can overlook some small mistakes, incorrect and awkward sentences and typos. By reading your paper out loud you will be able to notice everything from grammar errors to wrong word choices. It is also advisable to let someone else read your paper out loud and tell you if they were confused at any point.

Read backwards

Reading your paper backwards will help you to have a different perspective on your work. Taking things out of context will make you focus on the text itself, skipping the ideas. Start with the last sentence and move up from it finishing on the very first one.

Correct the punctuation

Check every sentence and make sure that your punctuation is on point. Are all of your commas found the right places? Did you miss any dots, quotation or question marks? If you are not entirely sure whether you are correct, look up for additional information or ask for advice.

Examine the citations

Make sure you used the correct format and that all of the sources are reliable. Check the spelling of the authors’ names and their works.

Try to get a feedback

Sometimes when we are sure that everything is correct there is a tiny mistake that slipped out when we were proofreading or the ideas that we think are relevant might be hard to understand for others. It is wise to get a feedback from your friends and family. Ask them if your work was interesting to read and if it was easy to follow. Maybe the language that you used isn’t clear enough or your arguments are not so strong. Be open- minded and listen carefully to what they are going to say and be ready to make some changes, if they are necessary.

Use grammar-checking tools but don’t rely on them only

Grammar-checking tools are useful and we should all use them when writing an essay, but you have to understand that they are not a substitute for a proofreader. 

Check the changes

If you changed a few words, make sure to re-read the sentence and the whole paragraph. Some new errors can occur if we change some words without adjusting others to them.

Monitor yourself

Sometimes our minds can wander off and we start thinking about unrelated stuff, like grocery shopping or where we should go to have dinner. Bring yourself back and focus on your work. If you need a break, take a break, but don’t waste your time on day-dreaming.

Make sure your format is right

Check if you followed the needed format and that the paragraphs’ spacing is correct. Also, check the spaces above and below the text. It is better to do it at the very end because the content may change and shift and it is easier to do it when you see the finished results.

Use professional help

If you don’t have much time on proofreading, you feel like you stuck or do not have proficient language knowledge, it is advisable to hire a professional essay writer or proofreader. Not only they will check and correct all of your mistakes, but also, having a vast experience in editing and proofreading academic papers, they will give you advice on how to make your work even better. Paper proofreading service will be your best asset in making your essay as good as it could possibly be.

Now you can put these strategies to the test and write the best essay of your life.