Spelling errors and grammatical mistakes are every writer’s nightmare. As a student, even you wouldn’t wish for such silly mistakes in your essay as it leaves you with poor grades. Editing and proofreading are two strong tools to avoid such glaring mistakes in your copy and prevent your grades from falling.
What is editing?
Editing is the “hall pass” that students use to perfect their content. In the editing process, a writer engages himself in activities like rethinking, reviewing the overall structure, focusing again on the topic etc. Editing should be repeated over and over again until no error is found. The basic purpose of editing is to review your work and ensure that ideas are apt and conveying the message to your readers far more effectively.
Make sure the question is answered accordingly
Do not initiate the editing process just after writing. Take one or two day’s break in order to take your mind away from that topic. Then take it up again. Reading aloud is considered the best way to detect flaws in your writing. The first step of editing is to make sure that you answer the essay question correctly. The answer should develop through introduction of the idea, the development of argument and lastly conclusion.
Keep a check on structure, written expression, sources and presentation
When you review your essay structure, look for incomplete phrases, sentences, ideas and also things which may sound odd or funny. Evaluate that the expressions are in the right places and they are serving the purpose for which they have been used. Examine that the sources are cited properly either in the body of the content or in a footnote at the end of the content.
Pro Tip: Review your presentation — make sure you have used same font size for the whole content; size spacing and color should be checked too.
What is proofreading?
Proofreading is mainly examining your text carefully to detect and correct typographical errors and mistakes in grammar, style and spelling. Your work should always be proofread before you hand it over to your professors.
Do not proofread just after writing it; wait for two or three days
Your brain will not allow you to search for specific kind of errors just after the tiresome work of writing a paper. So it is better to take a break of one or two days, and then review your content. This will definitely help you in detecting errors in quick time.
Review the content and search for common errors/mistakes
The focus should be on the random goofs that may have got ignored due to computer error, fatigue, carelessness or oversight. Reading slowly will help you to detect the silly mistakes that one usually does. Review your paper as a reader to make necessary alterations.
Focus on grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes
Punctuation, grammar and spelling mistakes must be corrected as you go through the paper. The technique of separating text into separate sentences helps you to read every sentence carefully. That way it is easier to find grammatical errors, spelling and punctuation mistakes. If you are working on printed copy, use opaque object like a ruler or piece of paper to isolate the line.
Pro Tip: Try and separate the session of editing and proofreading.
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