August 16, 2015

Revising and Proofreading Assignments

Before turning in your writing assignments, you always need to revise and to proofread. These two processes are separate. Revising focuses on content while proofreading focuses on mechanics.

Do not revise immediately after writing the paper. Wait. It is a good idea to read the paper out loud. Read it line by line to see how it flows. Check to make certain the title and subheadings accurately reflect the content. Make sure you get the reader’s interest in the first paragraph. Check each succeeding paragraph to be sure they build on each other. Read the conclusion and see if the paper supports it.

Check your sentences and vocabulary to make sure they stay consistent throughout the paper. Make sure that you do not use slang terms or popular sayings in a formal assignment.

When it is time to proofread, it is helpful to get somebody else to read your paper. You know what you wanted to say so often you will see what you meant to say, not what is actually on the paper. Another set of eyes may spot grammar errors as well as inconsistencies in logic or fact.

Be aware of errors that you may make. Go ahead and use the spell and grammar check on the computer. Don’t forget that you can mistype a word and that word will still pass the spell checker. For instance, you can type “do” for “due” and change the meaning of the sentence, but the spell check won’t catch it because the word is spelled correctly. It may help to read out loud when proofreading. When doing so, read quite slowly so your mind will be able to focus on each word.