Effective Proofreading Techniques

a notebook and a pen

Proofreading is one of the most important steps of the essay writing process. It allows you to make even a mediocre essay shine by tailoring it and adding the missed details, while also correcting the mistakes. But if you choose to skip this step, even the most elaborated essay can be ruined by punctuation or grammar errors. We don’t want that for you. So, make sure you always give yourself some time to proofread your essay after you finish it and before you turn it in. The following proofreading techniques will help you make the most out of your time and effort.

Check After Check

So, whenever you need to check the grammar and punctuation of your essay, you might want to use some helpful tools. For example, the grammar checker Grammarly is very popular as it has some great software that can really help you polish your essay and find mistakes. However, none of these tools are perfect.

Make sure you proofread your text at least one more time after it was checked by the software. You, as a person, might find some mistakes that a program misses due to its coding imperfections. You might also find some repetitions in the text that don’t look really good while a checker will surely go through without highlighting them. 

Proofreading It Backwards

There is a technique that is not conventional but is very effective. The point is in reading your texts sentence by sentence but starting with the end of your essay. It helps you have a fresh look at your piece and find the details that you would have otherwise missed because of the flow of the essay elements.

When you start proofreading from your conclusion first, you can also find some inconsistencies in the summary and get a chance to rewrite the parts that seem to be not clear enough. It’s a good technique that might really change your proofreading routine, so check it out.

Piece by Piece

Some students find it very useful and effective to break a big text into smaller chunks and work on one at a time. It means that you might break a big essay into a few pieces that you might want to proofread a few times while concentrating on particular things at one time – punctuation, grammar, logical flow, structure, clearness, and synonyms instead of repetitions for a more polished and professional look.

So, this might not be a big time-saver as it will probably take you the same time as when you proofread your essay in the process of reading it back-to-back to the very end. However, it will surely help you proofread more effectively. You see, when you work with a big text, you tend to lose concentration with time. It means that with larger essays, the end of your essay might be less polished because you are already tired. But when you can plan your time and divide a big text into smaller chunks, you give yourself an opportunity to work evenly with each of the pieces.

Taking Breaks

Another tip that comes from the previous one is that you need to keep your concentration on the proofreading process. That’s why it’s so important to take regular breaks and stay focused in order to be able to spot even the slightest mistake.

Stepping away from your piece can also help you get a fresh look at what you have read after you came back to it. Sometimes we just can’t see the problem in a sentence because we need a little time to look at it again. It also might help you to get a new idea or some additional detail to put into your essay.

Finding Repetitions

You can find repetitions in your essay by using hotkeys Ctrl+F. This feature will help you highlight all the matches to the word you might be using too frequently throughout your essay.

For example, if you are writing an essay about pollution – there might be too many repetitions of the word “pollution” in the text. And that might be hard to read. Use synonyms and substitute words or phrases to make your essay a little bit easy-flowing.

Reading Out Loud

Reading your essay to yourself is something that the majority of students do. However, what’s more effective is to read it aloud. When you are reading the text out loud, you tend to read much slower and it gives you the time and opportunity to spot mistakes. Sometimes only by hearing the text, you might notice the difference between what you meant and what it turned out to be.

Wrapping Up

If you tend to skip the proofreading step of the essay writing process, you might lose a chance to polish your essay and make it sound professional. Try our proofreading tips and techniques to improve the quality of your academic pieces and get better grades for your essays. You can also ask us to write an essay for you or edit the ones that have already written.