Tag Archives: editing and proofreading

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.

How to Polish Your Essay

the girl is writing

When your draft is complete, all you can think about is finishing your work as quickly as possible, right? But there is so much left to do! Well, with the help of our tips, you can polish and finalize your paper without spending too much time. How? Read this article!

1. Have a Little Break

When working on your assignment for a long time, it’s easy to become tired and heedless. It’s not surprising, as your brain is overloaded with all the wording, creativity, and analysis. It’s hard to switch to another task, so your brain needs some time to rest.

Even if you don’t have much time, a five-minute break will work. Watch a video, listen to music, have a snack, etc. Meanwhile, your brain will have a little time to relax too. After that, you will see that it’s easier to continue working on your essay. Check out what other tricks on how to become a more productive student we were writing about.

2. Check if Your Paper Meets the Requirements

This step is not only about checking the word count (although you should) but also other qualities of your essay. For example, check the assignment to find out if you did everything that was required. Did you answer the question posed? Did you explain, analyze, or compare what you were supposed to?

Then, check the word count and formatting guides (we also have a great article about differnet citation styles that you might find very helpful). These requirements are crucial to meet in order to get a high grade, as these are the first things that your professor or teacher will pay attention to. Not meeting them can badly affect your grade even if the content of your essay is pretty good.

3. Pay Attention to the Style and Content Quality

Even if you have reached the minimum word count (check the article on how to lengthen your essay if you haven’t), it doesn’t mean that the content of your essay is good enough. Read through your text and pay attention to the structure of your sentences and paragraphs. Edit sentences that seem unclear or have any style errors. For example, there are general rules applied to any academic work, such as:

  • Using the active voice instead of passive
  • Avoiding slang, contractions, and exaggerations
  • Avoiding repetition and complicated wording
  • Explaining terms used in your essay
  • Keeping the number of quotes used reasonable
  • Using transitions between paragraphs to avoid making sharp jumps
  • Avoiding facts and data that don’t have a reliable source.

Reread your text several times to make sure you have covered all the facts that you intended and created a logical flow that leads your reader through the topic. There should be no ‘sharp edges’ that one can usually see in the works that have a bad structure. In such a case, the author jumps from one fact or subtopic to another, sometimes coming back and repeating themselves. Make sure to elaborate your thoughts in an easy-to-understand manner and use transition sentences when moving from one paragraph to another.

Also:

  • Check if your essay has words like ‘bad,’ ‘good,’ etc. It’s better to replace them will less widespread and banal words. You can use online synonym tools like Thesaurus to pick the most suitable words for your piece.
  • Avoid using too complicated and fancy words as they usually don’t add any value to your essay and may make you look less creative and genuine.
  • Make sure you keep your work easy to read – say ‘no’ to complicated constructions and long sentences because they make it easier to miss a punctuation error and harder to follow your point.

If you see that the content and style look fine, you can take the next step.

4. Check the Grammar

Flawless grammar is essential in order to get a high grade. Even if you conduct in-depth research and put much time into the analysis, poor grammar can ruin all your effort.

First of all, you can use the grammar checker that is embedded in your word processor. Of course, it’s not totally reliable, as it may not recognize errors due to its inability to work with the context in which the words are used. It might also miss typos or commas.

The next level of check is to put your essay through a grammar checker like Grammarly. They are highly popular and develop each year to let you check the flow and clarity of your pieces as well as grammar and punctuation. It is more context-oriented, so it will let you know about the mistakes that your software has missed.

The last step would be to run your essay through the plagiarism-checking software. Even if you didn’t copy any part of your text from other sources, your piece might contain similar parts to already existing pieces. Of course, your professor or teacher will not always check your essay for plagiarism, but it’s always good to be confident about the quality of your work.

If you want your essay to be checked by the team of real professionals, just send us your request. We can do editing, proofreading, and plagiarism checking just as well as we write essays from scratch.