Home Online Learning Tips to Help You Polish Your Papers, Part II: Proofreading

Tips to Help You Polish Your Papers, Part II: Proofreading


Are you proofreading or editing? It’s important to know the difference when you are writing papers for class. Part two defines proofreading and shares helpful tips.  Proofreading is the second step in your editing and proofreading process. Make sure all your edits have been completed.

Proofreading — correcting spelling, grammar, punctuation, and usage errors (this does not involve any rewriting).

These tips where shared at a workshop titled “Business Grammar and Proofreading” presented by National Seminars Group, a division of Rockhurst University Continuing Education Center, Inc.

Tips for Proofreading quickly without sacrificing accuracy

  • Use spell-checker as a tool; do not rely solely on it.
  • Step away from your paper for at least 5 minutes after you write it.
  • Read your paper aloud, pronouncing every word and syllable.
  • Cut a small rectangle out in the center of a piece of paper or business card. Use it to examine each word independently.
  • Read back to front starting with the last period and ending with your first word.
  • Ask someone else to proofread your work using a different color pen.

When you are proofreading something dry and trying to catch hard-to-find errors these helpful visual tricks will come in handy.

  • Scan first, across and diagonally. This will help catch errors such as duplicate words.
  • Turn it upside down. This will help you catch errors such as spacing and alignment.
  • Set the original next to the last proof. By looking back and forth, it stimulates both sides of your brain and helps you catch the toughest of errors.

Be sure to reference this when you write your next essay!

[Related Posts: Part I: Editing]

By Online Learning Tips Staff