9 Simple Steps to Proofread Your First Draft
As a student, you are going to have many papers to proofread. Eventually, you will become a pro but you need to start off somewhere. Where do you begin when proofreading? The following is a list of steps you should follow when proofreading your first draft.
1. Give Yourself Some Time off
When you finish writing an assignment, give yourself some time away from the paper. You can have some rest for a few hours, a day, a week or whatever works best for you. It will help you identify mistakes more clearly with a fresh pair of eyes.
2. Take Time to Prepare
You are going to have to be at your best when proofreading because the efforts take time, attentiveness, and patience. Make sure you got good rest before you start looking over your paper.
3. Get Comfortable
When you proofread a paper, you are going to have to put your full concentration and focus on the paper. To effectively do this, you need to put yourself in a setting you can easily concentrate on your piece of work. For example, don’t go somewhere noisy to proofread where you will be distracted.
4. Use Online Resources
There are some online sources, like Grammarly, that help you catch spelling, punctuation, and grammar mistakes. Although it never guarantees to make your paper completely error-free, these resources will help you catch errors you have overlooked.
5. Read out Loud
When you read silently, your brain subconsciously fixes errors making it easy to miss errors. Reading out loud slows down your normal reading pace so your mind can register when an error is spotted. Also, hearing yourself say the words will help you identify grammar errors that don’t sound right.
6. Use a Ruler
Place a ruler under every line when you read. This makes sure that you won’t accidentally skip any lines and forces you to slow down your reading speeding. Both results help prevent your mind from going into a robotic reading mode where you can’t recall anything you read.
7. Reference Assignment Requirements
Sometimes, instructors give specific instructions for written assignments, like incorporating information or citing references in a certain way that can easily be forgotten when you are working on the assignment. Referencing an instructional sheet will help you see if you have missed any requirements.
8. Divide Proofreading Sessions
It can be hard to remain concentrated and alert when you are trying to proofread everything in one big block. Instead, section off the paper to proofread them on different days or times. This will help you ensure that even small mistakes will be caught.
Even though you did well proofreading and being thorough, it is always good to proofread one or two more times. You would be surprised to see the errors you may have missed.
No matter how well you proofread your piece, there may still be some mistakes. Eliminate them by using these helpful tips!