Editing and Proofreading Strategies

Jul 28, 2017

So, the final version of the paper is written and it seems that the work is done. Is it really? Writing is a complex process that requires specific skills and abilities. It is very difficult to make a good piece of writing on the first try. As a result, even the final version of the paper requires thorough revision.

Paper revision process includes two main activities, which are editing and proofreading. Their aim is to find the smallest grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes, as well as flaws in grammar structure, style, word choice, etc.

The following article will provide you with useful tips on effective editing and proofreading.

Editing

Editing is a process of tracing and correcting mistakes. For this reason, it is crucial for the writer to know typical mistakes, as well as implement strategies for finding them.

Editing tips for writers include:

  1. The best way to trace errors is to read the paper aloud.
  • Do not hurry up. Read each sentence slowly and attentively. Correct any mistakes you find.
  • After reading each sentence separately, read the whole paper once more. Concentrate on the parts that seem awkward and correct them.
  • If you have enough time, do not revise your paper at once. Do it the next day after writing. It will help you get a new insight into your writing and improve your paper.
  1. One by one!
  • While editing, it is recommended to read only one sentence at a time. It will give you a possibility to evaluate it better and see whether it sounds weird, whether it is what you wanted to say and whether it is relevant to the topic.
  1. Typical errors
  • It is not a secret that people tend to make the same mistakes over and over again. If spelling is your weak side, pay more attention to it. If grammar is the problem, concentrate on it.
  • Make a list of common mistakes and address them each time when you are writing a paper.
  1. Pay attention to punctuation and grammar rules.

It is clear that you will not be able to learn all the grammar and punctuation rules by heart. However, if you do not know the rule, it does not mean you do not have to follow it. If you doubt that you are right in some instances, consult a grammar book!

Proofreading

Proofreading is the final step on your way to submitting a high-quality paper. Therefore, it is not less important than editing! This activity helps to spot random errors and correct them.

Proofreading includes the following steps:

  1. Reader, not a writer.

Read your paper as if it was written by someone else. Do you find it understandable and logical enough?

  1. Step-by-step reading.

Read the paper very carefully. Look for typos and other errors.

  1. Backwards reading.

Start reading information on a page from bottom to the top and from left to right. This strategy helps to identify typographical and spelling errors faster.