Picture this: you are in college and you are taking a course in, let’s say, the literature of Medieval France. Your assignment is to write a critical essay on some of the top authors of this time period. You spend two weeks feverishly researching and writing. You turn in the essay. In about a week, you get your final essay back and you are disappointed with the grade. You thought you wrote an amazing essay, but there were too many spelling mistakes and grammatical errors and your entire essay was difficult to read. If you had proofread your essay, you may have gotten a better grade. Here are five helpful proofreading tips and techniques for college students.
- Read aloud. Reading your essay or paper out loud can make it a lot easier to proofread. Moreover, it can improve the accuracy. If you want to catch spelling and grammar errors, you want to pay attention to every word. There is no better way to do this than to read your essay to yourself. It can help if you aren’t around other people, because you will be less self-conscious.
- Use a marker. Using a marker can help improve your accuracy as well, because you will be able to jump on mistakes right when you see them. Of course, using a marker will require printing out your paper. Reading your paper from a printed copy can be a lot easier than reading it off the computer, because your eyes can become strained. When you catch a mistake, you can use the marker to notate the error. You can also use the margins to make revision notes.
- Recruit a friend. If you are having trouble with proofreading, you may want to recruit a friend for help. Some people have difficulties proofreading – they always seem to miss a spelling mistake or a grammatical error. If this is the case, you want to scroll through your phone or task the services of social media to find your most detail-oriented friend. You can then give them a draft of your paper. To be nice, you could take your friend out to dinner for his or her gracious donation of time.
- Use a proofreading service. There is also the option of using a professional proofreading service. You can easily look online to find an essay proofreading service or a term paper proofreading service. These companies will take your papers and very carefully check for errors. You can bet that a professional proofreader will be able to find all mistakes so that your final grade isn’t docked.
- Use a grammar checker. There is also the option of using a grammar checker. Just like you would use a spellchecker, you can also use the grammar checker tool to look for grammatical mistakes. If you don’t trust that your grammar checker works, you could use an online service. All you have to do is plug in the words and you will get a response. In the end, it is up to you to edit the content accordingly.