Library and Learning Services
HEAT Stage 6: Drafting, editing and proofreading.
6.3 Proofreading (checking your work)
This is the final stage of the editing process (revising your work) and is done when you have completed your assignment.
Proofreading is important as you will be marked on your style, content, structure and presentation.
|Proofread for only one error at a time eg. spelling
If you try and identify too many things at once, you lose focus and proofreading becomes less effective.
|You may have some idea of the sort of mistakes you make so you may want to prioritise spellings for example, and then reread to check for another error such as punctuation.|
|Read slowly and read every word
You pick up errors that you miss when reading silently.
|Try reading out loud, which forces you to say each word and also lets you hear how the words sound together.|
|Separate the text into individual sentences
Read each sentence separately looking for grammar, punctuation or spelling errors.
|If working with a printed copy, try using a ruler or a piece of paper to isolate the line you are working on.|
|Circle every punctuation mark
This helps you to clearly focus on any mistakes.
|This forces you to look at each one. As you circle, ask yourself if the punctuation is correct.|
|Read the paper backwards
Start with the last word on the last page working your way back to the beginning, reading each word separately.
|Helps check spelling. Content, punctuation and grammar won't make any sense; the focus will be entirely on spelling.|
When you've just finished it put it aside for a while; decide whether you are going to work from the computer or a printed copy; alter the size, colour or font to trick the brain into thinking it's a different text, allowing you to see it from a different perspective; find a quiet place to work and do it in blocks of time rather than in one go to enable full concentration.