What this handout is about

This handout gives some tips and strategies because that revising her writing. To provide you a chance to practice proofreading, we have left 7 errors (three order errors, two ptasiilaq.nettuation errors, and two grammatical errors) in the message of this handout. Watch if you deserve to spot them!

Is editing the exact same thing together proofreading?

Not exactly. Although many human being use the state interchangeably, editing and proofreading space two different stages of the revision process. Both need close and also careful reading, but they focus on different elements of the writing and also employ different techniques.

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Some tips that use to both editing and also proofreading

Get some distance native the text! It’s difficult to edit or proofread a paper that you’ve just finished writing—it’s still to familiar, and you tend to skip end a most errors. Placed the record aside because that a couple of hours, days, or weeks. Walk for a run. Take a expedition to the beach. Clear her head of what you’ve created so you can take a new look in ~ the paper and see what is really on the page. Far better yet, give the document to a friend—you can’t gain much more distance 보다 that. Someone that is analysis the record for the first time, concerns it with fully fresh eyes.Decide which medium allows you proofread most carefully. Some world like to work right at the computer, when others favor to sit back with a printed copy that they deserve to mark up together they read.Try changing the look of your document. transforming the size, spacing, color, or style of the text might trick your brain into thinking it’s see an unfamiliar document, and that can help you acquire a various perspective ~ above what you’ve written.Find a quiet ar to work. Don’t shot to execute your proofreading in front of the TV or while you’re chugging away on the treadmill. Find a location where you deserve to concentrate and also avoid distractions.If possible, do your editing and also proofreading in several short blocks the time. your concentration might start to wane if you try to proofread the whole text at one time.If you’re short on time, you might wish come prioritize. Make certain that you finish the most vital editing and also proofreading tasks.


Editing is what you begin doing as soon as you end up your very first draft. You reread her draft to see, for example, even if it is the file is well-organized, the transitions in between paragraphs room smooth, and your evidence really backs up your argument. Friend can edit on several levels:


Have friend done whatever the assignment requires? space the claims you do accurate? If it is compelled to carry out so, does your file make an argument? Is the debate complete? Are all of your claims consistent? have you sustained each suggest with adequate evidence? Is all of the info in your paper relevant to the assignment and/or your all at once writing goal? (For extr tips, check out our handouts on knowledge assignments and developing an argument.)

Overall structure

Does your document have an appropriate arrival and conclusion? Is your thesis plainly stated in your introduction? Is it clear exactly how each i in the human body of your record is regarded your thesis? space the paragraphs i ordered it in a logical sequence? have you made clear transitions between paragraphs? One means to inspect the framework of your file is to make a reverse synopsis of the paper after you have actually written the an initial draft. (See our handouts top top introductions, conclusions, thesis statements, and also transitions.)

Structure within paragraphs

Does each paragraph have a clear topic sentence? walk each i stick to one key idea? space there any type of extraneous or lacking sentences in any type of of your paragraphs? (See our handout on paragraph development.)


Have girlfriend defined any type of important terms that can be tasiilaq.netertain to your reader? Is the meaning of every sentence clear? (One way to prize this concern is to review your file one sentence in ~ a time, beginning at the end and working backwards so that you will not tasiilaq.netonsciously fill in content from ahead sentences.) Is it clear what every pronoun (he, she, it, they, which, who, this, etc.) ad to? have you chosen the ideal words come express your ideas? protect against using native you find in the thesaurus the aren’t part of your common vocabulary; you might misuse them.


Have you used an appropriate tone (formal, informal, persuasive, etc.)? Is your usage of gendered language (masculine and also feminine pronouns like “he” or “she,” words like “fireman” the contain “man,” and also words that some civilization incorrectly assume use to only one gender—for example, some human being assume “nurse” must refer come a woman) appropriate? have actually you varied the length and also structure of her sentences? perform you often tends to use the passive voice too often? walk your composing contain a most unnecessary phrases choose “there is,” “there are,” “due to the fact that,” etc.? carry out you repeat a strong word (for example, a vivid key verb) unnecessarily? (For tips, check out our handouts ~ above style and also gender-inclusive language.)


Have you accordingly cited quotes, paraphrases, and ideas you got from sources? are your citations in the correct format? (See the tasiilaq.net Libraries quote tutorial for more information.)

As you edit at every one of these levels, friend will usually make far-ranging revisions to the content and also wording of your paper. Keep an eye the end for trends of error; knowing what type of troubles you have tendency to have actually will it is in helpful, especially if you are editing and enhancing a large file like a thesis or dissertation. Once you have identified a pattern, you can build techniques because that spotting and also correcting future instances of that pattern. For example, if you notification that you often talk about several distinct topics in every paragraph, you deserve to go through your file and underline the key words in each paragraph, climate break the paragraphs up so that each one focuses on just one main idea.


Proofreading is the last stage the the modifying process, concentrating on surface ar errors such together misspellings and mistakes in grammar and also ptasiilaq.nettuation. You have to proofread just after you have actually finished every one of your other editing revisions.

Why proofread? It’s the content that really matters, right?

Content is important. But like it or not, the way a record looks affects the method others judge it. When you’ve ftasiilaq.nettioned hard to develop and also present her ideas, friend don’t want careless errors distracting your reader from what you need to say. It’s worth paying attention to the details that assist you to do a an excellent impression.

Most civilization devote only a few minutes come proofreading, hoping to catch any kind of glaring errors that jump the end from the page. However a quick and also cursory reading, especially after you’ve been ftasiilaq.nettioning long and also hard ~ above a paper, normally misses a lot. It’s much better to occupational with a definite arrangement that helps you to find systematically for certain kinds that errors.

Sure, this bring away a small extra time, but it pays turn off in the end. If you recognize that you have an effective method to catch errors when the record is almost finished, friend can problem less about editing if you room writing your first drafts. This provides the whole writing proccess more efficient.

Try to save the editing and proofreading procedures separate. As soon as you space editing very early draft, girlfriend don’t want to be bothered through thinking about ptasiilaq.nettuation, grammar, and also spelling. If your worrying about the assignment of a word or the location of a comma, you’re not focusing on the an ext important job of developing and also connecting ideas.

The proofreading process

You probably already use several of the strategies questioned below. Experiment with various tactics until you tasiilaq.netover a device that ftasiilaq.nettions well for you. The necessary thing is to do the process systematic and also focused so that you capture as numerous errors as possible in the least amount that time.

Don’t rely completely on order checkers. These can be advantageous tools but they are far from foolproof. Assignment checkers have actually a restricted dictionary, so some words that present up as misspelled might really just not it is in in your memory. In addition, spell checkers will not catch misspellings that kind another precious word. Because that example, if you form “your” rather of “you’re,” “to” instead of “too,” or “there” rather of “their,” the spell checker won’t record the error.Grammar checkers can be even an ext problematic. these programs job-related with a limited number the rules, so they can’t determine every error and also often do mistakes. They additionally fail to offer thorough explanations to help you understand why a sentence need to be revised. You may want to use a grammar checker to assist you recognize potential run-on sentences or too-frequent usage of the passive voice, however you need to be able to evaluate the feedback that provides.Proofread for only one kind of error at a time. If you try to identify and also revise too countless things in ~ once, girlfriend risk shedding focus, and your proofreading will be much less effective. It’s simpler to capture grammar errors if girlfriend aren’t checking ptasiilaq.nettuation and also spelling at the exact same time. In addition, some of the techniques that job-related well for spotting one kind of mistake won’t catch others.Separate the text right into individual sentences. This is another technique to assist you to review every sentence carefully. Just press the return crucial after every duration so the every line starts a new sentence. Then read each sentence separately, searching for grammar, ptasiilaq.nettuation, or spelling errors. If you’re working v a published copy, try using one opaque object like a leader or a piece of document to isolate the heat you’re working on.Circle every ptasiilaq.nettuation mark. This pressures you to look at each one. As you circle, ask you yourself if the ptasiilaq.nettuation is correct.Read the record backwards. This technique is advantageous for check spelling. Start with the critical word ~ above the critical page and also work your method back come the beginning, analysis each native separately. Since content, ptasiilaq.nettuation, and also grammar won’t make any type of sense, your focus will be totally on the assignment of each word. Friend can additionally read backwards sentence by sentence to inspect grammar; this will aid you avoid ending up being distracted by contents issues.Proofreading is a discovering process. You’re not just trying to find errors the you recognize; you’re likewise learning come recognize and correct brand-new errors. This is whereby handbooks and dictionaries come in. Save the ones girlfriend find advantageous close at your disposal as you proofread.Ignorance may be bliss, but it won’t do you a far better proofreader. You’ll often tasiilaq.netover things that don’t seem quite right come you, but you may not be rather sure what’s wrong either. A word looks like it can be misspelled, but the assignment checker didn’t capture it. Girlfriend think you need a comma between two words, however you’re not certain why. Have to you usage “that” instead of “which”? If you’re no sure about something, look the up.The proofreading process becomes an ext efficient as you develop and practice a systematic strategy. You’ll learn to determine the specific areas the your very own writing that need mindful attention, and also knowing the you have a sound method for finding errors will assist you come focus an ext on emerging your concepts while you room drafting the paper.

Think you’ve obtained it?

Then provide it a try, if friend haven’t already! This handout consists of seven errors our proofreader should have actually caught: three spelling errors, two ptasiilaq.nettuation errors, and two grammatical errors. Try to find them, and also then examine a variation of this web page with the errors significant in red to watch if you’re a proofreading star.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while creating this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of sources on the handout’s topic, and also we encourage you to perform your very own research come find extr publications. Please do not usage this list together a version for the layout of your own reference list, together it may not enhance the citation layout you room using. For guidance on formatting citations, please watch the tasiilaq.net Libraries citation tutorial. Us revise these advice periodically and welcome feedback.

Especially for non-native speaker of English:

Ascher, Allen. 2006. Think around Editing: an ESL overview for the Harbrace Handbooks. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Lane, Janet, and Ellen Lange. 2012. Composing Clearly: Grammar for Editing, 3rd ed. Boston: Heinle.

For everyone:

Einsohn, Amy. 2011. The Copyeditor’s Handbook: A guide for publication Publishing and also Corporate Communications, third ed. Berkeley: university of California Press.

Lanham, Richard A. 2006. Modification Prose, fifth ed. New York: Pearson Longman.

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Tarshis, Barry. 1998. Exactly how to Be your Own finest Editor: The Toolkit because that Everyone who Writes. Brand-new York: 3 Rivers Press.

This occupational is licensed under a an innovative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 License.You may reproduce it because that non-commercial usage if you usage the whole handout and attribute the source: The writing Center, university of phibìc Carolina at Chapel Hill