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  • Writer's pictureAlpha Moose

Proofreading Like a Pro

Can’t scrape together the moolah for a professional proofreader? Use these steps to get a good start in the right direction.

Use Spell Checkers

Most browsers and programs have some kind of spell and grammar check. Use them! Another great resource is Grammarly, a free writing extension that checks your writing wherever you go. While all these services can save you significant time, they are not a replacement for a thorough proofreading. After you’ve used them to write your paper and get the content all pulled together, then you want to…

Organize Your Content

Your content should flow logically from start to finish, depending on the prompt or material. For any essay, you’ll need an explanatory introduction and a solid conclusion that effectively wraps up your ideas. In the middle, your ideas should build on each other and form a solid basis for your final conclusion. Transition words/sentences and maintaining clear descriptions are important for most types of writing.

Alright, your content is finally all done! Block off a good chunk of time so you’re not rushed and sit somewhere without distractions. You’re going to…

Read it Out Loud

Read your project or essay out loud, or better yet, to someone. Even if they’re not completely listening, you’ll be able to catch most grammar and even spelling errors this way. While you’re reading, either out loud or silently, also…

Pretend You’re Reading a Textbook

No, don’t fall asleep! Just act like it’s assigned reading. Does a slang word, abbreviation, or unrelated content throw you off your reading groove? Take that part out! If you come across math or graphs, explain them as if the listener couldn’t see them. This will tell you if they don’t make sense with the context or if you need to add more explanation. Train your eye to also look for inconsistencies in your formatting. These can detract from a clearly formed essay. Once you’ve identified any of these glaring problems, correct them! The basic proofreading is done and now you’ll want to…

Carefully Review Each Element

Choose one error to look for at a time and go through the whole essay just looking for that. Repeat for each element of the paper besides the basic text. For example, if you have math or science included in your paper, read through the whole project JUST looking for math errors and ignoring all others. If you have charts or graphs, go through once JUST looking at those visuals. By carefully going through one element at a time, you’ll check most if not all of the errors in your work. Done with this step? For the last one, you’ll…

Double Check the Prompt and Instructions

A lot of work had transpired since the first day when you glanced (or glared) at the prompt. Read over it again carefully to make sure what you’ve created answers the question they presented. Additionally, the prompt may include small, otherwise-overlooked details like the required font size, page length, or submission method. If necessary, adjust your final piece so it matches the requirements.

There you are! A final work that’s been thoroughly proofread and is relevant to the topic. Way to go!

Don’t want to go through all this? Send it to Alpha Moose instead.

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