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The power of proofreading

Posted on 24/08/2016 by
Worried that your assignments are riddled with spelling errors? Get out a red pen and mark them the old-fashioned way!

Worried that your assignments are riddled with spelling errors? Get out a red pen and mark them the old-fashioned way!

Is there any better feeling than writing the last word of an assignment?

But wait! Before you jump for joy and hit ‘send’, there’s one more thing you need to do: proofread your work.

So many students skip this important step, but proofreading your work with fresh eyes (ideally a day later) can do wonders for your overall grade.

Of course, you will only have time for proofreading if you finish your assignment before the deadline. If possible, try to work ahead so you have at least one extra day to proofread your work before you submit it to your tutor.

Here are a few proofreading tips to get you started:

Proofread with fresh eyes

What time of the day do you feel the most focused and awake? For most people, this is in the morning after a cup of tea or coffee. Choose this time to proofread your work. You’ll be more likely to pick up mistakes if you’re not sleepy.

Print out your work

It’s hard to catch typos on the computer screen. Print out your assignment and go through it the old-fashioned way – with a red pen!

Read it out loud

Sometimes you won’t realise something is wrong until you read the words out to yourself. Find a quiet room and read your assignment out loud and see if you can find any errors.

Ask for help from a friend

Find a ‘study buddy’ and proofread each other’s work. This is a great way to get feedback – just make sure you don’t copy each other’s ideas.

Use spellchecker

When all else fails, use the spellchecker on Microsoft Word or a free editing software such as Grammarly.

While typos aren’t the end of the world (we all make them), it’s good to get in the habit of regularly proofreading your work. This habit will serve you well during your studies, and also in your career (for example, when sending emails). Good luck and get out those red pens!

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