This “how to proofread” article does more than run through a few spelling and grammar checker mistakes. This “how to proofread” the article explains the processes that professional proofreaders go through when they undertake their own proofreading practice. It also gives you a few tips to help you with your own proofreading practice.
Skim Reading Is Your Enemy
If you are going to learn anything from this “how to proofread” article, it should be that skim reading is your biggest enemy because it is insidious. You do not know when you are skim reading, which is why some proofreading services and programs try to make you go through each line of your sentences one at a time. Sadly, this method does not work because people become bored and/or impatient and will quickly rush through for the sake of their own sanity.
There are a few tips that will help you avoid skim-reading proofreading mistakes in this “how to proofread” article, but the most important factor is that you understand you are doing it without knowing. People who skim read are unable to see both big and small errors. They cannot see when they have written “To” instead of “Too” and they cannot see when they have missed words that affect the meaning of the sentence.
The “Leave It A Few Days” Method
If you are lucky, you will have plenty of time to spare before your deadline. If that is the case, then you may be able to leave your proofreading and editing for a few days and then come back to your essay to work on it and proofread it correctly.
If you have left your project a little too late, then contact the online paper writing service and allow one of their college paper writers to create a custom-and-original essay for you on demand. They are also able to proofread your work for you. The great thing about other people proofreading is that they are less likely to skim read.
The reason you are so likely to skim read is that you know what is written, and you know what is coming next in your text, ergo your mind will automatically engage time-saving features where it inserts what you remember above what you are actually reading, which is one reason why you end up skim reading when you didn’t mean to.
When somebody else is proofreading and editing your text, they are able to examine it more closely because their mind is not using their memory to fill in the gaps and cause them to skim read. That is the same reason why you should leave your proofreading and editing for a few days after writing your essay. Your mind will have forgotten most of what was written, which means it will not be able to take shortcuts when you read through it during your proofreading practice.
Examine Your Text Backwards
During your proofreading practice, you should start from the bottom and work on one paragraph at a time until you reach the start of your essay. Doing this during proofreading practice makes it more difficult for your mind to instigate the time/energy-saving features mentioned earlier. Once you have checked it for spelling and grammar errors going backward, you may then edit it going forwards for things like flow, consistency, etc.
That is the difference in the case of proofreading vs copyediting when you proofread, you are checking for errors based on the rules of English when you proofread. In the case of proofreading vs copyediting, you are checking to see if your paper makes sense and to see if it achieves the goal you set out to reach. If you are thinking about buying a writing service, and you are looking at proofreading vs copyediting, you should probably do the copyediting yourself and let the writing service do your proofreading. You do not need advanced knowledge of English to edit your own work.
A Few Extra Tips
Some people use Text-To-Speech software to check their work. However, before you even attempt this, it is imperative that you find a Text-To-Speech program that has a natural sounding voice and that has a reasonably human cadence to its voice pattern. If it sounds robotic or unnatural, then you will naturally zone out as it talks. Running your essay through Text-to-Speech software helps identify typos that you and your spelling and grammar checker may have missed. For example, if you have written “Gum” instead of “Gun” and “Of” instead of “For,” then it will become obvious and unmissable when a Text-to-Speech program says it.
Try a bunch of different spelling and grammar checkers that you find online because it increases your chances of finding possible errors. If you find that you have made a repetitive error, such as writing “Principal” instead of “Principle,” then use your word processor’s “Find and Replace” function. On Libre Office (the greatest word processor ever), press CTRL H to bring it up right away. It is the same shortcut with Microsoft Word too. Simply ask it to find “Principal” and replace it with “Principle.”