6 Useful Ways Proofreading Can Save Your Research Paper
Proofreading can prevent unexpected communication glitches and save college students' research papers.
Consider this example: I once received an email from an executive secretary to a senior-level administrator. As I was reading the email, another email from her popped into my inbox with a subject line stating: "DO NOT READ PREVIOUS MESSAGE – PLEASE DELETE." Well, too late.
The original message stated the president of the organization was visiting, along with the date and time of the meeting. However, the author had evidently misspelled held in the email. In spellchecking, she changed the word, but unfortunately the replacement word was hell instead of held. So the message read:
There will be a meeting with the president on Tuesday to be hell in the large conference room.
This mistake could have been avoided by a final proofread of the email.
Research papers and essays for online degree programs work in a similar way. Proofreading your work before submitting it will help catch errors and make the paper considerably cleaner.
Here are six tips for online students to keep in mind while proofreading research papers
1. Proofreading catches errors that spellcheck does not.
Consider the example above with the executive secretary, for instance. You won't see a squiggly line underneath the word "hell" in Microsoft Word, even though it was blatantly obvious the secretary did not mean to use it in that instance. Proofread manually. Don't simply click through spellcheck.
2. Never proofread immediately after finishing your work.
Walk away. Clear your mind. Give it some time.
3. Make no mistake: Spellchecking is useful.
After taking a break, spellcheck one more time, even if you have already done it, and then begin to proofread.
4. Read your writing out loud.
Better yet, read it out loud to someone or have the person read it to you while you are looking at a copy of your work.
5. Find a study buddy to proofread your research paper.
Offer to do the same in return. It helps to have another set of eyes on your work before submitting.
The sooner you work ahead and proofread your work, the more organized and cleaner it will be before sending the final copy.
Proofreading should be part of every online student's writing toolkit. Don’t let your good ideas lose their power because of minor errors. Happy proofreading, and good luck on your papers.
About the author: Danna Teicheira has more than 10 years of teaching experience and currently serves as an English instructor at Grantham University, where she has taught English and American Literature courses since December 2009.