8 Steps Toward Successful Proofreading
PLAN: Give yourself enough time to not only research and write the paper, but to proofread too. Keep in mind that the best proofreading is done when you can get a fresh look at it, so get some distance; come back when you are ready.
PRINT A HARD COPY: Reading and correcting are easier to do when it is on paper. The computer screen can cause your eyes to strain, especially the more you read.
DON'T RELY ON SPELL CHECK: Spell-check and grammar-check can help with some errors, but not all. Spell-check won't catch things like "their" vs. "there" or "hear" vs. "here."
KNOW YOUR ERROR PATTERNS: Error patterns are mistakes you make on a regular basis. Do your instructors usually mark commas usage or comment on organization? It is helpful to work with your instructors and the Writing Lab to identify your error patterns.
PROOFREAD FOR ONE TYPE OF ERROR AT A TIME: It is easy to be distracted or overwhelmed by the proofreading process. If you usually struggle with commas and capitalization, you should read first for commas, then capitalization.
CHECK ALL PROPER NAMES AND SPECIAL TERMINOLOGY: Proper names and relevant terminology are too important to risk misspelling, and spell-checkers usually cannot recognize incorrect spellings.
USE PROVEN PROOFREADING TECHNIQUES: Read your paper aloud; youï¿½ll be able to catch mistakes that you wouldn't visually see. Also, try reading each line individually or each sentence backwards this is good for spelling errors.
GO TO THE WRITING LAB: While the Writing Lab can't fix your paper, they can help you practice these techniques.