Top 10 Proofreading Tips

We've got plenty of experience here at ProofreadMyEssay. We're not only interested in proofreading your work; we're also interested in helping you to proofread your own work, so that your writing improves all the time, whether you're doing business proofreading or thesis proofreading. When you're checking through your work, it might help to have some tips for effective proofreading to help you. Here are our top ten online proofreading tips for anyone writing a dissertation!

1)  Try to be as ruthless as possible!
One thing we've noticed about people who spend a lot of time on their work is that they get can often attached to it. This means that they can be somewhat unwilling to make changes to their writing. This may be certain phrases or a certain order of words. When you proofread your work on your own, we recommend that you try to be objective. Put yourself in the shoes of someone who doesn't know you and doesn't know about your work, and ask yourself over and over again, 'do I know what this means?'. This can be especially relevant for English proofreading when the writer's first language is not English.

2) Make sure that your punctuation is good.
Misusing punctuation can cause all kinds of problems. It can confuse the reader and cause your sentences to sound strange (or just not make any sense at all!). Here are some examples of punctuation you should check
-Apostrophes: these are used for possession and contractions, but we frequently see people overlooking these. Take its,it's and its', for example. 'Its' refers to possession, 'it's' is a contraction, and its' just doesn't exist.


-Commas: these can be a useful way of breaking sentences up a little, but be careful not to overuse them!


-Full stops: make sure that your sentences end with the appropriate full stop, otherwise the reader won't be able to tell where one sentence starts and the other ends!

3) Don't use words that you don't understand.
Lots of students these days like to press the 'synonyms' button on Microsoft Word and try using different words to get their meaning across. Sometimes these new words are used incorrectly, or mean something slightly different to your original meaning. 'Said' and 'exclaimed' might come up as synonyms, but they really do mean something totally different.

4) Be thorough!
Your work will not proofread itself, and you have to have the patience to go through the entire document. Don't skim read anything - you don't want to miss any mistakes!

5) Be critical.
Put yourselves in the shoes of an examiner, and imagine how they might undermine your arguments. Have you said something outrageous? Would it be easy for someone to refute your ideas?

6) Check the language on your word processor!
If you're handing in work to an English institution, you need to make sure that you write in British English, not
American English. Make sure that you avoid using 'z' instead of 's' in words like 'organisation' and include a 'u' in words like 'favour'. 'Organization' and 'favor' are American spellings. Change the default language on your word processor to 'British English' to avoid this.

7) If you're not a native English speaker, ask someone who is.
If you don't quite know how to say something in English, then there will undoubtedly be many native English speakers at your institution. Ask them if your sentence makes sense. Students are all in it together!

8) Make sure your work looks professional.
Students often hand in work that looks really messy (which is why many use an online editing service like ours). Make sure your work looks like it is ready to publish.

9) Check your referencing system.
There are many different referencing systems, and different departments may use different ones. Check with yours to make sure you reference other people's work properly.

10) Use professional proofreading services.
The easiest way to get around all this is to simply send your work to some UK proofreading experts and let them do your thesis proofreading or phd proofreading for you.

We hope you found these proofreading tips and techniques helpful. Why not send your work to an online proofreader with ProofreadMyEssay now and get a professional job done?!

7 Aug 2012

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