How to Go through the Process of Editing and Proofreading?
The document presented below gives detailed information about how to revise one’s piece of writing properly. If you follow each of the steps, you will submit a flawless paper containing no grammar, spelling or any other mistakes.
Is there a Difference between Editing and Proofreading?
One cannot state that these two processes are exactly the same though a lot of people think that these terms are interchangeable. Proofreading and editing are two major elements of the revision process which demand scrutinizing the text thoroughly. However, each of the stages is concentrated on reviewing different aspects of the paper. In addition, different methods are employed to go through each of the procedures.
Useful Hints on Editing and Proofreading Aspects
Put off a completed paper for a certain period of time. It is very complicated to do editing or proofreading of a work right after it has been written. You are perfectly aware of each word in a sentence and probably you will not notice possible mistakes. Therefore, it is much better to put away your piece of writing for a few hours or days and have some rest. In this case, you will be able to look at your text with new eyes and discover all mistakes that you have made. However, there is even better solution. You can ask your friend to read your paper. Thus, you will be sure that all errors will be detected. It is apparent that a person reading a particular document for the first time will definitely notice more inconsistencies (if there are any) if the one who has produced it.
Choose the most suitable method for proofreading your paper. You can either use a computer or print your paper to make the necessary remarks.
Change the format of your work. Try to change the font, spacing, and color of the text. In this way, you can trick your brain and it will seem that you are reading a paper which you have never seen before. As a result, you will look at your wok from a different angle.
Work in a suitable place. It is not worth proofreading your paper and listen to music at the same time. You need to find a quiet place where you will be able to focus solely on your written project.
Edit or proofread your paper in several stages. If you try to edit or proofread the whole piece of writing at once, you will feel exhausted and may skip some mistakes.
If you are in a hurry, pay attention to the most important parts of the paper. Be certain that you have edited or proofread the major sections of your work.
When the first draft is completed, you should begin to edit it. First, it is required to read the whole piece to see whether it is well structured and whether there are transitions between the paragraphs. In addition, you need to check whether your arguments are supported by concrete facts.
Note that the editing process may consist of several stages:
Have you followed assignment instructions? Are made statements valid? Does your paper argue about anything (if it is specified by the guidelines)? Is the provided evidence powerful? Are the covered points backed by strong arguments? Do all of the ideas discussed in the paper relate to the topic directly?
Checking the Paper Structure
Does your paper include introductory and concluding sections? Does an introduction clearly outline a thesis statement? Is it understandable in what way each of the body paragraphs refers to a thesis statement? Are the paragraphs organized logically? Are there smooth transitions between paragraphs?
Checking the Paragraphs Structure
Is there an opening sentence in every paragraph? Does every paragraph examine one concept? Do the paragraphs perform a complete analysis of the issue?
Are all of the used terms clear to readers? Are all of the sentences understandable? (In order to give a proper answer to this question, you should read your work sentence by sentence. You need to start from the very end of the sentence and move to its beginning. Thus, you will avoid any misunderstandings). Have you used the pronouns appropriately? Are your ideas expressed cogently? When producing the paper, you should not use the words the meaning of which is unclear to you.
Is your paper prepared in a proper style (informal, formal, etc.)? Are all words used in the right way? At this point, you have to check whether the pronouns denoting gender i.e. “he,” “she” are used correctly. Additionally, you need to pay attention to the use of words that consist of two parts one of which is “man” (e.g., postman, policeman). Be careful with the words that can be misinterpreted as those referring only to one gender (for instance, the word “nurse” is thought to be applied to women only). Are all the sentences structured in the same way? Are they of the same length? Do passive grammar constructions prevail over the active ones? Are there any cases of wordiness in your paper?
Are the ideas taken from other sources cited correctly? Are the citations made in accordance with the required style?
If you go through each of the stages described above, you will succeed in revising your paper. You do know about your Achilles heel i.e. the cases when you usually make a lot of mistakes. Therefore, you have to be specifically attentive when checking these paper parts, especially if you deal with a lengthy academic work such as a dissertation, for example.
When the mistakes which you make very often are identified, you may develop a particular approach to correct the cases containing the same mistakes. For example, if you see that each of the body paragraphs examines several ideas, you may scrutinize the work and highlight the key phrases in every paragraph. Then, you need to divide every paragraph into several ones discussing a particular point each.