“Let the reader find that he cannot afford to omit any line of your writing because you have omitted every word that he can spare.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The motto of proofreading must be the words shared by this American essayist. Everyone knows the importance of proofreading resources in academic or professional papers as it makes a document error-free. Still, almost all of them fail to recognize this importance while Using Paraphrasing Tools in an essay. Most often, beginners believe it is easy; one must re-read it. However, the truth is quite different; proofreading takes much more time, focus, and effort. Moreover, most students fail to understand the elements of proofreading. Their lack of knowledge of the subjects to look out for proofreading a paper and their lack of skills are the primary reasons behind it. As a result, they take proofreading lightly. Here are a few things that look out for proofreading a professional or academic text.

Fundamental spelling and grammar

Spelling and grammar in a document may seem negligible when a whole copy is concerned. However, multiple seemingly insignificant errors in an entire professional or academic paper can draw more attention to the mistakes than the paper’s contents. It has the potential to tarnish an individual’s reputation. Students can lose their academic grades or may have to redo the paper while professionals may fail to leave a good impression on the sender. It can raise a question on the basic knowledge of words of the writer.

Then how to correct the mistake? First, ensure that the punctuation is placed in the correct places. Then, check that all technical jargon, homophones, homonyms, and homographs are spelled accurately, and a single convention of English is used throughout the document. For example, one should not use “centralize” and “centralize” in the same paper. While in the first word, “z” in “centralize” indicates that it is US English, and “s” in “centralize” is UK English.

Proper noun   

One of the most common mistakes people do while proofreading is to overlook the proper nouns. While proofreading a paper, one must look closely at the spelling of the appropriate noun; it must be worded accurately. For example, if a research scholar mentions the guide’s name on the paper and has a long or complicated character, the researcher must pen the name with the correct spelling. The faculty list of the institution present on the website may provide homework help in finding accurate spelling.

The same trick must be employed while writing emails to company executives or noting the names of organizations, job titles, or locations. Apart from the spelling, companies sometimes use a weird combination of upper and lower case in their names or combine several words without space, like “onefinestay.” These mistakes are easy to make in academic papers, emails, or professional documents. Be careful to check.

Tenses in verbs

Mistakes in the tenses of verbs are common in both native and non-native English speakers. People often speak in the present tense, but while putting the same words on paper, they write in the past tense or mix both in the document. It annoys the readers. The best way to discover these errors is by reading the paper quite a few times. It will ensure that no one mixes the verb tense or use multiple verb tense in a single tense while listing out numerous actions.

Structure of sentence

Notice the length of the sentence. Multiple commas, semicolons, and conjunction indicate that words have been rambled throughout the sentence. Attempting to reduce the sentence length can clean up the punctuation.

Sometimes sentences often have multiple semicolons that make the sentence incomprehensive. A writer must ensure to break such sentences; they must always be a maximum of 25 words. It will make the sentence more readable and impressive and stop confusing the reader. Moreover, the sentences will also be unique.

Paper Formatting

Formatting is a crucial part of both academic and professional papers. For academic papers, one must check the latest regulations regarding the paper format, like MLA, APA, and Chicago, and also check with the university standards. It will determine the spacing, margin, and other details of the solution.

However, for professional documents like a cover letter and resume Googling the latest trends or asking a friend to state their views on the paper format is important. It can help determine the width of the margin, font, and font size – whether it is too big or too small, readable or incomprehensible.

Most importantly, if the bold text is recognizable and the paper looks as good as it sounds. As a rule of thumb, never use more than one formatting style in a specific document –making a copy bold and italicizing it does not make it look more important than the rest of the words.

Uniformity and consistency of words

Studies say that consistency is the key to all parts of life. It is true in the case of writing a document as well. A writer must remember to follow a consistent pattern while stating numbers, symbols, or contractions. For example, it will look inconsistent if one uses “classmates” and “classmates” in their academic or professional papers. Similarly, “%” and “percent” – should not be used while stating the statistics in a specific paper. No one can say that any of the following “classmates,” “class-mates,” “%,” or “percent” is wrong, but it is important to choose a specific one and use it consistently.

Figure of speech

Another common mistake a student makes in writing or proofreading is in the figure of speech. A figure of speech, if used in writing, must be implemented accurately. For example, “once in a while” is not the same as “once and a while;” neither is “could not care less” and “could care less.” Making changes to these errors before hitting the send button is crucial. Individuals who rely on google for accuracy must read at least 3-4 results to ensure that every post agrees to the specific form of the idiom; reading only one source can become a cause of concern.

The general flow of paragraphs

Disruption in the overall flow of a document is mostly observed after it is edited or tweaked. At times, paragraphs or sentences appear incoherent or disconnected from the rest of the document. One must pay attention to the logical flow of the section and that the transition from one topic to another is not awkward; a smooth flow must always be in focus. Now, it might pop up in anyone’s mind – how to measure the overall flow? It is simple – read and re-read the paper slowly but loudly. It will help to hear all the typed words and pick up problems that otherwise seem fine.

To sum up

A well-proofread paper does not just glorify the flawlessness of writing – it says a lot about the writer. A professor can assess the seriousness of a student towards the craft of work while a business executive gets a glimpse of the professional’s dedication to the job. Moreover, a well-proofread paper enhances the chance of meeting the objective for which it is devised. Hence, keeping in mind to look out for these details in the document while proofreading the paper is bound to make the paper unique.

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