Posted by: ArtisrRJ19 | December 20, 2012

The Most Important Thing to Remember When Proofreading

This is a Guest Post by the author Harry Boyd.

No matter how much experience you have in writing essays, you are not immune to making mistakes or structural errors. This is why it is highly important for you to proofread your essay at least twice before you send it over to the recipient. But why is it that a lot of people proofread their work but still come out with a bad result? Simple, they lack proper knowledge of proofreading.  To help you perform better here are very important proofreading tips you can employ to eliminate errors from your essay just like the pros

Leave It For A While

The golden rule of proofreading is to leave the essay for a while after completing it, and come back to it later. Letting the essay rest for around 24 hours before you attempt corrections will give you the space to see your essay from the angle of imperfection that needs to be corrected. It’s hard for you to see errors when you’ve just finished writing your essay.


There is no way you’re going to do a good job proofreading your essay in the living room where people are watching TV or playing video games. You need concentration and lots of it. This is necessary in order to focus your mind on the words, sentences and tiny details that can make your essay come out with the least amount of errors when removed. So look for a quiet place without noise or disturbances to make have errors even after proofreading.

One Correction At Time

Looking for grammar, punctuation, spelling and structure errors at the same time can be frustrating and distracting. To avoid getting completely overwhelmed it is better you make your corrections one problem at a time. You can first look out for homonyms, then move to apostrophes and contractions. After that, you can then fight grammar and then spelling before you finish up on punctuation.

Read It To Your Ears

Reading silently is okay but reading aloud your essay when proofreading is the perfect thing to do. Reading aloud will make you detect problems faster because you’re not only using your mind, but your speaking and listening sense. It’s also a great idea if you ask a colleague of yours to read out the essay to you; two read aloud are better than one.

Print Out

You are definitely going to fish out more errors when you make your proofreading from a print out copy than making corrections on your computer screen. So make sure you print out the essay, read it aloud and have a colored pen handy to mark out the errors in order to make them distinctive.

Read Backwards

Mistakes appear more in writing because the brain works in a way that it automatically corrects errors right there inside the sentence. The best way to eliminate this kind of error is to read the essay backwards word by word. Might sound like a lot of work but it is worth it if you want to get rid of errors as much as possible.

Use Spell Checkers & Dictionaries

Spell checkers are software that helps you correct mistakes in your draft automatically and more efficiently. Spell checkers will help you catch errors like repeat words, reverse letters and many other hard to detect errors. A word or spelling error that your spellchecker can not perfectly correct can be found out in the dictionary. This is highly important because many spell checkers correct individual words and not placement of words in the sentences.

Try creating your personal proofreading checklist containing your most common mistakes and ensure that you make corrections more than once to eliminate additional errors. You can invite a friend to help you out if things are getting out of hand.

Harry Boyd is an online tutor who teaches students great essay and report writing techniques and he believes that proofreading is a vital part of this.



  1. Great article, Harry. It helps me out by reminding me of key points to consider while proofreading. Thanks a lot.

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