• Link to facebook
  • Link to linkedin
  • Link to twitter
  • Link to youtube
  • Writing Tips

Why Proofreading Is Important

Why Proofreading Is Important

4-minute read

  • 11th February 2023

Any type of writing can benefit from proofreading. In this article, we’ll explain what proofreading can help you achieve with your work and why it’s so important.

What Is Proofreading?

Proofreading is a type of editing . It’s the process of reviewing a piece of writing for errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, and formatting. It takes place after the writing process is complete, and it’s the last type of editing you’ll do before publication.

While earlier stages of editing might make more significant changes to the structure and content of a document, proofreading focuses on catching surface-level errors that the writer has made or that previous edits have introduced.

What Is the History of Proofreading?

Proofreading gets its name from traditional printing presses, where “galley proofs” were mockups of a printed manuscript to test how the published document would look. These “proofs” were then checked for mistakes before being used in the expensive process of printing.

Historically, proofreading was done on paper using symbols called proofing marks . While proofing marks are still in use, these days, most modern proofreading is carried out on a computer using word processing software, such as Microsoft Word .

Why Is Proofreading Important?

Proofreading is crucial to ensuring that a piece of writing is clear, accurate, and easy to understand. These qualities are essential for any document that’s going to be published or shared in some way, from novels to dissertations.

Proofreading helps written work appear professional, reliable, and credible, which is especially important in the case of academic and business writing . It can also help maintain the “ suspension of disbelief ” in works of fiction.

In addition, proofreading saves time and money by catching mistakes before they’re published, submitted, or widely distributed.

What Impact Can Errors Have?

Even the smallest mistake can have a major impact on a piece of writing. In some cases, an error in grammar, punctuation, spelling, or formatting can cause confusion and lead to misinterpretation of what the author intended to say. A missing comma, for example, can completely change the meaning of a sentence:

And the same is true of typos that confuse similar words:

Errors in a text can also:

●  Distract readers from the point being made

●  Detract from the credibility of the work

●  Make the work difficult to read and understand

●  Negatively impact an author’s reputation

This can lead to significant consequences, such as poor grades, rejection from publishers, or missed career opportunities.

Find this useful?

Subscribe to our newsletter and get writing tips from our editors straight to your inbox.

To summarize:

●  Proofreading is an essential step in the writing process that helps to ensure written work is clear, accurate, and easy to understand.

●  It’s particularly important for academic and professional writing, as errors can detract from the credibility of the work.

●  Errors can have serious consequences for an author and damage their professional reputation.

●  Proofreading can prevent confusion and save time by catching errors before they’re published.

Whether you choose to proofread your own work or use a professional, proofreading is essential to producing a good quality piece of writing.

1. What are the most common errors found during proofreading?

Some errors appear more often than others.

10 of the most common proofreading errors are:

  • Incorrect apostrophe usage
  • Missing commas
  • Comma splices
  • Sentence fragments
  • Dangling and misplaced modifiers
  • Confusing homophones, such as their/there/they’re, its/it’s, and to/too/two
  • Faulty subject–verb agreement
  • Misused sayings and idioms
  • Inconsistent formatting
  • General spelling errors

When proofreading your work, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for these types of mistakes.

2. How can I proofread a large document efficiently?

It’s difficult to stay focused when looking through a long document, especially if you’ve already read it multiple times.

To help stay on track when proofreading large documents, try:

  • Following a proofreading checklist
  • Choosing one type of error to focus on at a time (e.g. first checking the entire document for spelling errors, then grammatical errors, and so on)
  • Splitting the document into smaller, more manageable chunks
  • Taking frequent breaks to rest your eyes (and your brain!)

3. How do I find a professional proofreader?

If you want a second pair of eyes on your writing, a professional proofreader can help.

Here at Proofed, we have a team of over 750 expert proofreaders ready to clean up your writing. 

Whether you’re writing an academic paper , job application , or novel manuscript , our proofreaders can help make sure your work is at its best. Try us out today with a free trial .

Share this article:

Post A New Comment

Got content that needs a quick turnaround? Let us polish your work. Explore our editorial business services.

9-minute read

How to Use Infographics to Boost Your Presentation

Is your content getting noticed? Capturing and maintaining an audience’s attention is a challenge when...

8-minute read

Why Interactive PDFs Are Better for Engagement

Are you looking to enhance engagement and captivate your audience through your professional documents? Interactive...

7-minute read

Seven Key Strategies for Voice Search Optimization

Voice search optimization is rapidly shaping the digital landscape, requiring content professionals to adapt their...

Five Creative Ways to Showcase Your Digital Portfolio

Are you a creative freelancer looking to make a lasting impression on potential clients or...

How to Ace Slack Messaging for Contractors and Freelancers

Effective professional communication is an important skill for contractors and freelancers navigating remote work environments....

3-minute read

How to Insert a Text Box in a Google Doc

Google Docs is a powerful collaborative tool, and mastering its features can significantly enhance your...

Logo Harvard University

Make sure your writing is the best it can be with our expert English proofreading and editing.


Proofreading means examining your text carefully to find and correct typographical errors and mistakes in grammar, style, and spelling. Here are some tips.

Before You Proofread

  • Be sure you’ve revised the larger aspects of your text. Don’t make corrections at the sentence and word level if you still need to work on the focus, organization, and development of the whole paper, of sections, or of paragraphs.
  • Set your text aside for a while (15 minutes, a day, a week) between writing and proofing. Some distance from the text will help you see mistakes more easily.
  • Eliminate unnecessary words before looking for mistakes. See the writing center handout how to write clear, concise, direct sentences.
  • Know what to look for. From the comments of your professors or a writing center instructor on past papers, make a list of mistakes you need to watch for.

When You Proofread

  • Work from a printout, not the computer screen. (But see below for computer functions that can help you find some kinds of mistakes.)
  • Read out loud. This is especially helpful for spotting run-on sentences, but you’ll also hear other problems that you may not see when reading silently.
  • Use a blank sheet of paper to cover up the lines below the one you’re reading. This technique keeps you from skipping ahead of possible mistakes.
  • Use the search function of the computer to find mistakes you’re likely to make. Search for “it,” for instance, if you confuse “its” and “it’s;” for “-ing” if dangling modifiers are a problem; for opening parentheses or quote marks if you tend to leave out the closing ones.
  • If you tend to make many mistakes, check separately for each kind of error, moving from the most to the least important, and following whatever technique works best for you to identify that kind of mistake. For instance, read through once (backwards, sentence by sentence) to check for fragments; read through again (forward) to be sure subjects and verbs agree, and again (perhaps using a computer search for “this,” “it,” and “they”) to trace pronouns to antecedents.
  • End with a spelling check, using a computer spelling checker or reading backwards word by word. But remember that a spelling checker won’t catch mistakes with homonyms (e.g., “they’re,” “their,” “there”) or certain typos (like “he” for “the”).

When You Want to Learn More

  • Take a class. The Writing Center offers many workshops, including a number of grammar workshops.
  • Use a handbook. A number of handbooks are available to consult in the Writing Center, and each Writing Center computer has an online handbook.
  • Consult a Writing Center instructor. Writing Center instructors won’t proofread your papers, but they’ll be glad to explain mistakes, help you find ways to identify and fix them, and share Writing Center handouts that focus on particular problems.

Check for information on how to make an appointment with a Writing Center instructor .

For further information see our resources on Peer Reviews .

proofreading the essay carefully

Grammar and Punctuation

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Using Dashes

Using Commas

Using Semicolons

Using Coordinating Conjunctions

Using Conjunctive Adverbs

Subject-Verb Agreement

Using Gender–Neutral Pronouns in Academic Writing

How to Proofread

Twelve Common Errors: An Editing Checklist

Clear, Concise Sentences

What are your chances of acceptance?

Calculate for all schools, your chance of acceptance.

Duke University

Your chancing factors


proofreading the essay carefully

15 Tips for Writing, Proofreading, and Editing Your College Essay

What’s covered:, our checklist for writing, proofreading, and editing your essay, where to get your college essays edited.

Your college essay is more than just a writing assignment—it’s your biggest opportunity to showcase the person behind your GPA, test scores, and extracurricular activities. In many ways, it’s the best chance you have to present yourself as a living, breathing, and thoughtful individual to the admissions committee.

Unlike test scores, which can feel impersonal, a well-crafted essay brings color to your application, offering a glimpse into your passions, personality, and potential. Whether you’re an aspiring engineer or an artist, your college essay can set you apart, making it essential that you give it your best.

1. Does the essay address the selected topic or prompt?

Focus on responding directly and thoughtfully to the prompt. If the question asks about your reasons for choosing a specific program or your future aspirations, ensure that your essay revolves around these themes. Tailor your narrative to the prompt, using personal experiences and reflections that reinforce your points.

  • Respond directly to the prompt: It’s imperative that you thoughtfully craft your responses so that the exact themes in the prompt are directly addressed. Each essay has a specific prompt that serves a specific purpose, and your response should be tailored in a way that meets that objective.
  • Focus: Regardless of what the prompt is about—be it personal experiences, academic achievements, or an opinion on an issue—you must keep the focus of the response on the topic of the prompt .

2. Is the college essay well organized?

An essay with a clear structure is easier to follow and is more impactful. Consider organizing your story chronologically, or use a thematic approach to convey your message. Each paragraph should transition smoothly to the next, maintaining a natural flow of ideas. A well-organized essay is not only easier for the reader to follow, but it can also aid your narrative flow. Logically structured essays can guide the reader through complex and hectic sequences of events in your essay. There are some key factors involved in good structuring:

  • A strong hook: Start with a sentence or a paragraph that can grab the attention of the reader. For example, consider using a vivid description of an event to do this.
  • Maintain a thematic structure: Maintaining a thematic structure involves organizing your response around a central theme, allowing you to connect diverse points of your essay into a cohesive centralized response.
  • Transitioning: Each paragraph should clearly flow into the next, maintaining continuity and coherence in narrative.

3. Include supporting details, examples, and anecdotes.

Enhance your narrative with specific details, vivid examples, and engaging anecdotes. This approach brings your story to life, making it more compelling and relatable. It helps the reader visualize your experiences and understand your perspectives.

4. Show your voice and personality.

Does your personality come through? Does your essay sound like you? Since this is a reflection of you, your essay needs to show who you are.

For example, avoid using vocabulary you wouldn’t normally use—such as “utilize” in place of “use”—because you may come off as phony or disingenuous, and that won’t impress colleges.

5. Does your essay show that you’re a good candidate for admission?

Your essay should demonstrate not only your academic strengths. but also the ways in which your personal qualities align with the specific character and values of the school you’re applying to . While attributes like intelligence and collaboration are universally valued, tailor your essay to reflect aspects that are uniquely esteemed at each particular institution.

For instance, if you’re applying to Dartmouth, you might emphasize your appreciation for, and alignment with, the school’s strong sense of tradition and community. This approach shows a deeper understanding of and a genuine connection to the school, beyond its surface-level attributes.

6. Do you stick to the topic?

Your essay should focus on the topic at hand, weaving your insights, experiences, and perspectives into a cohesive narrative, rather than a disjointed list of thoughts or accomplishments. It’s important to avoid straying into irrelevant details that don’t support your main theme. Instead of simply listing achievements or experiences, integrate them into a narrative that highlights your development, insights, or learning journey.

Example with tangent:

“My interest in performing arts began when I was five. That was also the year I lost my first tooth, which set off a whole year of ‘firsts.’ My first play was The Sound of Music.”

Revised example:

“My interest in performing arts began when I was five, marked by my debut performance in ‘The Sound of Music.’ This experience was the first step in my journey of exploring and loving the stage.”

7. Align your response with the prompt.

Before finalizing your essay, revisit the prompt. Have you addressed all aspects of the question? Make sure your essay aligns with the prompt’s requirements, both in content and spirit. Familiarize yourself with common college essay archetypes, such as the Extracurricular Essay, Diversity Essay, Community Essay, “Why This Major” Essay (and a variant for those who are undecided), and “Why This College” Essay. We have specific guides for each, offering tailored advice and examples:

  • Extracurricular Essay Guide
  • Diversity Essay Guide
  • Community Essay Guide
  • “Why This Major” Essay Guide
  • “Why This College” Essay Guide
  • Overcoming Challenges Essay Guide
  • Political/Global Issues Essay Guide

While these guides provide a framework for each archetype, respectively, remember to infuse your voice and unique experiences into your essay to stand out!

8. Do you vary your sentence structure?

Varying sentence structure, including the length of sentences, is crucial to keep your writing dynamic and engaging. A mix of short, punchy sentences and longer, more descriptive ones can create a rhythm that makes your essay more enjoyable to read. This variation helps maintain the reader’s interest and allows for more nuanced expression.

Original example with monotonous structure:

“I had been waiting for the right time to broach the topic of her health problem, which had been weighing on my mind heavily ever since I first heard about it. I had gone through something similar, and I thought sharing my experience might help.”

Revised example illustrating varied structure:

“I waited for the right moment to discuss her health. The issue had occupied my thoughts for weeks. Having faced similar challenges, I felt that sharing my experience might offer her some comfort.”

In this revised example, the sentences vary in length and structure, moving from shorter, more impactful statements to longer, more descriptive ones. This variation helps to keep the reader’s attention and allows for a more engaging narrative flow.

9. Revisit your essay after a break.

  • Give yourself time: After completing a draft of your essay, step away from it for a day or two. This break can clear your mind and reduce your attachment to specific phrases or ideas.
  • Fresh perspective: When you come back to your essay, you’ll likely find that you can view your work with fresh eyes. This distance can help you spot inconsistencies, unclear passages, or stylistic issues that you might have missed earlier.
  • Enhanced objectivity: Distance not only aids in identifying grammatical errors or typos, but it also allows you to assess the effectiveness of your argument or narrative more objectively. Does the essay really convey what you intended? Are there better examples or stronger pieces of evidence you could use?
  • Refine and polish: Use this opportunity to fine-tune your language, adjust the flow, and ensure that your essay truly reflects your voice and message.

Incorporating this tip into your writing process can significantly improve the quality and effectiveness of your college essay.

10. Choose an ideal writing environment.

By identifying and consistently utilizing an ideal writing environment, you can enhance both the enjoyment and effectiveness of your essay-writing process.

  • Discover your productive spaces: Different environments can dramatically affect your ability to think and write effectively. Some people find inspiration in the quiet of a library or their room, while others thrive in the lively atmosphere of a coffee shop or park.
  • Experiment with settings: If you’re unsure what works best for you, try writing in various places. Notice how each setting affects your concentration, creativity, and mood.
  • Consider comfort and distractions: Make sure your chosen spot is comfortable enough for long writing sessions, but also free from distracting elements that could hinder your focus.
  • Time of day matters: Pay attention to the time of day when you’re most productive. Some write best in the early morning’s tranquility, while others find their creative peak during nighttime hours.

11. Are all words spelled correctly?

While spell checkers are a helpful tool, they aren’t infallible. It’s crucial to read over your essay meticulously, possibly even aloud, to catch any spelling errors. Reading aloud can help you notice mistakes that your eyes might skip over when reading silently. Be particularly attentive to words that spellcheck might not catch, such as proper nouns, technical jargon, or homophones (e.g., “there” vs. “their”). Attention to detail in spelling reflects your care and precision, both of which are qualities that admissions committees value.

12. Do you use proper punctuation and capitalization?

Correct punctuation and capitalization are key to conveying your message clearly and professionally . A common mistake in writing is the misuse of commas, particularly in complex sentences.

Example of a misused comma:

Incorrect: “I had an epiphany, I was using commas incorrectly.”

In this example, the comma is used incorrectly to join two independent clauses. This is known as a comma splice. It creates a run-on sentence, which can confuse the reader and disrupt the flow of your writing.

Corrected versions:

Correct: “I had an epiphany: I was using commas incorrectly.”

Correct: “I had an epiphany; I was using commas incorrectly.”

Correct: “I had an epiphany—I was using commas incorrectly.”

Correct: “I had an epiphany. I was using commas incorrectly.”

The corrections separate the two clauses with more appropriate punctuation. Colons, semicolons, em dashes, and periods can all be used in this context, though periods may create awkwardly short sentences.

These punctuation choices are appropriate because the second clause explains or provides an example of the first, creating a clear and effective sentence structure. The correct use of punctuation helps maintain the clarity and coherence of your writing, ensuring that your ideas are communicated effectively.

13. Do you abide by the word count?

Staying within the word count is crucial in demonstrating your ability to communicate ideas concisely and effectively. Here are some strategies to help reduce your word count if you find yourself going over the prescribed limits:

  • Eliminate repetitive statements: Avoid saying the same thing in different ways. Focus on presenting each idea clearly and concisely.
  • Use adjectives judiciously: While descriptive words can add detail, using too many can make your writing feel cluttered and overwrought. Choose adjectives that add real value.
  • Remove unnecessary details: If a detail doesn’t support or enhance your main point, consider cutting it. Focus on what’s essential to your narrative or argument.
  • Shorten long sentences: Long, run-on sentences can be hard to follow and often contain unnecessary words. Reading your essay aloud can help you identify sentences that are too lengthy or cumbersome. If you’re out of breath before finishing a sentence, it’s likely too long.
  • Ensure each sentence adds something new: Every sentence should provide new information or insight. Avoid filler or redundant sentences that don’t contribute to your overall message.

14. Proofread meticulously.

Implementing a thorough and methodical proofreading process can significantly elevate the quality of your essay, ensuring that it’s free of errors and flows smoothly.

  • Detailed review: After addressing bigger structural and content issues, focus on proofreading for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. This step is crucial for polishing your essay and making sure it’s presented professionally.
  • Different techniques: Employ various techniques to catch mistakes. For example, read your essay backward, starting from the last sentence and working your way to the beginning. This method can help you focus on individual sentences and words, rather than getting caught up in the content.
  • Read aloud: As mentioned before, reading your essay aloud is another effective technique. Hearing the words can help identify awkward phrasing, run-on sentences, and other issues that might not be as obvious when reading silently.

15. Utilize external feedback.

While self-editing is crucial, external feedback can provide new perspectives and ideas that enhance your writing in unexpected ways. This collaborative process can help you keep your essay error-free and can also help make it resonate with a broader audience.

  • Fresh perspectives: Have a trusted teacher, mentor, peer, or family member review your drafts. Each person can offer unique insights and perspectives on your essay’s content, structure, and style.
  • Identify blind spots: We often become too close to our writing to see its flaws or areas that might be unclear to others. External reviewers can help identify these blind spots.
  • Constructive criticism: Encourage your reviewers to provide honest, constructive feedback. While it’s important to stay true to your voice and story, be open to suggestions that could strengthen your essay.
  • Diverse viewpoints: Different people will focus on different aspects of your writing. For example, a teacher might concentrate on your essay’s structure and academic tone, while a peer might provide insights into how engaging and relatable your narrative is.
  • Incorporate feedback judiciously: Use the feedback to refine your essay, but remember that the final decision on any changes rests with you. It’s your story and your voice that ultimately need to come through clearly.

When it comes to refining your college essays, getting external feedback is crucial. Our free Peer Essay Review tool allows you to receive constructive criticism from other students, providing fresh perspectives that can help you see your work in a new light. This peer review process is invaluable and can help you both identify areas for improvement and gain different viewpoints on your writing.

For more tailored expert advice, consider the guidance of a CollegeVine advisor . Our advisors, experienced in the college admissions process, offer specialized reviews to enhance your essays. Their insights into what top schools are looking for can elevate your narrative, ensuring that your application stands out. Whether it’s through fine-tuning your grammar or enriching your story’s appeal, our experts’ experience and expertise can significantly increase your likelihood of admission to your dream school!

Related CollegeVine Blog Posts

proofreading the essay carefully

proofreading the essay carefully

  • Walden University
  • Faculty Portal

Writing a Paper: Proofreading


Proofreading involves reading your document to correct the smaller typographical, grammatical, and spelling errors. Proofreading is usually the very last step you take before sending off the final draft of your work for evaluation or publication. It comes after you have addressed larger matters such as style, content, citations, and organization during revising. Like revising, proofreading demands a close and careful reading of the text. Although quite tedious, it is a necessary and worthwhile exercise that ensures that your reader is not distracted by careless mistakes.

Tips for Proofreading

  • Set aside the document for a few hours or even a few days before proofreading. Taking a bit of time off enables you to see the document anew. A document that might have seemed well written one day may not look the same when you review it a few days later. Taking a step back provides you with a fresh (and possibly more constructive) perspective.
  • Make a conscious effort to proofread at a specific time of day (or night!) when you are most alert to spotting errors. If you are a morning person, try proofreading then. If you are a night owl, try proofreading at this time.
  • Reviewing the document in a different format and having the ability to manually circle and underline errors can help you take the perspective of the reader, identifying issues that you might ordinarily miss. Additionally, a hard copy gives you a different visual format (away from your computer screen) to see the words anew.
  • Although useful, programs like Word's spell-checker and Grammarly can misidentify or not catch errors. Although grammar checkers give relevant tips and recommendations, they are only helpful if you know how to apply the feedback they provide. Similarly, MS Word's spell checker may not catch words that are spelled correctly but used in the wrong context (e.g., differentiating between their, they're , and there ). Beyond that, sometimes a spell checker may mark a correct word as wrong simply because the word is not found in the spell checker's dictionary. To supplement tools such as these, be sure to use dictionaries and other grammar resources to check your work. You can also make appointments with our writing instructors for feedback concerning grammar and word choice, as well as other areas of your writing!
  • Reading a text aloud allows you to identify errors that you might gloss over when reading silently. This technique is particularly useful for identifying run-on and other types of awkward sentences. If you can, read for an audience. Ask a friend or family member to listen to your work and provide feedback, checking for comprehension, organization, and flow.
  • Hearing someone else read your work allows you to simply listen without having to focus on the written words yourself. You can be a more critical listener when you are engaged in only the audible words.
  • By reading the document backwards, sentence by sentence, you are able to focus only on the words and sentences without paying attention to the context or content.
  • Placing a ruler or a blank sheet of paper under each line as you read it will give your eyes a manageable amount of text to read.
  • If you can identify one type of error that you struggle with (perhaps something that a faculty member has commented on in your previous work), go through the document and look specifically for these types of errors. Learn from your mistakes, too, by mastering the problem concept so that it does not appear in subsequent drafts.
  • Related to the previous strategy of checking for familiar errors, you can proofread by focusing on one error at a time. For instance, if commas are your most frequent problem, go through the paper checking just that one problem. Then proofread again for the next most frequent problem.
  • After you have finished making corrections, have someone else scan the document for errors. A different set of eyes and a mind that is detached from the writing can identify errors that you may have overlooked.
  • Remember that proofreading is not just about errors. You want to polish your sentences, making them smooth, interesting, and clear. Watch for very long sentences, since they may be less clear than shorter, more direct sentences. Pay attention to the rhythm of your writing; try to use sentences of varying lengths and patterns. Look for unnecessary phrases, repetition, and awkward spots.

Download and print a copy of our proofreading bookmark to use as a reference as you write!

  • Proofreading Bookmark Printable bookmark with tips on proofreading a document.

Proofreading for Grammar Video

Note that this video was created while APA 6 was the style guide edition in use. There may be some examples of writing that have not been updated to APA 7 guidelines.

  • Mastering the Mechanics: Proofreading for Grammar (video transcript)

Related Webinar


  • Previous Page: Revising for Writing Goals
  • Next Page: Reflecting & Improving
  • Office of Student Disability Services

Walden Resources


  • Academic Residencies
  • Academic Skills
  • Career Planning and Development
  • Customer Care Team
  • Field Experience
  • Military Services
  • Student Success Advising
  • Writing Skills

Centers and Offices

  • Center for Social Change
  • Office of Academic Support and Instructional Services
  • Office of Degree Acceleration
  • Office of Research and Doctoral Services
  • Office of Student Affairs

Student Resources

  • Doctoral Writing Assessment
  • Form & Style Review
  • Quick Answers
  • ScholarWorks
  • SKIL Courses and Workshops
  • Walden Bookstore
  • Walden Catalog & Student Handbook
  • Student Safety/Title IX
  • Legal & Consumer Information
  • Website Terms and Conditions
  • Cookie Policy
  • Accessibility
  • Accreditation
  • State Authorization
  • Net Price Calculator
  • Contact Walden

Walden University is a member of Adtalem Global Education, Inc. www.adtalem.com Walden University is certified to operate by SCHEV © 2024 Walden University LLC. All rights reserved.

Enago Academy

The Power of Proofreading: Taking your academic work to the next level

' src=

Preparing your scientific work for submission can be a nerve-wracking experience. Be it the high expectations of reviewers, the stringent guidelines of target journals, or your professor’s watchful eyes, that one glaring error overshadowing your hard work and brilliant ideas can send shivers down your spine. But fear not, for there is a weapon that can shield us from the embarrassment of those avoidable slip-ups: proofreading .

Imagine the impact of submitting an assignment that is not only filled with insightful content but is also devoid of those troublesome spelling mistakes, grammatical blunders, and formatting mishaps.

What Is Proofreading?

Proofreading is the process of carefully reviewing a written document for errors, inconsistencies, and improvements prior to its finalization or publication. This critical process involves scrutinizing the text for spelling, grammar, punctuation, formatting, typographical errors, and the overall presentation of the content, all in pursuit of ensuring utmost accuracy and clarity.

The essence of proofreading lies in enhancing the quality of your paper, leaving no room for lingering errors or inconsistencies in writing. It is about achieving a well-defined communication goal, where the content is effectively conveyed, and every sentence is grammatically and syntactically correct. By proofreading, you can transform your manuscript into a masterpiece, ready to be submitted to prestigious scientific journals.

The Different Types of Proofreading

There are different types of proofreading that can be performed depending on the specific needs and requirements of the written document. Here are some common types of proofreading:

  • Academic Proofreading: Academic proofreading focuses on reviewing academic papers, dissertations, theses, or research articles. It includes checking for proper citation formatting, adherence to referencing styles (such as APA or MLA), ensuring accuracy in referencing and bibliographies, proper spelling conventions (i.e., either British English or American English), checking for formatting requirements for tables and figures and verifying the consistency of terminology and language. Academic proofreading services are in high demand because researchers and scholars often need assistance in ensuring the quality and language accuracy of their work. These services are committed to delivering high-quality language editing and proofreading solutions . Expert proofreaders who possess advanced subject-matter expertise can assist you in polishing your academic and scientific manuscripts to ensure clarity, accuracy, and effective communication.
  • Translation Proofreading: Bilingual proofreading or translation proofreading is a specialized discipline that revolves around the meticulous review and assurance of accuracy and quality in translated texts. This unique form of proofreading entails scrutinizing the translated content alongside the original source text to ensure the accurate representation of the intended meaning and message. A proficient bilingual proofreader must possess a profound understanding of both languages involved and possess knowledge of common translation challenges and potential pitfalls in phrasing. Their expertise lies in identifying and rectifying errors such as incorrect application of grammatical conventions from the source language to the target language. For instance, in Korean, it is customary to enclose titles or headlines within brackets [], whereas in English, titles are typically presented in bold or underlined format. Online translation proofreading services serve as invaluable resources for individuals or organizations seeking the expertise of experienced bilingual proofreaders to review their translated works.
  • Print Media Proofreading: It is a well-established type of proofreading that plays a crucial role in guaranteeing flawless and visually captivating publications. Be it newspapers, magazines, journals or book publishing companies, print media proofreaders contribute to the production of error-free and visually appealing publications that meet the highest standards of quality and professionalism. Attention to formatting details such as margins, text size, spacing, and font selection are imperative because print media must maintain a flawless appearance both in print and online.

Why Is Proofreading Important?

Words hold immense power, but their impact can be lost amidst a fog of confusion. That’s where proofreading swoops in! It identifies convoluted sentences, tangled ideas, and misused words, helping you streamline your message. Through this process, proofreading molds your writing into a smooth symphony of coherence, ensuring that your readers grasp your ideas with crystal-clear understanding. Proofreading academic work is an indispensable step that should never be overlooked. Here are some key reasons why proofreading is crucial:

proofreading the essay carefully

  • Enhancing Credibility : Academic work serves as a representation of your knowledge, skills, and expertise. Errors and mistakes can undermine your credibility as a researcher or student. Proofreading ensures that your work is polished and error-free, allowing your ideas to shine and establishing your authority in the field.
  • Maintaining Clarity and Coherence : Academic writing often deals with complex concepts and ideas. Proofreading enables you to detect and correct any instances of confusing or ambiguous language, awkward sentence structures, or logical inconsistencies within your academic work. By enhancing the clarity and coherence of your writing, proofreading ensures that your readers can comprehend and engage with your arguments effectively.
  • Improved Flow and Organization : By reviewing the logical progression of ideas, checking the coherence of paragraphs, and ensuring smooth transitions between sections, you can create a more cohesive and well-structured piece of work. This leads to a more engaging reading experience and helps readers navigate your content more effectively.
  • Ensuring Accuracy : Accuracy is essential in academic writing, especially when presenting data, conducting experiments, or analyzing research findings. Proofreading aids in the identification and correction of factual inaccuracies, numerical errors, and misinterpretations before finalizing and submitting your work. This attention to detail strengthens the reliability and validity of your research.
  • Adhering to Academic Standards : Academic institutions and journals often have specific formatting guidelines, citation styles , and language conventions that must be followed. Proofreading is a vital step in ensuring that your work aligns with these academic standards, encompassing crucial aspects such as proper citation formatting, consistent referencing, and adherence to academic style guides. By conforming to these guidelines, you demonstrate professionalism and respect for scholarly conventions. It prevents inconsistencies that may confuse readers or raise doubts about the reliability of your research.
  • Guarding Against Plagiarism : Plagiarism is a serious ethical violation in academia. Through proofreading, you can meticulously review your sources, citations, and references to ensure that you have properly acknowledged and attributed the ideas, concepts, and theories of others. This practice promotes academic integrity and intellectual honesty, avoiding unintentional plagiarism and upholding the principles of scholarly integrity.

The example below demonstrates the importance of proofreading your manuscript, where attention to detail and effective communication are crucial.

proofreading the essay carefully

Choosing the Perfect Proofreading Service: Key factors to consider

When it comes to choosing the best proofreading service , there are several important factors to consider. Here are some key things to keep in mind:

  • Expertise and Specialization : Look for a proofreading service that has expertise in your specific field or type of writing. Different subjects and industries may have unique terminology, conventions, and standards. Opting for a service with experience in your area ensures that the proofreaders understand the nuances of your work and can provide accurate feedback.
  • Reputation and Reviews : Research the reputation of the proofreading service before making a decision. Read reviews and testimonials from previous clients to get a sense of their satisfaction level. A reputable service will have positive feedback, indicating their reliability, professionalism, and commitment to delivering high-quality results.
  • Turnaround Time : Consider your timeline and deadlines. Ensure that the proofreading service can accommodate your schedule and provide a turnaround time that meets your needs. While efficiency is important, make sure they don’t compromise the quality of their work by rushing through the process. A balance between speed and thoroughness is crucial.
  • Pricing and Transparency : Compare the pricing structures of different proofreading services. While cost shouldn’t be the sole determining factor, it’s important to understand the pricing and ensure it aligns with your budget. Look for transparency in their pricing model and clarity regarding what services are included in the package. Be wary of hidden fees or charges.
  • Additional Services and Support : Consider whether the proofreading service offers any additional services or support that could benefit your writing. Some services may provide constructive feedback, suggestions for improvement, or even formatting assistance. Assess what additional value they bring beyond basic proofreading.

By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision when choosing a proofreading service that best suits your needs. Remember, finding the right service can greatly enhance the quality and impact of your writing, ensuring that your work is polished, professional, and error-free.

Tips and Strategies For Effective Proofreading

proofreading the essay carefully

1. Take a Break : Before you begin proofreading, grant yourself a well-deserved break from your writing. This interval serves the purpose of clearing your mind, enabling you to approach the text anew with a refreshed perspective and rejuvenated eyes. Ideally, step away for a few hours or even a day, if possible.

2. Change Your Perspective : Try to view your work from a different perspective. Read it as if you were a reader encountering it for the first time. This shift in perspective can help you identify errors or areas that need improvement more effectively.

3. Start with the Big Picture : Begin by focusing on the overall structure, flow, and coherence of your writing. Check if your ideas are presented logically and if the content is organized in a clear and concise manner. Make sure your paragraphs and sentences flow smoothly from one to another.

4. Break it Down : Instead of trying to proofread the entire document at once, break it down into smaller sections. This approach allows you to concentrate on each section more effectively and reduces the chances of overlooking errors.

5. Use a Checklist : Create a proofreading checklist to guide your review process. Include items such as spelling, grammar, punctuation, formatting, consistency, and clarity. Utilizing a checklist is a valuable practice that helps minimize the risk of overlooking errors. It provides a systematic approach to reviewing your work, ensuring that all essential aspects are covered.

6. Focus on One Issue at a Time : Instead of trying to catch all types of errors at once, focus on one aspect of proofreading at a time. For example, dedicate a pass to checking for spelling mistakes, another for grammar and punctuation, and another for clarity and coherence. This focused approach helps you maintain attention to detail and reduces the chances of overlooking errors.

7. Read Aloud : By reading your work aloud, you can pinpoint awkward phrasing, identify run-on sentences, and uncover other issues that may not be immediately noticeable when reading silently. This approach allows you to catch grammatical errors and identify areas where the flow of your writing could be enhanced, as hearing the words spoken aloud offers a fresh perspective on the overall quality and effectiveness of your writing.

8. Read Backwards : When proofreading for spelling and typos, try reading your work backwards, sentence by sentence or paragraph by paragraph. This technique helps you focus solely on individual words rather than getting caught up in the flow of the text. It can be particularly useful for catching spelling errors that may have been overlooked when reading normally.

9. Print and Review : If possible, print a hard copy of your work for proofreading. Reading a physical copy can sometimes help you spot errors that were missed on the screen. Use a pen or highlighter to mark any corrections or changes you need to make.

10. Read Slowly and Carefully : It is imperative to invest ample time and read each word and sentence with meticulous care. Pay attention to the details and ensure that each sentence makes sense and flows smoothly. By refraining from rushing through the proofreading process, you can guarantee a comprehensive and accurate review, resulting in a refined and polished piece of work.

11. Seek a Second Opinion : Consider asking a peer, colleague, or friend to review your work. Fresh eyes can often catch errors or suggest improvements that you might have missed. Another person’s perspective can provide valuable insights into areas where your writing can be strengthened.

12. Double-check Facts and References : If your work includes facts, statistics, or references, make sure to double-check their accuracy. Verify the sources, dates, and supporting evidence to ensure that your information is reliable and up-to-date.

13. Use Tools and Resources : Make effective use of grammar and spell-checking tools, such as dedicated grammar checkers or reliable proofreading software. However, be cautious as these tools are not infallible and may not catch all mistakes. They should be used as aids rather than relied upon solely. While it may be tempting to depend on friends or colleagues for proofreading, it is crucial to recognize that their text writing proficiency may have certain constraints. It’s highly advised to seek professional help for proofreading if required.

Remember, proofreading is a meticulous process that requires time, patience, and a keen eye for detail. By implementing these strategies, you can enhance the effectiveness of your proofreading efforts and ensure that your writing is devoid of errors, cohesive, and impeccably polished.

In Conclusion

In the world of academia, where knowledge is created and shared, the importance of proofreading is often underestimated. Your academic work is a reflection of your intellect, research, and dedication, and it deserves to shine in all its glory. Thus, proofreading is a critical step in the writing process that allows you to fine-tune your work and maximize its impact. By investing time and effort in proofreading, you can elevate the quality of your work, effectively communicate your ideas, and make a lasting impact in your academic pursuits. Now, it’s time to put these strategies into action. So, grab your magnifying glass get ready to captivate your readers, impress your professors, and leave an indelible mark with your flawlessly polished prose. It’s time to embrace the magic of proofreading and elevate your words from mere sentences to masterpieces. Feel free to reach out to Enago Academy using  #AskEnago  and tag  @EnagoAcademy  on  Twitter ,  Facebook , and  Quora for expert tips, insights, and resources on academic writing and publishing.

' src=

Intelligent 🤌

Rate this article Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published.

proofreading the essay carefully

Enago Academy's Most Popular Articles

Content Analysis vs Thematic Analysis: What's the difference?

  • Reporting Research

Choosing the Right Analytical Approach: Thematic analysis vs. content analysis for data interpretation

In research, choosing the right approach to understand data is crucial for deriving meaningful insights.…

Cross-sectional and Longitudinal Study Design

Comparing Cross Sectional and Longitudinal Studies: 5 steps for choosing the right approach

The process of choosing the right research design can put ourselves at the crossroads of…

Networking in Academic Conferences

  • Career Corner

Unlocking the Power of Networking in Academic Conferences

Embarking on your first academic conference experience? Fear not, we got you covered! Academic conferences…

Research recommendation

Research Recommendations – Guiding policy-makers for evidence-based decision making

Research recommendations play a crucial role in guiding scholars and researchers toward fruitful avenues of…

proofreading the essay carefully

  • AI in Academia

Disclosing the Use of Generative AI: Best practices for authors in manuscript preparation

The rapid proliferation of generative and other AI-based tools in research writing has ignited an…

Setting Rationale in Research: Cracking the code for excelling at research

Mitigating Survivorship Bias in Scholarly Research: 10 tips to enhance data integrity

Facing Difficulty Writing an Academic Essay? — Here is your one-stop solution!

Experimental Research Design — 6 mistakes you should never make!

proofreading the essay carefully

Sign-up to read more

Subscribe for free to get unrestricted access to all our resources on research writing and academic publishing including:

  • 2000+ blog articles
  • 50+ Webinars
  • 10+ Expert podcasts
  • 50+ Infographics
  • 10+ Checklists
  • Research Guides

We hate spam too. We promise to protect your privacy and never spam you.

I am looking for Editing/ Proofreading services for my manuscript Tentative date of next journal submission:

proofreading the essay carefully

What would be most effective in reducing research misconduct?

Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

Finding Common Errors

OWL logo

Welcome to the Purdue OWL

This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.

Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.

Here are some common proofreading issues that come up for many writers. For grammatical or spelling errors, try underlining or highlighting words that often trip you up. On a sentence level, take note of which errors you make frequently. Also make note of common sentence errors you have such as run-on sentences, comma splices, or sentence fragments—this will help you proofread more efficiently in the future.

  • Do not solely rely on your computer's spell-check—it will not get everything!
  • Trace a pencil carefully under each line of text to see words individually.
  • Be especially careful of words that have tricky letter combinations, like "ei/ie.”
  • Take special care of homonyms like your/you're, to/too/two, and there/their/they're, as spell check will not recognize these as errors.

Left-out and doubled words

Read the paper slowly aloud to make sure you haven't missed or repeated any words. Also, try reading your paper one sentence at a time in reverse—this will enable you to focus on the individual sentences.

Sentence Fragments

Sentence fragments are sections of a sentence that are not grammatically whole sentences. For example, “Ate a sandwich” is a sentence fragment because it lacks a subject.

Make sure each sentence has a subject:

  • “Looked at the OWL website.” is a sentence fragment without a subject.
  • “The students looked at the OWL website.” Adding the subject “students” makes it a complete sentence.

Make sure each sentence has a complete verb.

  • “They trying to improve their writing skills.” is an incomplete sentence because “trying” is an incomplete verb.
  • “They were trying to improve their writing skills.” In this sentence, “were” is necessary to make “trying” a complete verb.

See that each sentence has an independent clause. Remember that a dependent clause cannot stand on its own. In the following examples, green highlighting indicates dependent clauses while yellow indicates independent clauses.

  • “ Which is why the students read all of the handouts carefully .” This is a dependent clause that needs an independent clause. As of right now, it is a sentence fragment.
  • “ Students knew they were going to be tested on the handouts, which is why they read all of the handouts carefully .” The first part of the sentence, “Students knew they were going to be tested,” is an independent clause. Pairing it with a dependent clause makes this example a complete sentence.

Run-on Sentences

  • Review each sentence to see whether it contains more than one independent clause.
  • If there is more than one independent clause, check to make sure the clauses are separated by the appropriate punctuation.
  • Sometimes, it is just as effective (or even more so) to simply break the sentence into two separate sentences instead of including punctuation to separate the clauses.
  • Run on: “ I have to write a research paper for my class about extreme sports all I know about the subject is that I'm interested in it. ” These are two independent clauses without any punctuation or conjunctions separating the two.
  • Edited version: " I have to write a research paper for my class about extreme sports, and all I know about the subject is that I'm interested in it ." The two highlighted portions are independent clauses. They are connected by the appropriate conjunction “and,” and a comma.
  • Another edited version: “ I have to write a research paper for my class about extreme sports. All I know about the subject is that I'm interested in it .” In this case, these two independent clauses are separated into individual sentences separated by a period and capitalization.

Comma Splices

  • Look closely at sentences that have commas.
  • See if the sentence contains two independent clauses. Independent clauses are complete sentences.
  • If there are two independent clauses, they should be connected with a comma and a conjunction (and, but, for, or, so, yet, nor). Commas are not needed for some subordinating conjunctions (because, for, since, while, etc.) because these conjunctions are used to combine dependent and independent clauses.
  • Another option is to take out the comma and insert a semicolon instead.
  • Comma Splice: “ I would like to write my paper about basketball , it's a topic I can talk about at length .” The highlighted portions are independent clauses. A comma alone is not enough to connect them.
  • Edited version: “ I would like to write my paper about basketball because it's a topic I can talk about at length .” Here, the yellow highlighted portion is an independent clause while the green highlighted portion is a dependent clause. The subordinating conjunction “because” connects these two clauses.
  • Edited version, using a semicolon: “ I would like to write my paper about basketball ; it’s a topic I can talk about at length .” Here, a semicolon connects two similar independent clauses.

Subject/Verb Agreement

  • Find the subject of each sentence.
  • Find the verb that goes with the subject.
  • The subject and verb should match in number, meaning that if the subject is plural, the verb should be as well.
  • An easy way to do this is to underline all subjects. Then, circle or highlight the verbs one at a time and see if they match.
  • Incorrect subject verb agreement: “ Students at the university level usually is very busy.” Here, the subject “students” is plural, and the verb “is” is singular, so they don’t match.
  • Edited version: “ Students at the university level usually are very busy.” “Are” is a plural verb that matches the plural noun, “students.”

Mixed Construction

Read through your sentences carefully to make sure that they do not start with one sentence structure and shift to another. A sentence that does this is called a mixed construction.

  • “ Since I have a lot of work to do is why I can't go out tonight .” Both green highlighted sections of the sentence are dependent clauses. Two dependent clauses do not make a complete sentence.
  • Edited version: “ Since I have a lot of work to do , I can't go out tonight .” The green highlighted portion is a dependent clause while the yellow is an independent clause. Thus, this example is a complete sentence.


Look through your paper for series of items, usually separated by commas. Also, make sure these items are in parallel form, meaning they all use a similar form.

  • Example: “Being a good friend involves listening , to be considerate, and that you know how to have fun.” In this example, “listening” is in present tense, “to be” is in the infinitive form, and “that you know how to have fun” is a sentence fragment. These items in the series do not match up.
  • Edited version: “Being a good friend involves listening , being considerate, and having fun.” In this example, “listening,” “being,” and “having” are all in the present continuous (-ing endings) tense. They are in parallel form.

Pronoun Reference/Agreement

  • Skim your paper, searching for pronouns.
  • Search for the noun that the pronoun replaces.
  • If you can't find any nouns, insert one beforehand or change the pronoun to a noun.
  • If you can find a noun, be sure it agrees in number and person with your pronoun.
  • “ Sam had three waffles for breakfast. He wasn’t hungry again until lunch.” Here, it is clear that Sam is the “he” referred to in the second sentence. Thus, the singular third person pronoun, “he,” matches with Sam.
  • “ Teresa and Ariel walked the dog. The dog bit her .” In this case, it is unclear who the dog bit because the pronoun, “her,” could refer to either Teresa or Ariel.
  • “ Teresa and Ariel walked the dog. Later, it bit them .” Here, the third person plural pronoun, “them,” matches the nouns that precede it. It’s clear that the dog bit both people.
  • “Teresa and Ariel walked the dog. Teresa unhooked the leash, and the dog bit her .” In these sentences, it is assumed that Teresa is the “her” in the second sentence because her name directly precedes the singular pronoun, “her.”


  • Skim your paper, stopping only at those words which end in "s." If the "s" is used to indicate possession, there should be an apostrophe, as in “Mary's book.”
  • Look over the contractions, like “you're” for “you are,” “it's” for “it is,” etc. Each of these should include an apostrophe.
  • Remember that apostrophes are not used to make words plural. When making a word plural, only an "s" is added, not an apostrophe and an "s."
  • “ It’s a good day for a walk.” This sentence is correct because “it’s” can be replaced with “it is.”
  • “A bird nests on that tree. See its eggs?” In this case, “its” is a pronoun describing the noun, “bird.” Because it is a pronoun, no apostrophe is needed.
  • “Classes are cancelled today” is a correct sentence whereas “Class’s are cancelled today” is incorrect because the plural form of class simply adds an “-es” to the end of the word.
  • “ Sandra’s markers don’t work.” Here, Sandra needs an apostrophe because the noun is a possessive one. The apostrophe tells the reader that Sandra owns the markers.
  • Transcripts
  • Cost & Tuition

image description

Seven Effective Ways to Proofread Writing

Proofreading what you have written can be very dull. There are many different ways to proofread writing. What works for one person may constitute a painful process for another. Regardless of the method you choose, proofreading is a critical part of the writing process and should never be overlooked. Here are some effective methods for proofreading your documents.

Do not rely on spelling and grammar checkers

Spell checkers are great as a first step and will be useful in assisting you to identify high-level errors. However, automated spelling and grammar checkers are severely limited. They cannot identify many common grammatical errors. Furthermore, they often make serious mistakes that can mislead even the most diligent writer. It is important to remember that spell checkers identify misspelled words only. They do not alert you to correctly spelled words that are grammatically incorrect.

Example: There are at least too reasons why students should not rely on spell check. [Note that the word “too” is incorrect. “Too” means, also. The correct word is “two” for the number 2.]

Proofread for one error at a time

Proofreading really is a meticulous and time-consuming process, but the more you put into it, the more you get out. If you attempt to identify and correct all errors within one sitting, you risk losing focus and you many find that you miss major mistakes. Sometimes it is useful to check for spelling mistakes and punctuation errors separately. This will make it easier to spot issues. You can then use a variety of proofreading techniques for the different types of mistakes you find.

Read each word slowly

One technique that the majority of professional proofreaders use is to read the writing they are proofreading out loud. This forces you to voice every single word and involves your auditory senses in the process, meaning that you can hear how the text actually sounds when it is read. Trying to read something quickly forces your brain to skip some words and to make unconscious corrections.

Divide the text into manageable chunks

Dividing the text into separate sections provides you with more manageable tasks. Read each section carefully. Then, take a break before you progress to the next. This will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed by the task ahead and will allow you to concentrate more effectively on the section of writing that you are proofreading. This technique is especially useful if you are proofreading a very large document such as a thesis, research paper or practicum project.

Circle punctuation marks

This method may seem somewhat excessive, but it is one of the most effective methods used for identifying punctuation mistakes. By circling every single punctuation mark, you force yourself to look at each one in turn and to question if it has been used correctly.

Read the writing backwards

This proofreading method is useful for identifying spelling mistakes because it forces you to concentrate on each word in isolation. Start with the last word in your text and follow each one separately until you reach the beginning of the document. While you are doing this, you are not really interested in punctuation and grammar; you are focusing entirely on how the words have been spelled. Many proofreaders also recommend reading papers backwards, sentence by sentence. This encourages you to consider each sentence in isolation out of the context of the rest of the writing and is great for helping you to identify grammatical errors.

Note the errors you make on a frequent basis

Proofreading your writing on a regular basis can help you identify your own strengths and weaknesses and understand where you make mistakes. If you are aware of the common errors you make, you can learn to look for them during the writing process itself. Over a period of time, will learn to avoid them altogether. Keep style guides and grammar rules at hand as you proofread. Look up any areas of which you are uncertain. Over time, you will develop your knowledge and your writing skills will improve.

*Adapted from https://www.vappingo.com/word-blog/proofread-writing/


Table of Contents

Collaboration, information literacy, writing process.


  • © 2023 by Joseph M. Moxley - University of South Florida

Proofreading refers to a step in  the writing process --the act of critically reading a document with the goal of identifying errors at the word and sentence-level. Proofreading  is crucial to establishing a professional tone in school and workplace contexts . Learn how to edit documents so that your works meet the needs and expectations of your readers.

What is Proofreading

Proofreading refers to a step in the writing process–the process of rereading a document with the goal of identifying word and sentence-level errors .

Synonymous Terms

The terms proofreading , editing , and revision , and may be used interchangeably by some people. However, subject matter experts in writing studies make distinctions between these intellectual strategies by noting their different foci:

a focus on the big picture – the global perspective.

  • Content Development
  • Organization
  • Rhetorical Stance

a focus on line-by-line editing – the local perspective

a focus on a last chance to catch any errors

  • Final check for errors

Proofreading may also be referred to as correcting or copy editing.

Related Concepts: Global Perspective ; Local Perspective ; Proofreading ; Revision ; Structured Revision; Styles of Writing

Why Does Proofreading Matter?

As noted for editing , proofreading is critical to establishing a professional tone in academic writing and workplace writing.

Have you ever sent off an email message or submitted a school paper only to later discover that it was full of typographical errors?  How could you have missed all of these errors?

The answer seems to have something to do with how our brains work. Our brains recognize patterns.  This is part of the reason why people who read frequently tend to read faster than infrequent readers: their brains more speedily recognize and process patterns of words on the page.

Texts that we write ourselves are the texts that we can read fastest of all, because our brains are already deeply familiar with the patterns of our words.

But what helps us as readers can hurt us as writers.  When we read our own work, our brains tend to quickly see the patterns that we put on the page rather than the individual words.  We see what we meant to write, and not necessarily what we actually wrote. 

To our readers, however, who are not as familiar with our words, the errors are more apparent—and they detract from our credibility as authors.

To proofread effectively, we need to distance ourselves from the text and see it as our readers will see it.

How to Proofread

The little changes that you make during editing and proofreading can have a profound and disproportionate effect on your target reader’s experience interpretation of your document.

The following techniques can help you critically evaluate your document at the sentence level:

  • After working hard to develop the substance of a message, you may be weary of it and eager to turn it over to your instructor. If possible, however, you are wise to set the draft aside and work on another task before trying to edit it. For example, try editing after you first wake up, then after lunch, and then before dinner. Are you surprised that you can keep finding ways to improve the document?
  • It has become commonplace for postsecondary writing instructors in the U.S. to suggest that writers not worry about proofreading during the early stages of a writing project. This can be sound advice because time spent proofreading could be wasted if what you’re editing doesn’t respond to the demands of the school assignment or isn’t rhetorically sensitive. Plus, why edit a freewrite when the goal during freewriting is to develop ideas?
  • Try reading your document backwards: Begin with the last sentence and move upward toward the introduction
  • Place sheets of paper above and below each sentence in the document as you read through it
  • Place slashes between each sentence and then evaluate each one separately
  • If you are using a personal computer, try printing the document with a different font, such as size 14 or size 10 point instead of the normal size 12.
  • Look for mistakes to cluster. When you find one error in paragraph seven, for example, carefully examine the surrounding sentences to see if you had a lapse of concentration when you wrote and copyedited that section.
  • Look for errors that you often make, such as sentence fragments or subject-verb agreement.

Brevity - Say More with Less

Brevity - Say More with Less

Clarity (in Speech and Writing)

Clarity (in Speech and Writing)

Coherence - How to Achieve Coherence in Writing

Coherence - How to Achieve Coherence in Writing


Flow - How to Create Flow in Writing

Inclusivity - Inclusive Language

Inclusivity - Inclusive Language


The Elements of Style - The DNA of Powerful Writing



Student engrossed in reading on her laptop, surrounded by a stack of books

Academic Writing – How to Write for the Academic Community

You cannot climb a mountain without a plan / John Read

Structured Revision – How to Revise Your Work

proofreading the essay carefully

Professional Writing – How to Write for the Professional World

proofreading the essay carefully

Credibility & Authority – How to Be Credible & Authoritative in Research, Speech & Writing

How to Cite Sources in Academic and Professional Writing

Citation Guide – Learn How to Cite Sources in Academic and Professional Writing

Image of a colorful page with a big question in the center, "What is Page Design?"

Page Design – How to Design Messages for Maximum Impact

Suggested edits.

  • Please select the purpose of your message. * - Corrections, Typos, or Edits Technical Support/Problems using the site Advertising with Writing Commons Copyright Issues I am contacting you about something else
  • Your full name
  • Your email address *
  • Page URL needing edits *
  • Comments This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Other Topics:

Citation - Definition - Introduction to Citation in Academic & Professional Writing

Citation - Definition - Introduction to Citation in Academic & Professional Writing

  • Joseph M. Moxley

Explore the different ways to cite sources in academic and professional writing, including in-text (Parenthetical), numerical, and note citations.

Collaboration - What is the Role of Collaboration in Academic & Professional Writing?

Collaboration - What is the Role of Collaboration in Academic & Professional Writing?

Collaboration refers to the act of working with others or AI to solve problems, coauthor texts, and develop products and services. Collaboration is a highly prized workplace competency in academic...


Genre may reference a type of writing, art, or musical composition; socially-agreed upon expectations about how writers and speakers should respond to particular rhetorical situations; the cultural values; the epistemological assumptions...


Grammar refers to the rules that inform how people and discourse communities use language (e.g., written or spoken English, body language, or visual language) to communicate. Learn about the rhetorical...

Information Literacy - Discerning Quality Information from Noise

Information Literacy - Discerning Quality Information from Noise

Information Literacy refers to the competencies associated with locating, evaluating, using, and archiving information. In order to thrive, much less survive in a global information economy — an economy where information functions as a...


Mindset refers to a person or community’s way of feeling, thinking, and acting about a topic. The mindsets you hold, consciously or subconsciously, shape how you feel, think, and act–and...

Rhetoric: Exploring Its Definition and Impact on Modern Communication

Rhetoric: Exploring Its Definition and Impact on Modern Communication

Learn about rhetoric and rhetorical practices (e.g., rhetorical analysis, rhetorical reasoning,  rhetorical situation, and rhetorical stance) so that you can strategically manage how you compose and subsequently produce a text...


Style, most simply, refers to how you say something as opposed to what you say. The style of your writing matters because audiences are unlikely to read your work or...

The Writing Process - Research on Composing

The Writing Process - Research on Composing

The writing process refers to everything you do in order to complete a writing project. Over the last six decades, researchers have studied and theorized about how writers go about...

Writing Studies

Writing Studies

Writing studies refers to an interdisciplinary community of scholars and researchers who study writing. Writing studies also refers to an academic, interdisciplinary discipline – a subject of study. Students in...

Featured Articles

Student engrossed in reading on her laptop, surrounded by a stack of books

  • See our prices
  • Essay Editing and Proofreading
  • Dissertation Proofreading and Editing
  • PhD Editing and Proofreading
  • Proofreading and Copy-Editing for Businesses
  • Frequently Asked Questions

proofreading the essay carefully

  • Essay Editing and Proofreading Proofreading services for essays, coursework and reports.
  • Dissertation Proofreading and Editing For undergraduate and master's students, all subjects covered.
  • PhD Editing and Proofreading Chapter-by-chapter proofreading and format editing for PhD theses.
  • Proofreading and Copy-Editing for Businesses Essential proofreading services for businesses and brands.
  • CV Editing Make your job application shine with a professionally edited CV.
  • +44 (0) 207 391 9035 [email protected] Speak with us on WhatsApp Start Live Chat
  • Our Editors
  • The Oxbridge Editing Blog The latest articles from our team of educational creatives.

Guide to Proofreading: What, Why and How to Proofread

Speak right now to our live team of english staff.

Effective writing demands attention to detail, and one crucial yet often overlooked step in this process is proofreading. Whether you’re composing a blog post, crafting an essay, drafting a report, or even sending an important email, proofreading plays an essential role in ensuring clarity, accuracy, and overall effectiveness of your message. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into what proofreading is, why it’s important, and how you can master the art of proofreading effectively.

What is Proofreading?

Let’s start with the basics. Proofreading is the process of carefully examining a written text to detect and correct errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar, and formatting. It goes beyond just a cursory glance; instead, it involves a meticulous review aimed at polishing the final product. The goal of proofreading is to eliminate mistakes that could detract from the clarity and professionalism of the writing.

Why is Proofreading Important?

The importance of proofreading cannot be overstated. Here are some compelling reasons why proofreading is a vital step in the writing process:

  • Error-Free Content: Proofreading ensures that your writing is free from spelling mistakes, typos, grammatical errors, and inconsistencies, thereby enhancing its credibility and readability.
  • Enhanced Clarity: By refining your text through proofreading, you can clarify ambiguous sentences and improve overall coherence, making it easier for your audience to understand your message.
  • Professionalism: A well-proofread document conveys professionalism and attention to detail, reflecting positively on your competence and reliability as a writer.
  • Accuracy: Proofreading helps to ensure factual accuracy by identifying and correcting any inaccuracies or misleading information in your content.
  • Maintaining Reputation: Whether you’re writing for personal or professional purposes, presenting error-free content upholds your reputation and fosters trust with your readers.

Things to Look for When Proofreading

Now that we understand why proofreading matters, let’s delve deeper into the specific aspects you should focus on during the proofreading process:

Check for correct spelling of words. Pay attention to commonly misspelled words and homophones (words that sound alike but have different meanings). For example, ensure that you’re using “colour” instead of “color” (if you’re using UK spelling), and watch out for tricky pairs like “there,” “their,” and “they’re.”

Grammar and Punctuation

Review grammar rules and ensure proper usage of punctuation marks (commas, periods, semicolons, etc.). Look out for subject-verb agreement and consistency in tense. For instance, ensure that singular subjects match with singular verbs (e.g., “He walks” instead of “He walk”).

Clarity and Coherence

Evaluate the flow and structure of your sentences and paragraphs. Ensure that ideas are logically organised and transitions between thoughts are smooth. Avoid overly complex sentences that may confuse your reader.


Maintain consistency in style, tone, and formatting throughout your document. Check for consistent use of abbreviations, capitalisation (e.g., “UK” vs. “uk”), and numbering. Consistency enhances readability and professionalism.

Pay attention to formatting details such as font style and size, line spacing, margins, and alignment. Ensure that headings, subheadings, and bullet points are formatted consistently. Consistent formatting contributes to the overall visual appeal of your document.


Verify any factual information or data referenced in your writing to ensure accuracy and credibility. Cross-check names, dates, statistics, and other details against reliable sources.

How to Proofread Effectively

Mastering the art of effective proofreading requires practice and attention to detail. Here are some strategies so you can learn how to master (do) proofreading :

  • Take a Break: Step away from your writing for a while before proofreading. This break will give you a fresh perspective when you return to review your work.
  • Read Aloud: Reading your text aloud can help you identify awkward phrasing, missing words, or grammatical errors that might have been overlooked when reading silently.
  • Use Tools: Leverage spelling and grammar-checking tools like Grammarly or Microsoft Word’s built-in proofing tools. However, don’t solely rely on these tools; always manually review your writing.
  • Proofread Multiple Times: Conduct multiple rounds of proofreading, focusing on different aspects with each pass (e.g., one round for spelling, another for grammar, and so on).
  • Get a Second Opinion: If possible, have someone else proofread your work. A fresh set of eyes can catch mistakes that you might have missed.
  • Create a Proofreading Checklist: Develop a personalised checklist of common errors or areas to review during proofreading. Refer to this checklist systematically to ensure thoroughness.

Benefits of Proofreading

Taking the time to thoroughly proofread your work offers numerous benefits that extend beyond just correcting errors:

Enhanced Professionalism: Submitting polished, error-free content reflects positively on your professionalism and attention to detail. It shows that you take pride in your work and care about delivering high-quality materials.

Increased Confidence: Presenting well-proofread work boosts your confidence in your writing abilities. Knowing that your content is clear, accurate, and polished can make you feel more assured when sharing your ideas with others.

Improved Communication: Clear and precise writing facilitates better communication and engagement with your audience. When your message is free from errors and ambiguities, your ideas come across more effectively.

Time Savings: While proofreading requires an initial time investment, it ultimately saves time by reducing the need for extensive revisions or corrections later. Well-proofread content is less likely to require significant editing, which streamlines the overall writing process.

Enhanced Credibility: Error-free content enhances your credibility as a writer or communicator. Whether you’re writing for academic, professional, or personal purposes, accurate and polished writing helps establish trust with your readers or audience.

Attention to Detail: Proofreading helps cultivate a habit of paying attention to detail, which is a valuable skill in any field. It trains you to spot errors and inconsistencies, promoting a higher standard of quality in your work.

Professional Growth: Consistently practising proofreading contributes to your professional growth as a writer. Over time, you’ll develop a sharper eye for language nuances and become more proficient in crafting clear and effective communication.

Error Prevention: Effective proofreading not only corrects existing errors but also helps prevent future mistakes. By identifying common patterns of error in your writing, you can learn to avoid them in future compositions.

Mastering the Art of Proofreading

In conclusion, proofreading is a fundamental skill that every writer should cultivate. By understanding what proofreading is, why it’s important, and how to approach it effectively, you can elevate the quality of your writing and make a lasting impression with your words. Remember, the extra effort you put into proofreading is a worthwhile investment that elevates the impact and professionalism of your work. So, next time you finish writing, don’t skip the proofreading step—your readers (and your reputation) will thank you for it.

How We Can Help You with Editing and Proofreading

At Oxbridge Editing, we offer professional editing and proofreading services tailored to meet your specific needs. Our team of experienced editors can meticulously review your documents, ensuring they are free from errors and polished to perfection. Whether you need help with editing academic papers , commercial documents, business reports , or any other type of written content, we’re here to provide the support you need.

Don’t let errors undermine your message— fill out the order form and let us partner with you to deliver polished, professional content that makes a lasting impression. Remember, the extra attention to detail that comes with effective proofreading can make all the difference in presenting your ideas with clarity and professionalism. 

Share This Article

proofreading the essay carefully

What is Thesis Editing and What Does a Thesis Editor Do?

proofreading the essay carefully

10 Copy-Editing Mistakes to Avoid in Your Content

proofreading the essay carefully

Essential Tools for Proofreading and Editing Your Work

Free Online Proofreader

Try our other writing services

Paraphrasing Tool

Correct your document within 5 minutes

  • Proofread on 100+ language issues
  • Specialized in academic texts
  • Corrections directly in your document

Instantly correct your entire document in minutes

accept all

Nobody's perfect all the time—and now, you don’t have to be!

There are times when you just want to write without worrying about every grammar or spelling convention. The online proofreader immediately finds all of your errors. This allows you to concentrate on the bigger picture. You’ll be 100% confident that your writing won’t affect your grade.

English proofreading service

What does a proofreader do?

The proofreading process is your last chance to catch any errors in your writing before you submit it. A proofreader makes sure your spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors are reviewed and fixed. This can be done automatically by an AI-powered tool like the one at the top of this page or by a real human. Both options have their advantages, so pick the one that suits you most.

word use

Fix mistakes that slip under your radar

✔ Fix problems with commonly confused words, like affect vs. effect, which vs. that and who vs. that.

✔ Catch words that sound similar but aren’t, like their vs. they’re, your vs. you’re.

✔ Check your punctuation to avoid errors with dashes and hyphens, commas, apostrophes, and more.

✔ Avoid sentence fragments, subject-verb agreement errors, and problems with parallelism.

How does the proofreader work?

The online proofreader.

It’s really straightforward. Just paste the text into the tool. All your errors will now be underlined in red. You can hover over these mistakes to see how they can be addressed. If you agree, just click on the button “Fix all errors,” and your mistakes will be fixed instantly! 

Proofreading process

The professional proofreader

Upload your entire document first. Choose the pages you want proofread, the extra services you want to use, and the deadline. Then fill in some key details like your field of study so that we can find you the best proofreader. When you’re done, you pay for your order, and we make sure that your writing is checked by a proofreader. You’ll be contacted when the job is done!

Who should use this proofreader?


Avoid a bad grade and hand in your documents with absolute confidence.



Look like a pro by writing error-free emails, reports, and more.


Ensure your work is clear and readable to increase the chance that it’ll get published.

AI Proofreader

Want your whole document checked and corrected in a matter of minutes?

Would you like to upload your entire document and check all your documents for 100+ language issues? Then Scribbr’s AI-powered proofreading is perfect for you.

With AI-powered proofreading, you can correct your text in no time.

  • Upload document
  • Wait briefly while all errors are corrected directly in your document
  • Correct errors with one click

Proofread my document

Fantastic service!!

“Excellent review of a paper that was deciding my grade. I appreciate both the edits and the feedback to increase my knowledge of correct APA formatting and accurate citations. I needed the paper returned quickly, and the team worked hard to make sure I had what I needed. I just got my grade back, A+. I would 100% use this service again, it was worth every penny!!!!!!”

A proofreader for everyone

🤖 Two ways AI-powered or human
💡Beyond corrections Understand your mistakes
✅Corrects Grammar, spelling & punctuation
🗣️ Dialects UK & US English

Don’t let typos and grammar keep you down. Make your writing count

Ask our team.

Want to contact us directly? No problem.  We  are always here for you.

Support team - Nina

Frequently asked questions

Our support team is here to help you daily via chat, WhatsApp, email, or phone between 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. CET.

Yes! Our personal statement editors can help you reduce your word count by up to 25%. You can choose to receive this feedback through direct edits or suggestions in comments – just select your choice when you upload your personal statement.

Our APA experts default to APA 7 for editing and formatting. For the Citation Editing Service you are able to choose between APA 6 and 7.

It is not necessary to reserve a time slot for your edit. As soon as your document is ready to be proofread, you can upload it at any time via our website . Based on your chosen deadline, our editor(s) will then proofread your document within 24 hours, 3 days, or 7 days.

If you are unsure about the availability of our services or are planning to upload a very large document (>13,000 words) with a 24 hour deadline, we recommend that you contact us beforehand via chat or email .

Scribbr is following the guidelines announced by the WHO (World Health Organization). As an online platform, all our services remain available, and we will continue to help students as usual.

Can I still place an order? Will my order be completed within the deadline? Yes, you can still place orders and orders will be delivered within the agreed upon deadline. Scribbr is an online platform – our proofreading & editing services are provided by editors working remotely from all over the world. This means Scribbr can guarantee that we will process your order with the same diligence and professionalism as always. The same holds true for our Plagiarism Checker .

Can I still contact customer support? Yes. Our support team is available from 09.00 to 23.00 CET and happy to answer any questions you might have!

Yes, if your document is longer than 20,000 words, you will get a sample of approximately 2,000 words. This sample edit gives you a first impression of the editor’s editing style and a chance to ask questions and give feedback.

How does the sample edit work?

You will receive the sample edit within 12 hours after placing your order. You then have 24 hours to let us know if you’re happy with the sample or if there’s something you would like the editor to do differently.

Read more about how the sample edit works

When you upload a large document (20,000+ words), we will ask your editor to send a sample edit of approximately 2,000 words as soon as possible. This sample edit gives you a first impression of your editor’s editing style and what you can expect from the service. You will receive it within 12 hours after uploading your order.

Why do we provide you with a sample edit?

We always aim to make you 100% happy, and Proofreading & Editing is a complex service. We want to make sure that our editing style meets your expectations before the editor improves your entire document.

Our editors are trained to follow Scribbr’s academic style . However, your preferences might deviate from our conventions. The sample edit gives you the chance to provide feedback – you can let us know if you’re happy with the sample or if there’s something you would like the editor to do differently.

Once your editor has completed your sample edit, you will receive a notification via email. You have 24 hours to reply to this email and provide us with feedback. If we receive your feedback in time, your editor will go the extra mile and adjust the edit according to your input.

What sort of feedback can you give?

Give us feedback that will help your editor meet your requirements. For example:

  • “I am completely happy. The editor can continue editing like this.”
  • “I forgot to mention that my school has the following rules for gendered pronouns.”
  • “The editor changed the spelling of a technical term, but my professor spells it differently. Please keep the original spelling of this term.”

The  Structure  and Clarity Check can only be purchased in conjunction with Proofreading & Editing . Providing feedback on structure and clarity requires extensive knowledge of the text, which the editor acquires while proofreading and editing your text.

However, our Paper Formatting Service,   Citation Editing Service and Plagiarism Checker can be purchased separately.

Yes, Scribbr will proofread the summary in another language as well.

Who will proofread my summary?

If your document contains a summary in a different language, we will send this part to another editor who is a native speaker of that language. The editor will check your summary, applying our standard Proofreading & Editing service.

If you ordered any additional services, such as the Structure Check or Clarity Check, the editor will not apply them to your summary. This is because the summary is a translation of your abstract – you already receive Structure and Clarity feedback on the text in the original language. Therefore, when proofreading your summary, the editor will focus on making sure your language and style is correct.

How does it work?

We will create a new assignment within your order and send you a confirmation email. This also means that you will receive a separate email/SMS notification from us when the editor has finished proofreading your summary. Once your summary is proofread, you can download it via your Scribbr account and read the editor’s feedback.

Yes, we can provide a certificate of proofreading.

As soon as the editor delivers the edit, you can email us at [email protected] to request a certificate.

Please indicate the following in your email:

  • Your order number
  • Your full name
  • The title of your work

We will create a PDF certificate and email it to you as soon as possible.

Scribbr specializes in editing study-related documents . We proofread:

  • PhD dissertations
  • Research proposals
  • Personal statements
  • Admission essays
  • Motivation letters
  • Reflection papers
  • Journal articles
  • Capstone projects

Yes, when you accept all changes and delete all comments your document is ready to be handed in.

How to accept all changes:

  • Word for Mac 2011

How to remove all comments:

When you’ve finished this, others will no longer be able to see the changes made by the editor.

  • Read your last version one last time to make sure everything is the way you want it.
  • Save your document as a .pdf file to come across more professional and to ensure the format of your document doesn’t change.

Yes, in the order process you can indicate your preference for American, British, or Australian English .

If you don’t choose one, your editor will follow the style of English you currently use. If your editor has any questions about this, we will contact you.

Yes, you can upload your thesis in sections.

We try our best to ensure that the same editor checks all the different sections of your thesis. When you upload a new file, our system recognizes you as a returning customer, and we immediately contact the editor who helped you before.

However, we cannot guarantee that the same editor will be available. Your chances are higher if

  • You send us your text as soon as possible and
  • You can be flexible about the deadline.

Please note that the shorter your deadline is, the bigger the risk that your previous editor is not available.

If your previous editor isn’t available, then we will inform you immediately and look for another qualified editor. Fear not! Every Scribbr editor follows the  Scribbr Improvement Model  and will deliver high-quality work.

However, every editor has a slightly different editing style, so you may notice small inconsistencies in editing choices. As with every proofreading order, be sure to carefully review your editor’s changes and suggestions as you finalize your text to ensure that everything is as you want it.

The fastest turnaround time is 12 hours.

You can upload your document at any time and choose between four deadlines:

At Scribbr, we promise to make every customer 100% happy with the service we offer. Our philosophy: Your complaint is always justified – no denial, no doubts.

Our customer support team is here to find the solution that helps you the most, whether that’s a free new edit or a refund for the service.

Every Scribbr order comes with our award-winning Proofreading & Editing service , which combines two important stages of the revision process.

For a more comprehensive edit, you can add a Structure Check or Clarity Check to your order. With these building blocks, you can customize the kind of feedback you receive.

You might be familiar with a different set of editing terms. To help you understand what you can expect at Scribbr, we created this table:

Types of editing Available at Scribbr?

This is the “proofreading” in Scribbr’s standard service. It can only be selected in combination with editing.

This is the “editing” in Scribbr’s standard service. It can only be selected in combination with proofreading.

Select the Structure Check and Clarity Check to receive a comprehensive edit equivalent to a line edit.

This kind of editing involves heavy rewriting and restructuring. Our editors cannot help with this.

View an example

Scribbr not only specializes in proofreading and editing texts in English , but also in several other languages . This way, we help out students from all over the world.

As a global academic writing proofreading service, we work with professional editors  – all native speakers – who edit in the following languages :

This way, you can also have your academic writing proofread and edited in your second language!

Please note that we do not offer Finnish proofreading, but students can still upload English papers on scribbr.fi .

Yes, regardless of the deadline you choose, our editors can proofread your document during weekends and holidays.

Example: If you select the 12-hour service on Saturday, you will receive your edited document back within 12 hours on Sunday.

The footnotes are not automatically included in the word count.

If you want the language errors in your footnotes to be corrected by the editor, you can indicate this in step 3 of the upload process . The words in the footnotes are then automatically added to the total word count.

Need help with your references?

  • If you use the APA reference style, you can use our free APA Citation Generator or the articles about APA in our Knowledge Base.
  • If you’d like us to check your references for consistency, you can use our Citation Editing Service .

To keep our prices competitive, we do not offer a free trial edit. However, if your document is longer than 30,000 words, we are happy to provide you with a sample edit of 2,000 words to ensure you are satisfied with the editor’s editing style.

Rest assured, our customers are very satisfied with our proofreading services. We’re proud that they have rated us with an excellent 4.6 on Trustpilot. In the unlikely event that you have a less positive experience, we’ll solve that with our 100% happiness guarantee !

After your thesis has been edited , you will receive an email with a link to download the edited document.

The editor has made changes to your document using ‘ Track Changes ’ in Word.  This means that you only have to accept or ignore the changes that are made in the text one by one.

It is also possible to accept all changes at once. However, we strongly advise you not to do so for the following reasons:

  • You can learn much by looking at what mistakes you have made.
  • The editors do not only change the text, they also place comments when sentences or sometimes even entire paragraphs are unclear. We therefore advise you to read through these comments and take into account your editor’s tips and suggestions.
  • Because of the many changes, sometimes there may be double spaces, double periods, or other minor mistakes in a sentence. Checking the changes one by one, you can easily detect these minor errors.

We have written a manual in which we explain step by step how ‘Track Changes’ works.

Check out an example

Our editors are very experienced and will do their utmost to correct all errors in your thesis .

However, with our current rates, an editor can only check your thesis once. This may cause an editor to overlook an error. We can therefore not guarantee that your thesis is 100% error free after you have had your thesis edited.

The editor uses ‘Track Changes’ in Word when editing your thesis.

Don’t know how this works? Then read the following guide  in which we explain step by step how ‘Track Changes’ works.

No, we do not provide you with a clean copy. You will always receive a file edited with tracked changes .

We do this for two main reasons:

  • In most papers, there are sentences that the editor cannot edit without additional information from the author. In these cases, your editor will provide guidance but leave you to implement the feedback. If we were to simply accept the changes for you, then these issues would be left unaddressed.
  • We believe students should be accountable for their work. Our editors can correct language errors and coach you to be a better writer. However, the end product belongs to you and should reflect your ideas and decisions.

All Scribbr editors are language experts with interests in different subject areas.

You can indicate your field of study when you upload your document . We’ll make sure that the editor who proofreads your work is familiar with your discipline and its specialist vocabulary.

These are the fields of study you can choose from, and examples of the main subjects in each field:

  • Business and Management: Business Administration, Hotel Management, Accountancy, Marketing
  • Economics: Business Economics, Econometrics, Finance
  • IT and Engineering: ICT, Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Applied Mathematics, Civil Engineering, Industrial Design, Electrical Engineering
  • Natural and Life Sciences: Biomedical Sciences, Biology, Chemistry
  • Geography, Agriculture and Environment: Ecology, Earth Sciences, Environmental Studies, Urban Planning
  • Health and Medical Sciences: Medicine, Obstetrics, Pharmacy, Nutrition, Dentistry
  • Arts and Humanities: Philosophy, History, Literature, Cultural Studies, Theology
  • Law and Policy: Law, Political Science, Public Policy, Human Rights
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences: Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Communication Sciences

Editors don’t have to be experts in the content of your paper, but they do know how to present it in the best way possible! Our goal is to improve your writing and give you feedback on the readability, structure, logic, and clarity of your text. We know from experience that the most effective editors are specialists in language and academic writing.

We’ve carefully selected and trained all of our editors to proofread theses and other academic documents. Once they’re qualified, we continue to carefully monitor their work to make sure we always deliver the highest quality .

  • Page Content
  • Sidebar Content
  • Main Navigation
  • Quick links

Back to Section Home

  • All TIP Sheets
  • Writing a Summary
  • Writing Paragraphs
  • Writing an Analogy
  • Writing a Descriptive Essay
  • Writing a Persuasive Essay
  • Writing a Compare/Contrast Paper
  • Writing Cause and Effect Papers
  • Writing a Process Paper
  • Writing a Classification Paper
  • Definitions of Writing Terms
  • How to Write Clearly
  • Active and Passive Voice
  • Developing a Thesis and Supporting Arguments
  • Writing Introductions & Conclusions
  • How to Structure an Essay: Avoiding Six Weaknesses in Papers
  • Writing Book Reports
  • Writing about Literature
  • Writing about Non-Fiction Books
  • Poetry: Meter and Related Topics
  • Revising and Editing



Try to keep the editing and proofreading processes separate. If you're worrying about the spelling of a word or the placement of a comma during the revision and editing stages, you're not focusing on the more important development and connection of ideas that make a paper clear and convincing.

For revising and editing guidelines, first see TIP Sheet: Revising and Editing. PROOFREADING

Proofreading is the final stage of the writing process when the paper is evaluated for mechanical correctness, such as grammar, punctuation, spelling, omitted words, repeated words, spacing and format, and typographical errors. You should proofread only after you have finished all of your other revisions and editing.

Proofreading is a learning process. You are not just looking for errors; you are also learning to avoid making the same mistakes in the future. Handbooks and dictionaries are important resources. Keep them close at hand as you proofread. If you are not sure about something, look it up.

The proofreading process becomes more efficient as you develop and practice a systematic strategy. Learn to identify the specific areas of your own writing that need careful attention.

Hints for Successful Proofreading

  • Set your text aside for awhile (15 minutes, one day, one week) between writing and proofreading. Some distance from the text will help you see mistakes more easily.
  • Work from a printout, not the computer screen. Enlarge the print or change the font to give you a new perspective.
  • Use a blank sheet of paper or ruler to cover up the lines below the one you're reading. This technique keeps you from skipping ahead of possible mistakes.
  • Read very slowly. Read one word at a time. If possible, read out loud so that you can hear each word. Read the entire paper several times, looking for different errors with each reading. Read into a tape recorder, and listen carefully while you play it back.
  • Review comments on your old papers, and make a list of errors which were marked frequently. Prioritize your list. Read separately for each kind of error, following whatever technique works best for you to identify that kind of mistake.

Proofreading Strategies for Specific Errors

If you know by reviewing your instructor's comments that you frequently make one or more of the following grammatical errors, try the following suggested strategies to identify and correct your errors. Please note that this is only a limited list of possible mechanical errors. It will be up to you to determine other areas of special concern for you as a writer.

  • Examine each word in the paper individually. Move from the end of each line back to the beginning. Pointing with a pencil helps you see each word more distinctly. If necessary, check a dictionary to see that each word is spelled correctly. It is important to remember that a computer spell check can be helpful when writing your initial drafts, but won't catch mistakes with homonyms (such as they're, their , and there ) or certain typographical errors (such as writing he for the )

Subject/Verb Agreement

  • Find the main verb in each sentence. Match the verb to its subject. Make sure that the subject and verb agree in number (that is, both are singular or both are plural).

Pronoun Reference/Agreement

  • Skim your paper, stopping at each pronoun. Look especially at it, this, they, their , and them . Search for the noun that the pronoun replaces. If you can't find any noun, or if it is unclear which noun is being referred to, change the pronoun to a noun. If you can find a noun, be sure it agrees in number and person with your pronoun.

Parallel Structure

  • Skim your paper, stopping at key words that signal parallel structures. Look especially for and, or, not only...but also, either...or, both...and . Make sure that the items connected by these words are in the same grammatical form. For instance, "She likes golf, basketball, and soccer" rather than "She likes golf, basketball, and to play soccer." You might change "He is not only a great piano player but also plays the guitar well" to "He is not only a great piano player but also a good guitar player."

Compound Sentence Commas

  • Skim for the conjunctions and, but, for, or, nor, so , and yet . See whether there is a complete sentence (containing a subject and verb) on each side of the conjunction. If so, place a comma before the conjunction.

Introductory Commas

  • Skim your paper, looking only at the first two or three words of each sentence. Stop if one of these words is a subordinate conjunction (such as while, if ), a transition word (such as nevertheless, however) , a participial phrase (such as serving four years in the Navy, he ...), or a prepositional phrase (such as in contrast, about two years ago ). If you can hear a break or pause after the phrase when reading aloud, place a comma at the end of the introductory phrase or clause (before the independent clause).
  • Look at each sentence to see whether it contains an independent clause (subject and verb). Pay special attention to sentences that begin with subordinate conjunctions (such as because, if , or when ) or phrases such as for example or such as . See if the fragment might be just a piece of the previous sentence that mistakenly got separated by a period. If so, attach it to the sentence. If not, add the missing subject or verb.

Run-On Sentences

  • Review each sentence to see whether it contains more than one independent clause. Start with the last sentence of your paper, and work your way back to the beginning, sentence by sentence, stopping at every comma. Run-on sentences can be revised four ways. You may make the clauses into separate sentences, join the clauses with a comma followed by a coordinating conjunction ( and, but, for, or, nor, so, and yet ), join the clauses with a semicolon if the sentences are closely related, or restructure the sentence (for example, by adding a subordinate conjunction).

Plurals and Possessives (Use of apostrophes)

  • Skim your paper, stopping only at those words which end in s . See whether or not an apostrophe is needed in order to indicate possession. If the words can be inverted, and Maria's book can be changed to the book of Maria, then the apostrophe is correct. If a word ends in s simply because it is plural, there should be no apostrophe.

Only now should you ask someone else to read through your paper to check for anything you might have missed. By revising, editing, and proofreading on your own first, you will ultimately improve your own ability to write well.

Home | Calendars | Library | Bookstore | Directory | Apply Now | Search for Classes | Register | Online Classes  | MyBC Portal MyBC -->

Butte College | 3536 Butte Campus Drive, Oroville CA 95965 | General Information (530) 895-2511

Essay Papers Writing Online

Tips and tricks for crafting engaging and effective essays.

Writing essays

Writing essays can be a challenging task, but with the right approach and strategies, you can create compelling and impactful pieces that captivate your audience. Whether you’re a student working on an academic paper or a professional honing your writing skills, these tips will help you craft essays that stand out.

Effective essays are not just about conveying information; they are about persuading, engaging, and inspiring readers. To achieve this, it’s essential to pay attention to various elements of the essay-writing process, from brainstorming ideas to polishing your final draft. By following these tips, you can elevate your writing and produce essays that leave a lasting impression.

Understanding the Essay Prompt

Before you start writing your essay, it is crucial to thoroughly understand the essay prompt or question provided by your instructor. The essay prompt serves as a roadmap for your essay and outlines the specific requirements or expectations.

Here are a few key things to consider when analyzing the essay prompt:

  • Read the prompt carefully and identify the main topic or question being asked.
  • Pay attention to any specific instructions or guidelines provided, such as word count, formatting requirements, or sources to be used.
  • Identify key terms or phrases in the prompt that can help you determine the focus of your essay.

By understanding the essay prompt thoroughly, you can ensure that your essay addresses the topic effectively and meets the requirements set forth by your instructor.

Researching Your Topic Thoroughly

Researching Your Topic Thoroughly

One of the key elements of writing an effective essay is conducting thorough research on your chosen topic. Research helps you gather the necessary information, facts, and examples to support your arguments and make your essay more convincing.

Here are some tips for researching your topic thoroughly:

Don’t rely on a single source for your research. Use a variety of sources such as books, academic journals, reliable websites, and primary sources to gather different perspectives and valuable information.
While conducting research, make sure to take detailed notes of important information, quotes, and references. This will help you keep track of your sources and easily refer back to them when writing your essay.
Before using any information in your essay, evaluate the credibility of the sources. Make sure they are reliable, up-to-date, and authoritative to strengthen the validity of your arguments.
Organize your research materials in a systematic way to make it easier to access and refer to them while writing. Create an outline or a research plan to structure your essay effectively.

By following these tips and conducting thorough research on your topic, you will be able to write a well-informed and persuasive essay that effectively communicates your ideas and arguments.

Creating a Strong Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is a crucial element of any well-crafted essay. It serves as the main point or idea that you will be discussing and supporting throughout your paper. A strong thesis statement should be clear, specific, and arguable.

To create a strong thesis statement, follow these tips:

  • Be specific: Your thesis statement should clearly state the main idea of your essay. Avoid vague or general statements.
  • Be concise: Keep your thesis statement concise and to the point. Avoid unnecessary details or lengthy explanations.
  • Be argumentative: Your thesis statement should present an argument or perspective that can be debated or discussed in your essay.
  • Be relevant: Make sure your thesis statement is relevant to the topic of your essay and reflects the main point you want to make.
  • Revise as needed: Don’t be afraid to revise your thesis statement as you work on your essay. It may change as you develop your ideas.

Remember, a strong thesis statement sets the tone for your entire essay and provides a roadmap for your readers to follow. Put time and effort into crafting a clear and compelling thesis statement to ensure your essay is effective and persuasive.

Developing a Clear Essay Structure

One of the key elements of writing an effective essay is developing a clear and logical structure. A well-structured essay helps the reader follow your argument and enhances the overall readability of your work. Here are some tips to help you develop a clear essay structure:

1. Start with a strong introduction: Begin your essay with an engaging introduction that introduces the topic and clearly states your thesis or main argument.

2. Organize your ideas: Before you start writing, outline the main points you want to cover in your essay. This will help you organize your thoughts and ensure a logical flow of ideas.

3. Use topic sentences: Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence that introduces the main idea of the paragraph. This helps the reader understand the purpose of each paragraph.

4. Provide evidence and analysis: Support your arguments with evidence and analysis to back up your main points. Make sure your evidence is relevant and directly supports your thesis.

5. Transition between paragraphs: Use transitional words and phrases to create flow between paragraphs and help the reader move smoothly from one idea to the next.

6. Conclude effectively: End your essay with a strong conclusion that summarizes your main points and reinforces your thesis. Avoid introducing new ideas in the conclusion.

By following these tips, you can develop a clear essay structure that will help you effectively communicate your ideas and engage your reader from start to finish.

Using Relevant Examples and Evidence

When writing an essay, it’s crucial to support your arguments and assertions with relevant examples and evidence. This not only adds credibility to your writing but also helps your readers better understand your points. Here are some tips on how to effectively use examples and evidence in your essays:

  • Choose examples that are specific and relevant to the topic you’re discussing. Avoid using generic examples that may not directly support your argument.
  • Provide concrete evidence to back up your claims. This could include statistics, research findings, or quotes from reliable sources.
  • Interpret the examples and evidence you provide, explaining how they support your thesis or main argument. Don’t assume that the connection is obvious to your readers.
  • Use a variety of examples to make your points more persuasive. Mixing personal anecdotes with scholarly evidence can make your essay more engaging and convincing.
  • Cite your sources properly to give credit to the original authors and avoid plagiarism. Follow the citation style required by your instructor or the publication you’re submitting to.

By integrating relevant examples and evidence into your essays, you can craft a more convincing and well-rounded piece of writing that resonates with your audience.

Editing and Proofreading Your Essay Carefully

Once you have finished writing your essay, the next crucial step is to edit and proofread it carefully. Editing and proofreading are essential parts of the writing process that help ensure your essay is polished and error-free. Here are some tips to help you effectively edit and proofread your essay:

1. Take a Break: Before you start editing, take a short break from your essay. This will help you approach the editing process with a fresh perspective.

2. Read Aloud: Reading your essay aloud can help you catch any awkward phrasing or grammatical errors that you may have missed while writing. It also helps you check the flow of your essay.

3. Check for Consistency: Make sure that your essay has a consistent style, tone, and voice throughout. Check for inconsistencies in formatting, punctuation, and language usage.

4. Remove Unnecessary Words: Look for any unnecessary words or phrases in your essay and remove them to make your writing more concise and clear.

5. Proofread for Errors: Carefully proofread your essay for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. Pay attention to commonly misused words and homophones.

6. Get Feedback: It’s always a good idea to get feedback from someone else. Ask a friend, classmate, or teacher to review your essay and provide constructive feedback.

By following these tips and taking the time to edit and proofread your essay carefully, you can improve the overall quality of your writing and make sure your ideas are effectively communicated to your readers.

Related Post

How to master the art of writing expository essays and captivate your audience, convenient and reliable source to purchase college essays online, step-by-step guide to crafting a powerful literary analysis essay, unlock success with a comprehensive business research paper example guide, unlock your writing potential with writers college – transform your passion into profession, “unlocking the secrets of academic success – navigating the world of research papers in college”, master the art of sociological expression – elevate your writing skills in sociology.


This page is designed to give you some brief, but helpful practical guidelines for proofreading your essays and written work. It also provides advice on the use of computer tools such as spelling and grammar checkers.

  Key advice

1. problems using a spell checker, 2. are grammar checkers useful in any way.

3. A checklist to help you with proofreading

Example 1 | Example 2 | Example 3  

A warning about spelling checkers on computers

When you are writing on the computer, you will probably want to use a spell checker. Although spell checkers can pick up many obvious misspellings and typographical errors, they cannot tell if you have chosen the wrong spelling of a word where two spellings are possible (e.g. their or there).

The following famous poem demonstrates this point. Read the poem and try to work out what the poet is saying.

Candidate for a Pullet Surprise

Jerrold H. Zar

Eye halve a spelling chequer, It came with my pea sea, It plainly marques four my revue Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

Eye strike a key and type a word And weight four it two say Weather eye am wrong oar write It shows me strait a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid It nose bee fore two long And eye can put the error rite Its rarely ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it I'm shore your pleased two no Its letter perfect in it's weigh, My chequer tolled me sew

You will see that none of the words used are misspelled; they are only incorrect because the homonym has been used - a homonym is a word that sounds the same but is spelled differently. You have been warned!

  back ^

When you are writing in English on the computer, you may also want to use a grammar checker. Many people feel that the grammar checker facility on the computer is a poor indicator of grammar errors. However, we would argue that it is useful, at least, for the following points :

  • It indicates when you have over-used the passive voice (this can make the text too 'heavy').
  • It shows when the gap is too large between two words that needs to be reduced.
  • The readability statistics make interesting (indeed sobering) reading! Even in academic writing, you are aiming for a relatively high readability figure. Readability is affected by aspects such as sentence length and choice of words.
  • It indicates when you have used a sentence that is too long. If this happens, you should consider breaking such sentences up.
  • It indicates when you have a 'sentence fragment' - this means that the syntax of the sentence has broken down and that you have missed out something important (either punctuation such as a full stop or a main verb, etc).
  • It does pick up some basic grammar errors such as subject-verb agreement, etc.

Despite the usefulness of the grammar checker, it is no substitute for careful personal proof-reading.

back ^  

3. A simple checklist to guide you when you are proofreading your essays and written work

Use this simple checklist to guide you when you are proofreading your essays and written work:

  • Have I used correct tenses in the essay? (the present tense is usually used to mention opinions and ideas from other research)
  • Do I have problems with the agreement of verbs with the subject?
  • Have I used clause structures correctly? ('although' and 'but' are not used together in the same sentence.)
  • Have I considered if my vocabulary is as academic and precise as possible?
  • Have I considered carefully my choice of: nouns pronouns adjectives ( academic writing tends to be rather formal and usually avoids informal adjectives such as nice and fantastic for example.) adverbs (in order to be precise, academic writing tends to avoid overgeneralisations and often uses adverbs such as often, usually, rarely etc. to express caution about the statements being made.) verbs (academic writing usually avoids informal phrasal verbs and often uses rather formal Latinate verbs.) possible synonyms. Sentences (balance between long and short sentences/balance between simple and complex sentences?)
  • Have I proofread the entire essay to make sure there are no typing and spelling errors?
  • Have I set out my references in an appropriate format? (There are different conventions for referencing that can be used. It is useful to discuss with your tutor what conventions are used in your area of study.) See here for some guidelines on referencing .

proofreading the essay carefully

Microsoft 365 Life Hacks > Writing > 25 proofreading abbreviations and what they mean

25 proofreading abbreviations and what they mean

Have you ever encountered proofreading marks on your writing but weren’t sure of their meanings? Proofreading abbreviations are a fast way to offer edits and feedback during the writing process. Familiarize yourself with 25 common proofreading abbreviations and their meanings to confidently review or provide revisions.

Mr. and Mrs. block letters by bouquet

What are the most common proofreading abbreviations?

Proofreaders use standard abbreviations to correct and highlight revisions in a text. These marks may be added on the margins, or directly on the text, to provide edits. Commonly used proofreading abbreviations include the following:

  • “Sp” – Spelling: This abbreviation stands for spelling, indicating a spelling error that needs correction.
  • “Gram” – Grammar: “Gram” stands for grammar , highlighting a grammatical mistake requiring revision.
  • “Cap” – Capitalization: When “cap” is used as a proofreading mark, it denotes an incorrect or missing capital letter.
  • “Punct” – Punctuation: This abbreviation refers to punctuation, identifying errors such as missing or misplaced commas, periods, or quotation marks.
  • “Frag” – Fragment: “Frag” is short for fragment, which indicates a sentence needs to be revised or connected to the main clause.
  • “R-o”– Run-on sentence: “R-o” stands for run on sentence, where there are two or more independent clauses that should be separated into different sentences.
  • “Aw” – Awkward: “Aw” highlights awkward or unclear phrasing that needs to be restructured and clarified.
  • “Ambig”– Ambiguous: “Ambig” points out ambiguous language or unclear meaning that needs to be revised.
  • “Conc” – Conciseness: “Conc” indicates a sentence or clause needs to reduce wordiness or repetition for brevity.
  • “Awk trn” – Awkward transition: “Awk trn” is used when there is an awkward transition between paragraphs or ideas.
  • “Ref”– Reference: “Ref” suggests the need to verify or provide a citation for a statement or claim.
  • “Logic” – Logical inconsistency: “Logic” highlights a logical flaw or contradiction in the argument or reasoning.
  • “Cons” – Consistency: “Cons” denotes a lack of consistency in style, formatting, or terminology that should be revised.
  • “Frag trn” – Fragment transition: “Frag trn” indicates a sentence fragment that disrupts the flow of the text or lacks coherence.
  • “Rep” – Repetition: “Rep” highlights redundancies and unnecessary word, phrase, or idea repetition that can be omitted or changed.
  • “T” – Tense inconsistency: “T” points out the inconsistency in verb tense usage within the text.
  • “Dict” – Diction: “Dict” indicates there is faulty diction in the writing.
  • “Par” – Paragraphing: “Par” suggests a need to reorganize paragraph structure for clarity, or coherence.
  • “Agr” – Agreement: “Agr” indicates the need to revise subject-verb or pronoun agreement.
  • “Spc” – Spacing: “Spc” identifies issues related to spacing, such as excessive or insufficient spacing between words or lines.
  • “Syn” – Synonym: “Syn” suggests replacing a word with a synonym to improve variety or precision in language.
  • “Cl” – Clarity: “Cl” highlights writing that is unclear or difficult to understand and needs clarification.
  • “Om” – Omission: “Om” indicates a word or phrase that should be omitted for clarity, conciseness, or accuracy.
  • “Inc” – Incomplete: “Inc” flags incomplete sentences or thoughts that need to be fleshed out or expanded.

Get the most out of your documents with Word Banner

Get the most out of your documents with Word

Elevate your writing and collaborate with others - anywhere, anytime

Proofreading plays a crucial role, whether you’re reviewing someone’s essay or analyzing feedback on your own writing. Utilize these twenty-four proofreading marks for swift revisions and enhance the quality of your writing. For more help with proofreading and editing , learn more writing tips .

Get started with Microsoft 365

It’s the Office you know, plus the tools to help you work better together, so you can get more done—anytime, anywhere.

Topics in this article

More articles like this one.

proofreading the essay carefully

When to use 'while' vs. 'whilst'

“While” and “whilst” are usually interchangeable, but not always. See how they differ and learn how to use them effectively.

proofreading the essay carefully

What is touch typing (and why is it important)?

Learn about the benefits of touch typing and how it can help you type faster and more accurately.

proofreading the essay carefully

Is it “per say” or ‘per se’?

Address the misspelling of ‘per se’ to effectively communicate the intrinsic quality of something. Learn why it is commonly misspelled and how to use it correctly in your writing.

proofreading the essay carefully

Elicit vs. illicit: What’s the difference?

Learn the difference between illicit vs. elicit, two homophones that sound alike but mean different things, and write without confusion.

Microsoft 365 Logo

Everything you need to achieve more in less time

Get powerful productivity and security apps with Microsoft 365

LinkedIn Logo

Explore Other Categories

PTE Essay Writing Preparation Techniques & Samples

PTE Essay Writing Preparation Techniques & Samples

Writing an essay can be challenging for the PTE. This applies especially to those who are new to this test. However, there are some proven methods that could help you achieve a high score in the essay part of the test. Use these strategies and tips to develop your writing skills and create an essay that will wow examiners.

This guide contains vital hints and tactics which will enhance your written communication abilities and equip you for success during the examination.

Table of Contents

Pte writing section, 1. carefully read through prompt, 2. come up with ideas brainstorm, 3. create an outline, 4. write a draft, 5. validate your claims, 6. use right vocabulary, 7. sentence variation, 8. edit and proofread, frequently asked questions.

The PTE writing section tests one’s ability to communicate effectively and accurately in written English. It consists of two parts: an essay and a set of multiple-choice questions.

In the essay task, you must respond to a point of view or opinion by explaining where you stand on it with reasons given why; also examples where necessary should be provided too while still making sure all thoughts are connected together using appropriate sentence structures throughout your response so as not confuse readership any further than is necessary . The length requirement here ranges between 200-300 words long.

Multiple choice items come after essays require selecting correct words/phrases out from list provided as options; sometimes they might need filling up blanks, re-ordering paragraphs or completing sentences among others – all meant for checking one’s grammar knowledge together with vocabulary too within this particular area hence its name being multiple choices .

You will be judged based on how accurate your grammar/spelling is; clarity/effectiveness through writing; development/organization when presenting ideas along with opinions expressed plus relevant content towards given tasks as well as sticking within word limits among other things expected from candidates like adhering strictly according instructions given throughout entire paper thus ensuring best possible scores achieved indeed!

Also Read: Books for PTE Preparation

Proven techniques to score high on the essay

Getting a high score in PTE’s Essay Section is possible if you prepare well enough. Here are some tried-and-tested ways of getting maximum points awarded by examiners:

Make sure to read through the prompt thoroughly before you even begin writing your essay. Go through it several times so that there is no part of it which will escape your attention. This way, you will understand all that is required of you according to the question or topic being dealt with.

Take note of any keywords or key points while reading and think about how they should structure their answers in order to meet what has been asked for based on these words too . You can jot them down therefore enabling easy reference during composition process later on.

Sit down with a pen and paper after going through the question; then start generating possible solutions or answers depending on prompts given. Think deeply about main ideas around particular topic at hand as well related subtopics where necessary before narrowing focus further down into specific areas which might apply personally too besides listing facts figures & evidence needed plus other supporting materials that help prove various points within one’s response towards such questions .

Listing everything helps someone come up with an organized plan because once this stage reached one should be able to know what he/she wants say in essay then draft accordingly.

Generating a skeleton is necessary for any essay as it allows the writer to structure their thoughts and ideas logically. The main points, arguments, and supporting evidence should all be included in this section. An introductory paragraph must also be written as well as a conclusion to summarize the entire work.

To create the skeleton, begin with an introduction which gives an overview of what will be covered in the paper; then follow up with one or two sentences about each main point accompanied by relevant information that supports them such as research findings, quotes from authorities on the subject matter being discussed among others before finishing off with some final remarks at the end.

Having finished creating an outline you need to take some time fleshing out your ideas so as to communicate them most effectively in writing. This involves coming up with rough drafts which are later refined until one has crafted something that best delivers their message across. It is advisable not to use too many clichés or jargons while drafting since they may water down your work instead of adding value.

In the process of jotting down points, it is important to maintain coherence throughout by ensuring each sentence flows into another logically without leaving any gaps between different paragraphs or sections hence making sure everything fits together like pieces in a puzzle game. Moreover, all these details should bear relevance to what was outlined earlier on during brainstorming session.

Any statement put forward by an author ought to be supported using evidence obtained from credible sources otherwise such assertions can easily get dismissed by critics for lack of proof. Statistical figures, direct quotations or even instances derived from other works may serve as viable forms of evidence in this regard. This makes people believe what you say because they know where you got it from and how true could possibly be said about anything without backing up any claim whatsoever? Therefore always remember that every argument needs backing up!

While researching ensure that only reputable websites are visited which are closely related to the topic under scrutiny. Additionally, while citing references do so according to required formatting styles as this shows one has taken time researching their paper and can be trusted upon hence failure to do this might lead lower grades being awarded.

One thing many students forget while writing essays is choosing appropriate words for different audiences which could make them fail exams or have people misunderstand what they wanted to say in the first place. For example if someone is writing a formal essay then slang words or colloquial expressions ought not be used at all but rather select terms that show seriousness and maturity of thought process involved when dealing with academic matters.

Furthermore it also aids understanding along the lines of enhancing clarity; thus readers get better equipped with knowledge about your standpoints as well as arguments put forth within such works.

Another important aspect of essay writing involves sentence variations because sticking only long complex ones will make it hard for anyone reading through them understand anything from there since ideas seem all over the place instead use short simple ones alongside compound-complex types too where necessary so that people can easily read through without getting lost somewhere down the line even if some parts may appear difficult to comprehend.

When you are finished writing your essay, give yourself time to edit it thoroughly. Editing is all about looking at the big picture and making sure everything is clear and concise. It allows you to see how well you have communicated your ideas and identify places where you can do better.

Once you have made all the changes that seem necessary, proofread your paper carefully. This means searching for spelling mistakes, grammar errors, or punctuation problems – anything that might be wrong – and fixing them. Doing this will help ensure that your essay has as few mistakes as possible and is the best it can be.

You might also like

  • PTE registration
  • PTE exam pattern
  • PTE eligibility
  • PTE Exam Syllabus
  • PTE score calculator
  • PTE Score Chart

By following the techniques mentioned above you’ll become a PTE writing master in no time; thereby increasing your chances of success greatly. Stay focused throughout the whole process and always give yourself ample time to write an essay because it will pay off eventually.

PTE Essay Samples

Here are more some essay samples PTE essay samples:

Sample PTE Essay 1

proofreading the essay carefully

Sample PTE Essay 2

proofreading the essay carefully

What does the PTE writing section test?

The Pearson Test of English (PTE) writing section tests your ability to communicate clearly and accurately in written English. It consists of an essay and a set of multiple-choice questions. 

How to create an outline for the essay?

When creating an outline, start with the introduction to provide a brief overview of the essay. Next, develop an outline for each of your main points accompanied by evidence to support it. Finally, end the outline with the conclusion to summarize the main points and provide a final thought on the topic.

Why is it important to edit and proofread your essay before submitting it?

Editing helps to evaluate how effectively you have conveyed your ideas and identify any areas where improvement may be needed, while proofreading helps to ensure that the essay is as error-free as possible and that it is of the highest quality.

author avatar

Study Abroad Expert

Disclaimer: The views and opinions shared in this site solely belong to the individual authors and do not necessarily represent t ...Read More

The top 6 books for PTE to score HIGH!

The top 6 books for PTE to score HIGH!

PTE Exam Preparation: The last guide you'll ever need

PTE Exam Preparation: The last guide you'll ever need

The best PTE tools that will make studying a breeze

The best PTE tools that will make studying a breeze

Duolingo vs PTE: Which one is better for you?

Duolingo vs PTE: Which one is better for you?

The ultimate list of PTE acceptable countries

The ultimate list of PTE acceptable countries

PTE vs TOEFL: A comprehensive comparison to help you choose

PTE vs TOEFL: A comprehensive comparison to help you choose


  1. How To Proofread: 19 Foolproof Strategies To Power Up Your Writing

    proofreading the essay carefully

  2. Best essay proofreading service

    proofreading the essay carefully

  3. How to Proofread an Essay (+Tricks Most Writers Ignore)

    proofreading the essay carefully

  4. How to Revise an Essay in College: 18 Tips

    proofreading the essay carefully

  5. The Ultimate Guide On How To Proofread An Essay

    proofreading the essay carefully

  6. The 10-Step Guide to Proofreading Essays Quickly (Infographic)

    proofreading the essay carefully


  1. Essay Writing : Proofreading Essay #essaywriting #academicwriting

  2. Advanced Writing: Proofreading a College Essay

  3. Proofreading Tips: Areas of Focus

  4. problem = solved #essay #essaywriting #proofreading #aitools #student #worksmarter


  6. Final Revising and Proofreading.mov


  1. Quick Guide to Proofreading

    Step 2: Line editing. Revising the use of language to communicate your story, ideas, or arguments as effectively as possible. This might involve changing words, phrases and sentences and restructuring paragraphs to improve the flow of the text. Step 3: Copy editing. Polishing individual sentences to ensure correct grammar, a clear sentence ...

  2. Beginning Proofreading

    Proofreading is primarily about searching your writing for errors, both grammatical and typographical, before submitting your paper for an audience (a teacher, a publisher, etc.). Use this resource to help you find and fix common errors. ... Read slowly and carefully to give your eyes enough time to spot errors. Read aloud. Reading aloud helps ...

  3. Editing and Proofreading

    Proofreading is a learning process. You're not just looking for errors that you recognize; you're also learning to recognize and correct new errors. This is where handbooks and dictionaries come in. Keep the ones you find helpful close at hand as you proofread. Ignorance may be bliss, but it won't make you a better proofreader.

  4. What Does Proofreading Mean? Definition and Checklist

    Proofreading is the process of carefully reviewing written work to find and correct errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, and formatting. It is the final step in the writing process; it ensures clean, clear, and professional writing before submission or publication. Keep in mind that proofreading differs from other writing steps, such as ...

  5. Why Proofreading Is Important

    To summarize: Proofreading is an essential step in the writing process that helps to ensure written work is clear, accurate, and easy to understand. It's particularly important for academic and professional writing, as errors can detract from the credibility of the work. Errors can have serious consequences for an author and damage their ...

  6. Proofreading

    Proofreading means examining your text carefully to find and correct typographical errors and mistakes in grammar, style, and spelling. Here are some tips. Before You Proofread Be sure you've revised the larger aspects of your text. Don't make corrections at the sentence and word level if you still need to work on the focus, organization,…

  7. 15 Tips for Writing, Proofreading, and Editing Your College Essay

    This variation helps to keep the reader's attention and allows for a more engaging narrative flow. 9. Revisit your essay after a break. Give yourself time: After completing a draft of your essay, step away from it for a day or two. This break can clear your mind and reduce your attachment to specific phrases or ideas.

  8. Proofreading

    Introduction. Proofreading involves reading your document to correct the smaller typographical, grammatical, and spelling errors. Proofreading is usually the very last step you take before sending off the final draft of your work for evaluation or publication. It comes after you have addressed larger matters such as style, content, citations ...

  9. What Is Proofreading? What, Why and How to Proofread

    Proofreading is the process of carefully reviewing a written document for errors, inconsistencies, and improvements prior to its finalization or publication. This critical process involves scrutinizing the text for spelling, grammar, punctuation, formatting, typographical errors, and the overall presentation of the content, all in pursuit of ...

  10. How to Proofread Your Writing: 5 Tips for Effective Proofreading

    How to Proofread Your Writing: 5 Tips for Effective Proofreading. Written by MasterClass. Last updated: Aug 23, 2021 • 3 min read. A top-notch proofreading job can separate a fantastic story from one that is merely okay. Learn the art of proofreading to elevate your own writing. A top-notch proofreading job can separate a fantastic story from ...

  11. Proofreading for Errors

    Finding Common Errors. Here are some common proofreading issues that come up for many writers. For grammatical or spelling errors, try underlining or highlighting words that often trip you up. On a sentence level, take note of which errors you make frequently. Also make note of common sentence errors you have such as run-on sentences, comma ...

  12. Seven Effective Ways to Proofread Writing

    Proofreading what you have written can be very dull. There are many different ways to proofread writing. What works for one person may constitute a painful process for another. Regardless of the method you choose, proofreading is a critical part of the writing process and should never be overlooked. Here are some effective methods for proofreading your documents.

  13. Tips For Effective Proofreading

    Tips For Effective Proofreading. Proofread backwards. Begin at the end and work back through the paper paragraph by paragraph or even line by line. This will force you to look at the surface elements rather than the meaning of the paper. Place a ruler under each line as you read it. This will give your eyes a manageable amount of text to read.

  14. Proofreading

    Proofreading refers to a step in the writing process --the act of critically reading a document with the goal of identifying errors at the word and sentence-level. Proofreading is crucial to establishing a professional tone in school and workplace contexts. Learn how to edit documents so that your works meet the needs and expectations of your ...

  15. Guide to Proofreading: What, Why and How to Proofread

    Essay Editing and Proofreading Proofreading services for essays, coursework and reports. ... Proofreading is the process of carefully examining a written text to detect and correct errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar, and formatting. It goes beyond just a cursory glance; instead, it involves a meticulous review aimed at polishing the final ...

  16. What is Proofreading? A Handy Guide for Researchers

    What is Proofreading? Proofreading involves a close and detailed check of your research paper to identify and correct errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, consistency, and formatting. Proofreading goes beyond a software-based spell check, and is essential for making your writing look professional and polished.

  17. Free Online Proofreader

    Write your essay, paper, or dissertation error-free. The online proofreader instantly spots mistakes and corrects them in real-time. FAQ ... As with every proofreading order, be sure to carefully review your editor's changes and suggestions as you finalize your text to ensure that everything is as you want it.

  18. Proofreading

    For revising and editing guidelines, first see TIP Sheet: Revising and Editing. Proofreading is the final stage of the writing process when the paper is evaluated for mechanical correctness, such as grammar, punctuation, spelling, omitted words, repeated words, spacing and format, and typographical errors.

  19. Tips for Writing Effective Essays: A Comprehensive Guide

    Editing and Proofreading Your Essay Carefully. Once you have finished writing your essay, the next crucial step is to edit and proofread it carefully. Editing and proofreading are essential parts of the writing process that help ensure your essay is polished and error-free. Here are some tips to help you effectively edit and proofread your ...

  20. Proofreading

    It indicates when you have a 'sentence fragment' - this means that the syntax of the sentence has broken down and that you have missed out something important (either punctuation such as a full stop or a main verb, etc). It does pick up some basic grammar errors such as subject-verb agreement, etc. Despite the usefulness of the grammar checker ...

  21. Proofreading abbreviations and what they mean

    Proofreading plays a crucial role, whether you're reviewing someone's essay or analyzing feedback on your own writing. Utilize these twenty-four proofreading marks for swift revisions and enhance the quality of your writing. For more help with proofreading and editing, learn more writing tips.

  22. PDF Editing and Proofreading

    Proofreading is a learning process. You're not just looking for errors that you recognize; you're also learning to recognize and correct new errors. This is where handbooks and dictionaries come in. Keep the ones you find helpful close at hand as you proofread. Ignorance may be bliss, but it won't make you a better proofreader. You'll

  23. PTE Essay Writing Preparation Techniques & Samples

    Proven techniques to score high on the essay. Getting a high score in PTE's Essay Section is possible if you prepare well enough. Here are some tried-and-tested ways of getting maximum points awarded by examiners: 1. Carefully read through prompt. Make sure to read through the prompt thoroughly before you even begin writing your essay.