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How To Proofread Your Application Essay

Proofreading is the final step of producing any great essay. Unfortunately it’s also the most neglected! This article will stress the importance of proofreading and also give some instructions on how to accomplish it. Basically there are 10 steps you can take to do a thorough proofreading of your own essay. Here they are:

  1. Put a little bit of time in between the writing and the proofreading of your essay so that you are looking at it from a fresh point of view.
  2. Scan the essay for only one type of problem at a time. For example, proof for spelling mistakes only. Next proof for grammatical errors and so forth.
  3. Find the facts and data you used. Double check them. Check for proper name usage as well.
  4. Use a hard copy to review. It often looks different than the digital one and you might see something you missed before. Write on the hard copy. If you see something that should be changed, make notes in the margin of the paper.
  5. Read your essay out loud, or have someone read it to you. It’s a good way of catching errors you didn’t see before.
  6. Use of a spellchecker. It’s not foolproof but it will help you catch a few typos.
  7. Use a dictionary. Even though spellchecker will catch misspellings, only the dictionary can verify if you’ve used the correct word for the context.
  8. Read the text from end to beginning. In other words, read it backward starting at the last word of the essay. The purpose of this is to see individual words instead of concentrating on sentences.
  9. Create a list of errors you know you commonly make. Look for these throughout the body of your essay.
  10. Ask someone for help. You could get a family member to proofread for you or even hire an expert proof reader to give it a once-over.

Don’t skimp on the proofreading even though the list seems lengthy. It’s actually a simple and quick task to go through each one of these steps. The final finishing touches to your essay are sometimes the most crucial. Some teachers have failed otherwise great essays simply because they were never cleaned up and appear sloppy because of all the spelling mistakes and typos. After doing all the work of writing, it doesn’t make sense to skip the proofreading.

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