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How to proofread Your College Essay

Essays of all types can be diminished by errors. At the college level more is expected of your writing ability than high school so put in the work to ensure that your writing reflects this. This is a method you can use to help you create error-free essays.

  1. Start with content and sentence structure
  2. While not technically a part of the proofreading process, the flow of your essay is dependent on this. It also makes the most sense to approach it first because some misspelled words may end up being deleted in the course of adjusting syntax and removing nonessential points. There’s no need to give yourself more work than is absolutely necessary. Once the essay flows in the best way possible you can fix the other details.

  3. Spelling
  4. Your spell check is like a good friend who will always help you in very specific ways but cannot be depended on in any other capacity. There will be errors that it picks up on before you do but always give your work a few thorough checks for spelling errors of context because when it comes to those, YOUR on YOU’RE own.

  5. Punctuation
  6. There are many sites that can explain to you the proper uses of the less common punctuation marks. For an essay at college level these distinctions become particularly important so it is worthwhile to refer to one of those while proofreading to ensure that a misplaced semi colon does not ruin your image as a master of the English language.

  7. Formatting
  8. Software will help you with this to some extent but, as always, try not to get too comfortable. Proofreading is your job, anything that helps you is just an aid. Look out for inconsistencies that can result from putting together your essay from documents. Even though they may all be your original work, those inconsistencies can make your essay appear unfinished or hastily put together.

When you think you have checked for every possibly type of error within your work, read it to yourself one last time, aloud. Read as slowly as possible and let every word and punctuation mark register in your mind. It will be a long, thankless job but if you want to be certain that you haven’t missed anything, it must be done. At this point your essay should be ready for submission.

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