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How to Proofread Your Essay

Proofreading your essay is the final straw of success. Many people write pseudo-excellent essays and wonder why they get the "B" in red ink when essays are graded. The reason with less-than-perfect scores is usually in the proofreading...or lack thereof.

No matter who you are or how well you write and research, you must always proofread your own essays, and preferably have someone else proofread it, as well. People write often and can become immune to their own work. Consequently, they do not see simple typos and grammatical errors that can easily be found and fixed. You don't want a perfectly fantastic essay — especially one over which you have slaved — ruined by a few spelling errors.

Here are a few tips on how to proofread your essay:

  • Take three different colored pens (red, blue, green).
  • Read through your essay with the red pen in hand solely for spelling errors.
  • Read through the essay with the blue pen in hand solely for grammatical (punctuation) errors.
  • Read through the essay with the green pen in hand for content errors. The content errors can be lack of documentation, awkward sentences, lack of transition, and so on.
  • When you have painstakingly read over your essay numerous times — each with a different viewpoint — you will probably have a rainbow colored stack of papers. Now, go through your computer screen and fix the errors.
  • Give the newly printed copy to another person to read.

If you go through all of these steps for each essay you write, you will inevitably find all erroneous and extraneous errors in the writing. Your own eyes will find most errors, especially if you use color-coded systems and re-read the writing numerous times. However, we cannot stress enough the importance of having someone else proofread your essay for these errors. Other people will be able to pick up on problems that you cannot see in your own work. BookRags offers an essay editing service that you may use for this purpose.