Stuck with an assignment submission and looking for help with a final overview? You are at the right place.
Proofreading is the final stage of writing any article—a final check for all possible errors ranging from wrong spelling to the flow of content in any write-up. It is essential because silly mistakes in any submission (be it your resume or essay) makes the reader doubt your professionalism and prudence. Here are 15 common errors which you must watch out for while editing and proofreading assignments
Spellings are the first error that strikes the discerning eye of any reader other than yourself, if only because you are too used to your work. Autocorrect can decide to not work at the most crucial of times. Make sure you do a thorough spell check yourself and avoid negligence.
- Skipping articles or other words
Skipping articles is one of the most common mistakes overlooked when proofreading assignments. If you are a frequent typist, your mind is working way ahead of your fingers. So, you tend to skip words, especially when you are in a hurry to finish your work. Read each sentence with full attention and fill in the gaps.
- Typing the wrong word
It often happens that we are thinking about something other than what we are typing and put in some completely random word instead of the correct one. Read scrupulously for such typos.
4. Auto “correct”
The auto-correct feature cannot read your mind, especially when you are typing words in languages other than the default one. Ensure your fille (French for ‘girl’) doesn’t turn into filled and render your sentence and hence, the flow of your paper, meaningless.
5. Word repetitions
Repetition of a word, unless used for emphasis or as a style of writing, can be very annoying for a reader. Redundancy also reduces the quality of your paper. Use your vocabulary and get creative.
Wrong capitalizations, unless required for proper nouns or your style of writing, disrupts the reader’s flow and confuses the reader of your intention.
Does each period, comma, em dash or quotation mark make sense and add to the sentence? Don’t let punctuation errors ruin all the effort you have put into your writing. Punctuation marks are meant to make the reading easier to ensure easy comprehension and not otherwise. A few proofreading exercises should definitely help.
Some formats, like the MLA, and professors, require that you indent every paragraph in your paper. Do not skip this minute detail.
9. Using the thesaurus blindly
Blindly using thesaurus can turn the meaning of any sentence upside down. For example, ‘delicate’ has synonyms such as ‘fine, exquisite, insubstantial and wispy.’ The first two meanings have positive connotations while the latter two have negative connotations. Use the thesaurus but make sure you are acquainted with the alternate word meanings so that you don’t unknowingly intend something else.
Wordiness is when you use more words than necessary. It is best to limit each sentence to 30 words. Simplify your sentences and think like a reader, or your professor, while proofreading home assignments. Make your article as crisp and as clear as possible.
- Double spacing after punctuation
Some of us tend to put in double spaces after every punctuation. Do not double space. It serves no purpose other than distancing the words, increasing the number of pages, and irking the reader.
You may think that the task of referencing is unimportant or may be left until the last. But it will be easier for you if you cross-reference right from the beginning, as you are writing the assignment. Not only this, entirely omitting referring can lead you into copyright issues or a grade cut by your professors. See to it that you have all the correct reference sources while proofreading assignments.
Different writing styles require different kinds of formatting. For example, while MLA requires your in-text citation in brackets, Chicago style requires footnotes. Most styles require you to italicize names of books and put names of chapters in double inverted commas. Attentively format the entire paper based on the style you have been asked to follow.
- Short forms
In today’s times, we see an increased usage of informal short forms of words like ‘because’ (cuz or bc) and ‘when’ (wen or whn). This will completely send your write-ups well below the grades, attention and appreciation they may deserve. Hence, this is one error you MUST avoid making to make your assignment look professional and your effort sincere.
- Only proofreading the body
Lastly, proofreading does not only mean going through the body of your paper. It also requires you to check the heading, subtitles, sub-headings, headers/footers and especially, the bibliography. Maybe nobody checks the bibliography, but you don’t want to take chances.
Often, we get attached to our writing and overlook certain aspects which may be unobvious to or unnecessary for the reader. While it is easy to recognize mistakes in others’ writing, it is difficult to objectively observe and assess self-written work and possible blunders. That’s where we come in. Project Factory has just the right experts for proofreading assignments for students. Sign up for proofreading and editing services, or for a proofreading report and other editing services for y