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Monday, November 21, 2005

How to Proofread and Edit Your Writing


Allow yourself some time between writing and proofreading. You need the time so that you can get some distance from what you have written and return to it with a fresh mind and eye.
Keep in mind that you’re writing for people who are not present and often not very willing to put a lot of effort into making sense of the paper. You can’t expect them to get inside your head and understand what you mean to say; you can’t expect them to guess at what you might mean; and you can’t expect them to fill in gaps or connect ideas you haven’t explicitly connected yourself. You have to make sure you say all you need to say so that your readers can understand you without having to work too hard at it. Many teacher-readers value clarity and explicitness. They value being able to get to the ideas in the paper without being hindered by sentence-level errors; and they value writing that makes connections between ideas and presents the implications of those ideas.

Don’t try to proofread for everything at once. Make a number of passes through the paper. First, make a number of passes to proofread for revising. Then, after you’ve made any changes you need, make another set of passes to proofread for editing, watching for a different problem or concern each time.
View Article at BSU WRC


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