10 Ways to Avoid Essay Mistakes and Why It’s Important to Proofread Your Essay

Never assume the value of proofreading on your reputation, finances, and grades. Learn how to avoid common essay mistakes, the significance of proofreading, and how to proofread quickly. 

Proofreading Essays to Avoid Mistakes

Regardless of whether you are a student or a professional, the last thing you need is to be misunderstood or disregarded because of poorly written essays. That is why you must proofread every bit of your paper or write up. To many people, proofreading comes as the last step after writing an essay, even though it is the most crucial step in the writing process. The importance of proofreading is tied to the quality of the write-up in making the essay error-free.

Common Mistakes in Essays

Errors in essays are the major stumbling blocks that lower the quality of any writing. On that account, it is significant that a writer proofreads their writing to eradicate any errors. Some of the common mistakes in essays that can be avoided through proofreading include:

– Poor sentence structure

– Grammatical mistakes

– Misspelling

– Typographical errors

– Tense confusion

– An uneven flow of paragraphs

– Incorrect referencing

Avoid Essay Mistakes

The importance of proofreading

Proofreading any writing improves not only the quality of the documents but also makes the document more readable. A document’s readability is essential because it ensures accuracy in the message conveyed and eases the message’s conveyance by minimizing reading fatigue. That way, you can be sure that your intended audience will go through the entire write up and get the message intended seamlessly.

Proofreading also improves the credibility of an essay. Coming up with a concept, researching it, and writing it in an essay is time-consuming and energy exhausting. Now imagine this; you have dedicated a lot of your time to your essay, but when you finally put it out there, either to your professor or to the admissions office, if you’re looking for college admission, it gets discredited and rejected. Isn’t that frustrating? Thus, the only way you can improve your writing’s credibility and acceptability is by thoroughly proofreading it to make sure that it is error-free.

Proofreading makes writing effective. Every writing, be it an essay, a CV, a journal, a research paper, or a dissertation, has an underlying purpose. For instance, the purpose of a CV is to make a candidate stand out and improve the chances of being considered for a particular job. In that case, the CV’s effectiveness can only be realized if the CV shows utmost consideration for professionalism, attention to detail, and organization. Thus, proofreading makes every writing effective in achieving its intended purpose. 


10 Proofreading Techniques to Avoid Mistakes when Writing

Avoid mistakes in your writing by knowing the mistakes. You can only correct that which you know well. In that case, you can only avoid mistakes in writing when you understand how an error-free document looks. That calls for a thorough understanding of grammar, punctuation, formatting, referencing, and paragraph organization. Also, remember that avoiding mistakes is not only proofing punctuation and words but also knowing and checking inconsistencies in the text. Typical discrepancies that can be easily avoided by being careful include font style changes, uneven formatting, different font sizes, and many more. 

Proofreading is also another way of avoiding mistakes in your essay. Many people will assume that proofreading is just reading through the document to assert that it aligns with the quality standards required. However, proofreading is not as simple as that. If not well done,  proofreading can turn out to be just another task without any effectiveness. Therefore, you can ensure that your proofreading is effective through the following 10 expert tips:

Take time

After writing your first draft, take time before you start proofreading. Proofreading immediately after writing will be ineffective because you will be blind to incorrect phrases and typos. Take time then review your essay.

Use technology before checking manually.

Proofreading tools such as the spelling and grammar check tool in Microsoft office are useful for catching common grammatical and spelling mistakes. However, the tools are not exhaustive. Some essay mistakes, such as sentence structure, paragraph organization, word choice, and readability, need manual checking.  

Go the hardcopy way

After you have checked your essay using spell-check tools, we prefer you to print your document and review it in hardcopy. A hardcopy will help you spot errors more efficiently away from any distractions. 

Proofreading Essays to Avoid Mistakes

Remember confusing words

Some words are confusing when written since they sound almost the same way in speech. Examples of common confusing words are homonyms and contractions. Hence, check to ensure you have not confused homonyms such as except and accept, ordnance and ordinance, or contractions such as there, their, and they’re.

Each line at a time

For accurate proofreading, treat each line independently. Assess each line for clarity and intentionally view each word in the line. You can use a pencil for guidance.  

Fact check

You do not want to write an essay that projects you as a careless individual. Ensure that all facts in your writing are correct. Besides, also ensure that all references used in the essay are accurate. 

Readout loud

Reading silently and reading aloud are different. When you read aloud, you will evaluate your essay’s correctness from an audience’s perspective. If you like, you may also use text-to-speech plugins such as wordtalk. 

Get a proofreader’s opinion.

Sometimes, it is easier to hire a professional proofreader than to proofread yourself. You only correct that which you know. Because of that, it can be challenging to fix yourself, especially after a spelling and grammar checker has confirmed that your spellings are okay. Therefore, you can as well hire a professional from trusted websites such as nerdify review to help you with proofreading. 

Check the sentence structure.

For professional and scholarly essays, each sentence ought to have a subject-verb structure to communicate clearly. Yet, many times essays are marred with unnecessary run-on sentences and fragmented sentences. So, be sure that each sentence in your essay clearly communicates a specific thought. 

 Focus on your writing weaknesses

Everyone has writing weaknesses. When you spot that yours is overusing particular phrases, for instance, focus on identifying that weakness in your essay. Over time, you will improve your writing and minimize the flaw in your essays.

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