Essay Proofreading Guidelines: Polish Your Paper Right

One recommendation that we often give students who are looking to improve the quality of their academic writing is to write in draft form. Writing your essay in draft form removes the pressure to get it right the first time, and instead just get your ideas down. Then, once you have written a finished first copy you can move on to refining and polishing your essay to perfection. Today, we are going discuss some ways to do this- and how you can make an already great essay even better.

  1. Write, and Then Re-write it
  2. Okay, so once you have completed your first draft you should go back and read it, making the appropriate improvements. One way to DRAMATICALLY increase the quality of your paper is to re-write certain paragraphs and sentences using a stronger vocabulary.

    This works best when you write the first draft of your paper with the intention of just getting it done. Then, go back and think carefully about the wording that you are choosing to use. Is there a better way to say the same thing?

  3. Read It Out loud
  4. Once you have made some re-writes to your draft go back again and read your entire paper out loud. This will help you to refine the narrative structure of your paper so that it sounds better as a presentation.

    Keep in mind that once you have heard it out loud you may want to make further changes to the word choice and structure that you have chosen.

  5. Have a friend read it
  6. For this next step you will need a partner to work with. Once you feel confident that your paper is ready to be shared have a fellow classmate read it for you and make edit suggestions. Chances are they will have a few ideas for how you can make your paper even better. They may also notice spelling and grammatical errors that you have missed.

  7. Clean It Up
  8. Finally, after all that hard work all you have left to do is one final look over. Here is where you want to get really critical about the spelling and grammar as well as your vocabulary choices. Carefully edit your paper.

Also, if there are specific formatting expectations such as APA or MPA make sure that you have adhered to these.

It never hurts to take a final glance at the assignment criteria to make sure that you have not missed anything.