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Proofreading and Self Editing
Transcript of Proofreading and Self Editing
1. Read WORDS not meaning
Sounds a little crazy, but if you are proofreading to support spelling, read slowly, and read each word separately.
This will distance you from your text, which will help you spot errors.
Some people use a ruler when they proofread. Others cut a small square in a piece of paper.
2. Do not rely on spelling checkers!
5. Proofread for one kind of error at a time
3. Circle every punctuation mark
• Provide a definition of proofreading and self-editing
• Suggest a range of techniques and strategies to support proofreading
• Trial a range of techniques and strategies to support proofreading
• Devise and develop a personal process
Without self-editing skills, proofreading doesn't mean much. It is no use spotting your mistakes if you do not then correct them!
Proofreading supports your communication skills. If you are concerned about your spelling, grammar or general fluency of English, then proofreading your work will help you in this area. Proofreading can really help you be more creative when you are writing, as it means you do not have to concentrate on spelling everything correctly when you are writing. Instead, you can concentrate on the legal analysis.
What is Proofreading?
Proofreading is looking at your work AFTER you have written it.
This helps you spot errors, both at a mechanical (spelling, punctuation) level and at a higher level (fluency of English, use of academic phrases, ideas expressed in your writing.
One excellent strategy to support proofreading is to read your work out loud.
You can do this:
With a friend
Using assistive technology
Which strategy do you think would be most useful?
These are great tools, but are not foolproof. Always evaluate their suggestions. The same applies for online grammar checkers.
Don't take on too much. Do a 'first' read through and consider what needs work. Then proofread according to exactly what you wish to change - fluency, meaning or spelling and grammar
Go through your document circling punctuation marks. This way you can approach each one out of context, which will make it easier for you to spot any mistakes
4. Change the look of your document
In order to give you distance from your text, try changing the color, font or layout of your document when proofreading.
Areas for self-editing
Is your content appropriate for your assignment? Are your facts correct?
Have you supported your critical argument with appropriate research?
Is your 'voice' impersonal, and your vocabulary choice appropriate?
Are there any phrases you use that do not add to the meaning? (this is particularly useful if you are working to a strict word count)
Does your writing follow an appropriate academic structure (does it have a clear introduction, critical argument and conclusion)
Does your writing contain signposting sentences and a logical sequence of presented information?
Does your choice of language and sentence structure clearly convey meaning?
Do you use overly complex language?
Do you use unnecessary phrases?
Are all your sources properly cited?
Are your quotations laid our correctly?
Is your reference list complete, and structured according to the Harvard Bluebook system?
Record your process
Make sure that you note down which techniques have worked for you.
If you do this, you will remember to repeat them for future assignments.