How to proofread? Is a question that is often asked by students and writers. Often this stage of the writing process is neglected. However, it is as important as the writing itself. Following some simple steps will ensure that your work is error free. When proofreading your own work it is essential that you break down the process of proofreading into the before and after, to ensure that your proofreading session is most effective.

Before you begin to proofread:

• You should ensure that you have completed and revised all the larger elements of your text. Ensure that the content, sections, paragraphs and organisation of your work are complete.

• Take a break and do something else between the process of writing and proofreading. This time away will help you see mistakes more clearly, constantly looking at the text will only make you accustomed to seeing the text as it is, making you less able to pick up on errors.

• Attempt to eliminate unnecessary words prior to proofreading. Work on making your work clear and concise by using fewer words to make your points. This is the best way of ensuring that your work has clarity.

• Prepare a list of common mistakes that you should look for, this could be common mistakes that you are aware you make or that others make preparing similar works, knowing this will help you identify mistakes.

When you begin proofreading:

• First, print out your work, looking at a computer screen will strain your eyes and will only reduce your concentration faster.

• Read out loud, this is particularly helpful for spotting run-on sentences, you will also hear other issues that you may not see when reading silently.

• Use a blank sheet of paper to cover up the lines below the lines you are reading. This technique will keep you from skipping ahead of possible mistakes.

• Use the search function of your computer to find mistakes you are likely to make. Search for “it,” for instance, if you confuse “its” and “it’s;” for opening parentheses or quote marks if you tend to leave out the closing ones.

• If you tend to make many mistakes, check separately for each kind of error, moving from the most to the least important, and following whatever technique works best for you to identify that kind of mistake. For instance, read through once (backwards, sentence by sentence) to check for fragments; read through again (forward) to be sure subjects and verbs agree, and again (using a computer search for “this,” “it,” and “they”) to trace pronouns to antecedents.

• End with a spelling check, using a computer spelling checker or reading backwards word by word. But remember that a spelling checker won’t catch mistakes with homonyms (e.g., “they’re,” “their,” “there”) or certain typos (like “he” for “the”).

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At Express Proofreading we offer a professional academic proofreading and business proofreading service. We are able to ensure that your work is not only free from spelling mistakes and grammatical errors but we also check syntax, sentence structure and are able to recommend improvements and suggestions that are relevant to your work. We also as part of our standard proofreading service recommend content improvement suggestions and we will also check that your tables and footnotes are accurate and consistent with your bibliography.

To obtain an instant quote for us to proofread your work, click the Instant Quote button below and upload your document and our Quote Generator will calculate an instant quote based upon the word count of your document. Once you are happy with your quote, you can then click Place Order and proceed to our secure checkout page.