Proficient editing and proofreading skills are a necessary component of effective writing. However, they come far later in the process – after the brainstorming, content planning, drafting and revision. Writers who write hurriedly or forgo any of the aforementioned steps end up with a finished paper that is, well, unfinished. Papers written without following effective writing best practices are often underdeveloped, confusing and hard to read.
While you are proofreading your assignment, you need to see things through the eyes of a professional proofreader. Editors, and those who regularly proofread essays and other written documents are more detail-oriented than others, they learn to dissect paragraphs upon paragraphs of text, dutifully looking for spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and other inaccuracies.
It is the primary objective of a professional proofreader to uncover all of the mistakes and errors that everyone else – including editors – might have missed or been unaware of.
In order to draft a well written essay, or some other form of academic paper, students must call upon their critical thinking skills. The younger the student is, the more immature their critical thinking ability might be, however, as time progresses these skills will mature. Regardless of the skill level of the writer, one of the elements that have the most significant impact on a well written paper is form. Let’s take a minute and discuss a few things that can be done to improve form.
Here is a simple checklist to help you.
Checklist: Revising a Paper
- Does the subject matter of your paper correspond to the requirements of your assignment?
- Is the main idea of your paper well-expressed and easily understandable?
- Is your paper arranged in a clear logical way? Does every paragraph stand where it should?
- Does the paper present all necesary idea to support its thesis?
- Is some information unrelated to the topic or something important is missing?
- Maybe some more examples or evidence could be added?
- Are the ideas and parts connected clearly?
- Are the introduction and conlusion proper?
- What is the strongest point of the paper?
- What is the weakest point of the paper?