The Most Common Proofreading Mistakes Graduate Students Make

Writing academic essays and papers can be taxing as it is, but proofreading and editing them? Sometimes that’s even harder. On the face of it, proofreading is all about making sure your writing is technically sound and free of grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors. However, trying to proofread your own work can be a challenge in itself.

Read on as we discuss the most common proofreading mistakes that graduate students tend to make and how academic proofreading services can help.

Trusting an Online Spell Checker

You might want to run your assignment through an online spell checker. While this can be useful for spotting common spelling mistakes, it’s not enough. Most online tools for spelling and grammar checks aren’t as thorough, and you can still expect a number of errors to slip through. Such tools are good for conducting a “first sweep” of sorts. However, you’ll have to dig deeper if you want to proofread your paper properly.

Some of the most common problems you’ll face when using online tools for spelling and grammar checks are:

  • They don’t understand complex grammar
  • They often offer wrong suggestions
  • They don’t understand the context
  • They are not human

Academic writing also has its own rules, so hiring a professional proofreader will always trump using online tools.

Not Letting the Content Sit

If you are handing in an assignment at the last minute, it’s likely you have only given it a cursory look to check for errors. This approach can be a mistake. If you want to proofread your assignment, it’s important that you wait at least a few hours or a day before you proofread it. This delay is necessary because it can be difficult to proofread something you have written due to your familiarity with the content. You already know what you want to convey, and as a result, your brain will miss out on a number of mistakes.

Moreover, you are still preoccupied with the thoughts and ideas you wanted to put down. Consequently, you might not be able to focus on making sure that your writing is technically sound.

Not Reading the Content Aloud

Another critical mistake students can make when proofreading their academic papers and assignments is that they don’t read the content aloud. This little tactic is very useful for identifying if a sentence sounds wrong. You can use this method to catch issues in grammar and spelling more easily. It also allows you to check for repetition and missing words.

Not Taking Your Time with It

Most students reserve a mere 5 to 10 minutes to proofreading, depending on the length of their assignment. If you want to proofread properly, you must be willing to spend some time on it. For instance, you don’t want to check for grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors all at once. This approach can be a mistake. Instead, you should take things one at a time and focus on a single aspect. It will be easier to catch different kinds of errors this way, and you’ll be able to do a better job.

Not Keeping an Eye Out for Inconsistencies

Attention to detail is a big part of proofreading. You want to make sure you are using certain words in a consistent way. For example, you might be mixing “long term” and “long-term” or “e-Commerce” and “eCommerce.” It’s normal to mix up such words when you are writing, but you need to remove any inconsistencies when proofreading.

Failing to Fact-Check

Fact-checking and making sure you have added proper references to the information you are providing is very important in academic writing. You don’t want to end up making any false declarations or miss out on key references in your essays and papers. Your professor could fail you for this or you could end up with a poor grade.

So, once you are done proofreading, we recommend going through your paper again to make sure everything is backed up by the right references.

Failing to Format Properly

You are probably following the formatting guidelines provided by your professor or the university for assignments and research papers. While this is important, proper formatting is also essential for improving the readability of your paper.

In this case, you should break down your text into shorter paragraphs and add subheadings where you can, so the content is easier to read. Proper formatting can also help you organize your paper into a proper introduction, body, and conclusion.

Get Help from Professional Proofreaders

Proofreading your own work can be a difficult and time-consuming process. If you can, we suggest hiring a professional proofreader instead. Edit911 can assist you here. They offer academic proofreading services and can help you out. Their professional proofreaders can fix all types of errors and make sure your paper follows the conventions of academic writing. Reach out today to learn more.

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Written by Reece

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