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You’ve poured blood, sweat, tears, and countless hours into your academic papers, and it’s time to turn them in. It’s an exciting time as you are getting closer to your goals. But, you want your papers to be as outstanding and flawless as they can be. Naturally, you don't want to miss any mistakes you could have corrected.
This implies that you need to start editing the papers immediately. And this seems like an incredibly easy task, isn’t it? After all, you just need to give your papers one more look-over, right?
Well, not quite. To achieve perfection, editing takes a little more effort and time than a quick last read-through.
However, where to begin when you require to edit your piece? To aid you in today's post, we will walk you through a list of the crucial aspects you should check for when you proofread and edit your papers. Use it as a sort of checklist next time you edit your papers before handing them over or hit 'Send'.
Fasten your seatbelts. Let’s take off right away!
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According to the eminent stalwarts who often cater to your urgent requests, 'rate my paper online’, it may seem simple, but even minute spelling and grammar errors can tarnish the impression of whatever you're writing. Thus, begin by carefully making sure you’ve put periods in their places, use the correct version of commonly used words, and haven’t unintentionally misspelled that your spell checker doesn’t recognise.
Apart from that, ensure to take care of the following aspects-
Subjects and verbs must agree in every sentence.
There must be no sentence fragments or run-ons.
All pronouns should agree with their antecedents.
Use active voice in the paper.
There must be no unnecessary exclamation marks on the paper.
Each sentence should be of proper length-neither, too short nor too long.
This can be especially crucial for delivering a dissertation or research paper. Go through your paper as a whole and critique how it looks. Start asking yourself- ‘Are the margins too wide? Is the font becoming too difficult to read? Could you use bold text to make anything easier to skim?’
You will want your piece to look just as good as it sounds. As a general rule, start taking care of the following aspects to polish your papers to perfection-
Your text must have a separate introduction, body paragraph(s), and a conclusion.
Whenever you introduce a new idea, a new paragraph should start.
Whenever location or time changes, a new paragraph should start.
Every paragraph must be completely developed. Every body paragraph must incorporate topic sentences, evidence, explanation, and concluding sentences.
Each piece of evidence must be cited accurately.
Use font Times New Roman with 12 size
The text must always be double-spaced
1-inch margins must be maintained on all sides
Use third-person perspective throughout the text
Word choice should correspond to the paper
While checking your paper, ensure that your writing is consistent throughout, especially if you use symbols, numbers or contractions. Like, do you prefer to use 'co-workers' or 'coworkers'? Figure out which one you’d like to use. Determine whether you want to use '%' or 'percent' to discuss stats or figures in your paper? Neither of them is wrong, but it's crucial to choose one and use it consistently.
Truly, this is one of the easiest ways of guarding against lost marks. Undeniably, the computer spellchecker will do most of the work for you-that too in a matter of minutes. But, typographical errors are not on. Professors hold them in low regard. Such error implies clumsiness and inserts ambiguity in a paper. The ideas or arguments you presented in your paper can be exceptional but mangled prose will still derail them.
Have a look at the crucial aspects you must keep in mind when you check your paper for punctuation errors-
Commas should be properly used to set off items listed in a series.
Commas must be placed before conjunctions (and, or, but) in compound sentences.
Every sentence must end with a correct punctuation mark (Questions must end with question marks while declarative sentences must end with full stops).
Colons and semicolons must be accurately used in the paper.
The Harvard comma, also known as the Oxford comma or serial comma, must be properly used. It should be placed before grammatical conjunction when there are three or more items, but not in the case of two items.
A close look at the websites of popular paper checker tools will enable you to comprehend that if you’re using figures of speech, it is crucial to use them correctly. For instance, people often tend to mix up ‘once in a while’ and ‘once and a while’ as well as ‘could care loss’ and ‘couldn’t care less’. Look up any figures of speech before you turn in your papers to ensure they are flawless.
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Brilliant writing is all about clarity. Usually, clarity comes with simplicity. Always remember, exceptional ideas don’t need to be expressed in convoluted or complex ways. Avoid using any overly wordy or run-on sentences. Short sentences are always easy to comprehend.
Break things down into digestible sections. Avoid repetition and redundancies at all costs. The prose is only clear when it conveys meaning effectively. Your readers should never be wondering what the point is. Thus, while editing your papers, ensure there are no murky patches on the glass. Always make sure to weed off anything that impedes clarity.
Always remember one thing- your spell check or grammar check will not catch everything. Thus, ensure to check whether you’ve used capitalizations properly in your papers with a fine-toothed comb.
Make sure each of the below-enlisted aspects are maintained throughout your paper-
Whether you’re writing an essay, research paper, dissertation or term paper, each word in the title must begin with a capital letter.
Articles or coordinating conjunctions must always start with lowercase letters unless they are the first or last words in a paper title.
Each sentence must always start with a capital letter.
All proper nouns (names of people, places and things) will always start with capital letters.
All paper headings should have proper capitalization as required by specific formatting guidelines.
The English language has an extensively large amount of words. As a matter of fact, as per the Oxford English Dictionary, of all languages, English boasts the most extensive vocabulary. Thus, ensure you have made proper use of it in your paper.
Limited word-use denotes a lack of imagination. Also, it will read as soporific, i.e. boring. While editing, if you notice the same word popping up time and again, try to revamp it. A brilliant thesaurus will prove to be a powerful ally in such a circumstance.
Numerous tend to believe a sign of bad writing is the excessive use of adverbs and adjectives. Mark Twain also believed the same. He contended, “They weaken when they are close together but give strength when they are wide apart”. Often, adjectives tend to add little or nothing of value and only waste words.
To assert that “the bold and circumspect politician manfully yielded the floor” actually states, “the politician finished talking”. The other words are simply fluff. Thus, while proofreading, be ruthless. Laser in on the fluff to enhance the quality of your paper by notches.
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Technically speaking, the English language isn't one language. Before you turn in the paper, make sure your English is the right one for the job. As if you submit an American English paper where British is expected, your work is potentially filled with spelling mistakes.
US English tends to favor 'Z' over 'S' in numerous instances. For instance, realize and organization are US English, whereas organisation and realise are British English. What's more, since the spellcheckers don't essentially pick up on these, which implies you need to.
After you've tweaked and edited your work, it's incredibly easy to begin sounding incoherent or disjointed. Thus, once you've done one pass of proofreading and editing, ensure it all flows together logically, with easy-to-follow transitions.
Try reading your work slowly out loud to observe any issues with how your writing sounds. You can also say, 'I need someone to rate my paper for free or an effective tool' as a lot of times, other people or tools pick up on small errors that you think are fine but read differently to others.
There are no shortcuts to well-written papers. And proofreading is about more than simply finding errors. It's all about making sure all your ducks are in a row, and tiny things match up.
So, be a details master and go above and beyond. Ensure to check off this list each time you’re done writing a paper, and you will quickly find that editing as per these rules will become your second nature. Break a leg!
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28 Jul, 2022
Proofreading and Editing
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