Editing and proofreading our own essays can be the most annoying process after writing a paper. This burden can often lead us to bypass that process and leave our writing with a bunch of mistakes. However, there are several useful tips you can use to ease the editing process.
- Give yourself enough time and do not rush over it
It is important to allow ourselves to take some time away from a paper after writing it. Giving our minds the time to rest after writing a paper before editing allows to increase concentration during the editing time. This would increase the number of mistakes caught and allow you to find sentences that need to be re-formulated.
- Have a friend read it aloud to you
Getting help from someone is a good way to see how others would understand the ideas you are trying to communicate based on the way you wrote them. Having a friend or someone else read your paper aloud to you might help you catch up on sentences that do not reflect the idea you wanted to communicate. This process is an easy way to find sentences that might be removed from your paper, or sentences that could be said in a better way.
- Read aloud backward
When I started taking English classes and writing papers, I usually went to tutors in order to get help fixing my mistakes and get some grammar tips. One of the tutors I worked with suggested reading my paper backward, from the last sentence to the first one. When reading our papers, it easily makes sense to us because we wrote the story. Therefore, we are more likely to just skim over it and pass over some mistakes. However, reading backwards removes that automatism. It forces you to pay more attention to sentence structure and punctuation.
- Get someone else’s opinion
Having someone else read your paper offers the opportunity to have fresh eyes with different perspective than the one you might have. Even though you might sometimes disagree with their opinion on certain aspects of your paper, it is worth a try especially when you feel like you need help with grammar and other aspects of writing style.
Finally, for many people it is difficult to accept criticism from others. However, it is important to be open-minded. In a case where you do not agree with someone’s correction, just take it into consideration and you can search it up later, or ask for a professional opinion like writing tutors or professors. Editing a paper doesn’t have to be a boring process. Get some rest, grab a snack and choose whatever technique suits you best.