Print out your work
Alternatively, change the font temporarily if you’re reading on screen - this will help you concentrate
Read your work aloud
You might find it easier to spot errors or realise you need to change the wording
Then proofread again
Proofreading can ensure you don’t lose easy marks through simple mistakes.
You should always proofread your essay – spellchecking isn’t enough! Build in time for that final check through. Ideally, have a break between finishing your writing and proofreading.
Things to check for when proofreading
- Sense – have you worded your essay clearly? Does the structure make sense and flow well? Is there anything that you want to rephrase?
- Check the assignment title - is your work answering the original brief? Look at feedback from previous assignments. Do you think you have improved/addressed any issues raised in previous feedback, making sure that you understand feedback from previous assignments.
- Look at your plan - have you covered the main points you noted down?
- Spelling and grammar - check that you haven’t confused any words, like to/too, and that the work reads well.
- Citing – each time you reference someone else’s work, ensure you have cited them properly. If you’ve quoted them directly, don’t forget the page numbers!
- Referencing – make sure that the reference list at the end of your essay is comprehensive, and that the references themselves are complete. Make sure, for example, that you include an access date for each online source.
Academic health warning
It can be really helpful to swap with a friend, so you’re reading each other’s work. A fresh pair of eyes can be very helpful! But do not ask them to re-write your work; remember, this is your assignment. It is important for you to develop your own voice.