WRAC Proofreading Tips

Whenever you submit a paper, a resume, or write a letter, remember that you get to take full credit for every word on that paper, but you also assume full responsibility. Good proofreading shows your reader that you take pride in your work; sloppy proofreading shows that you don’t care much about your work. Your instructors generally respond accordingly.

Strategies to get you started in proofreading/editing:

· Use your computer’s spellcheck, but don’t rely on it. Double-check all proper nouns and homonyms (i.e. there/their) and look for silly mistakes (repeated words, the wrong word, etc).
· If a sentence sounds funny to you, try to re-word it.
· Look for the errors you know you tend to make. It’s good to have a short list of these going for easy reference.
· Read your essay silently at least twice just looking for errors.
· Print your essay and proofread it with a pen in hand. Sometimes it’s easier to see errors on paper than it is on the screen.
· Read your essay out loud.
· Ask someone to read your essay out loud back to you.
· Always proofread as your final step (you might make new errors if you don’t).
· Use grammar check, but don’t rely on it, especially if you don’t understand grammar rules. Besides, grammar check is often wrong.
· Consult the assignment sheet your instructor gave you one more time before you turn your paper in. Many instructors give specific instructions regarding page numbers, spacing, margins and font size, etc.

NOTE: Chabot WRAC Center tutors will NOT proofread your paper for you. However, they can offer useful advice for essay organization, help you get started, go over a reading assignment with you, tell you if your paper makes sense, suggest areas to develop further, and much more!