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Academic Proofreading Services

Academic Proofreading Services

Academic proofreading services are offered by numerous agencies all over the internet. The problem is how to identify a good and reputable agency that provides academic proofreading services. To do this, you must do ample research, ask your seniors and peers and check samples to ensure the agency you choose is one of the best.

This article aims to answer the following questions:

  • Why should you proofread your academic paper

  • Tips on proofreading

Why should you proofread your academic paper

An academic paper that is not proofread is like watching a good TV program through a shaky network or streaming video service. Your professor will never appreciate the value of your content if your academic paper is not proofread well.

Grammatical and punctuation errors will never help a reader move forward – Fragmented sentence structures that simply come across as ideas to ponder on, a list of items without commas that look like a string of words that make no sense, repetitive words that have not been deleted, etc not only gives your paper a casual and informal approach but also makes your effort look callous and uncaring.

Such errors will be a great put-off for readers and they will not be interested in moving forward with reading your paper. Proofreading is treated with carelessness by many students because they are under the wrong impression that people do not notice these errors and hence it is a waste of time to proofread.

This attitude is completely wrong. Some of your readers may not know the details of writing mechanics. But, if a content that is not proofread is given to them, they will realize that something has gone wrong which is hindering their reading process. The presence of these errors will make their thoughts wander and not help them focus on what you have written. So, proofreading your academic paper is an absolute necessity.

Proofreading errors create stumble blocks in the readers' minds preventing them from understanding and appreciating your perspective – The content is your masterpiece and your readers are the ones who will give you the 'masterpiece' certificate. For this reason, you must ensure that your readers are not stumbled by things like grammatical and punctuation errors which can block and clutter their minds taking the focus away from your content and what you are trying to say.

Proofreading your work is a highly daunting task because you already know almost every word and every element of your writing by the time you come to the proofreading stage. It is a lot of busy and, perhaps, uncreative work. Yet, it needs to be done. During such times, do call Prescott Papers to avail of our academic proofreading services.

Tips on proofreading your own writing

Do not proofread unless you have completed the entire writing and editing process. If you end up even changing the sentence structure, then you are still in an artistic creative state of mind which is not good for proofreading. Proofreading is like an exact science and has no aspects of creativity in it.

The best way to proofread is to take a print of the document and move away to a quiet place which has no distractions like mobile phones or TVs or computers or radio or anything else that can potentially dilute your focus.

During the proofreading stage, do not focus on the flow of content or story. You should have necessarily finished this in the editing phase. Read each sentence, analyze it separately, identify punctuation, spelling, and grammatical errors and mark them with a red pen. A good way of getting this right is to read your content backwards so that the flow does not bother you.

Reading each sentence aloud is a great way to 'hear' mistakes that your eyes may have missed. Reading aloud helps you concentrate too.

Make notes of things you need to look up. If you are unsure of a spelling or a particular punctuation mark, make a note to check it for later and continue with the proofreading process. Don't allow the focus of proofreading to be broken.

If you make some last-minute changes of words or phrases, ensure you recheck the entire sentence or maybe even the entire paragraph to ensure it is in sync with the new changes. Many times, errors in documents are due to last minute changes which have not been done thoroughly.

The proofreading process includes checking of facts, dates, tables, references, quotes, repetitive words, missing words, and more. Focus on each of the task separately. This would entail you to read the entire document multiple times to ensure each of the elements are checked perfectly throughout the document.

Keep track of your thoughts. Proofreading can be quite a tedious and monotonous task. Yet, it is an imperative aspect of great writing. While you are proofreading your document, it is quite possible for your thoughts to wander off. Monitor these phases and if you feel that you need to relook at certain sentences and/or paragraphs again, do not hesitate to do so. You have to make extra efforts to concentrate while proofreading.

Familiarize yourself with mistakes that you commonly make. The most seasoned writers are known to make silly errors even after years of writing experience. Some examples of common errors include:

  • To use their, they're, and there interchangeably

  • To use too, to, two erroneously

When you write fast, these types of mistakes take on a habitual status and you end up making these errors unwittingly. Get familiar with the kind of proofreading errors and consciously keep a lookout for them when you are checking your own work.

Keep the task of format-checking for the end. Every document has a written or an unwritten format to follow. The elements that are included in the formatting aspects are text wrap, paragraph spacing, indentations, spaces above and below each line and/or each paragraph, etc. You must take care that these formats are followed diligently in your writing. It is sensible to keep this for the last since contents could change even at the last minute.

Advantages and Disadvantages of using automated grammar-checking software applications and tools

Advantages

  • Grammar-checking apps are like the front-line defense in any war game. They are like the pawns that you use to protect the bigger and more important aspects of writing that lie beneath. These apps are designed to identify and correct basic errors.

  • There are some grammar-checking tools that identify oft-repeated words and suggest synonyms thereby eliminating repetitions that could potentially irritate the reader.

  • Most of the grammar-verifying tools are quite cost-effective and hence will not pinch your pocket much. Hence, you can think of purchasing a good one for your writing and editing purpose.

  • It does not take too much of time to run a document through these checks. Hence, it does make sense to use grammar-checking apps as the first line of defense.

Disadvantages

  • One of the primary concerns of all grammar-checking apps is the fact that they are all designed to identify and correct only the most basic errors. Most times, these tools fail to find complex structural mistakes in sentences and paragraphs. A good writer will never rely completely on the use of these grammar-verifying tools.

  • Another common concern about these tools is the fact that non-existent errors could be highlighted as well primarily because of difference of writing styles. Most of these apps are designed for only one type of writing style and are quite inflexible in terms of checking grammar based on any other writing style.

  • For a beginner, these tools could potentially dampen enthusiasm. We are naturally seekers of praise and encouragement and as a newbie writer, if you see the multiple errors highlighted by the software app, then you could feel inadequate about your own writing capabilities. It takes some amount of maturity not to be overwhelmed by this and check each of the highlighted messages and make sure the mistakes pointed out are truly errors.

To reiterate, it is important to use any grammar-checking tool as the first line of defense only and not to rely on it completely to proofread your academic paper. Proofreading your own academic paper has its own set of problems. Hence, it does make sense to use some of the best academic proofreading services such as those offered by Prescott Papers.

Final Notes

Whether you choose to proofread your own academic paper or get someone else to do it for you, is entirely up to you and depends on various factors including availability of time, the importance of the paper, and the availability of other resources. What is important is to appreciate is the criticality of this function and to allocate some resources to it.

Your professors set very high standards for the entire academic paper including the writing process, the editing process, and the proofreading process. It would be foolhardy to think that you will get great grades if you do even one of the tasks in an average fashion. Your highly experienced professors will catch these mistakes immediately.

At Prescott Papers, our teams of highly-trained, qualified, and experienced writers and editors will be happy to help you with all your academic writing work including custom essays, dissertations, research papers, and more.

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