Many students do not realize that proofreading and editing are the final stages of the writing process. Every assignment–a discussion board post, essay, proposal, etc., should be proofread and edited before submitting it to the instructor.

To guide you in this process, here are some proofreading and editing strategies that work well:

Take a break.

Allow yourself some time between writing and proofreading. Even a five-minute break can be productive because it will allow you some distance from what you have written, so you can return to your paper with a fresh eye and mind.

Read out loud.

Reading what you wrote out loud to yourself can help you catch both grammatical errors and awkward organization or development of ideas.

Involve others.

Asking a friend or family member to read your paper will give you another perspective on your writing. Also, a fresh reader will be able to help you catch mistakes that you might have overlooked.

Run Spell Check.

The Spell Check function in Microsoft Word can help you quickly find the spelling and grammar mistakes in the Word document. To run Spell Check, click on the Spelling & Grammar button in the “Review” tab of Microsoft Word. Or, if you notice Microsoft is underlining your words in red, green, or blue, simply right click on those words and Microsoft will offer your suggestions on how to correct the issue.

Make MS Word read your paper back to you.

Did you know that Microsoft Word can read your paper out loud to you? By using the Speak feature in MS Word, or the Text to Speech feature for Macs, your computer can read your paper to you, allowing you to listen for awkward or confusing sentences. Watch this quick video on how to set up this feature on your computer.

Check your paper using our Revision Checklist.

To make sure you have done a thorough writing your paper, review it using our revision checklist. if you can check off all of the boxes, you are well on your way to a solid paper.