Creating a term paper: don’t forget about proofreading

Don’t—I repeat—don’t put that term paper down just yet! Yes! You! You are about to throw away an “A” on a few silly spelling and punctuation errors. Go and grab your red pen. You have some proofreading to do.

This just in: Proofreading is an effective weapon in the fight against bad grades In order for that assignment to be a polished and well-crafted piece of work, you will need to correct the errors, add new information when it comes in, or simply to revise your thesis statement. Furthermore, you need to rely on more than just your computer’s spell-check when proofreading your paper… You must learn to read your paper with a critic’s eye. Be aware of confusing subject-verb agreements, errors in punctuation, or things that seem out of place. Try reading the paper aloud for flow. Read slowly, if need be, so you can be sure to catch mistakes. No matter how competent a writer you are, mistakes can and will happen some of time. It is recommended that you make a hard copy of the paper as opposed to making corrections while gazing at the computer screen. In this way, you can be sure to catch the little things that need changing. And remember, you can always stop and take a break if you find yourself losing focus. It is better to come at your paper with a fresh perspective. Lazily skimming over your work will surely to spell disaster in the end. Make certain you are alert and that you have brushed up on your rules of grammar, spelling, punctuation and the like.

As you proofread your paper, you may find complete sections that need to be rewritten or revised. Remember that revising is not a one-step process. Sometimes, it takes a dozen readings to resolve all your issues. Answer the following questions as you revise:

  • Is your thesis statement solid? Was supporting evidence provided?
  • Is your introduction strong and captivating?
  • Is the conclusion logical and complete?
  • Are all necessary terms defined in your paper?
  • Is there any unnecessary information in the paper?
  • Is the paper free of punctuation, spelling, and other such errors?

Fine-tune your paper. Make it readable and interesting. Be certain to have a neighbor, friend, teacher or parent read the paper before turning it in. If it is not clear to your reader, it will not be clear to the instructor.