What this handout is about

This handout provides some tips and also tactics for revising your creating. To give you a chance to exercise proofanalysis, we have left seven errors (three spelling errors, 2 plifwynnfoundation.orgtuation errors, and 2 grammatical errors) in the message of this handout. See if you deserve to spot them!

Is editing and enhancing the exact same point as proofreading?

Not precisely. Although many people usage the terms interchangeably, editing and proofanalysis are two various stperiods of the revision process. Both demand also close and mindful analysis, but they focus on different facets of the composing and also employ various approaches.

You are watching: Editing and proofreading are usually done _____.

Some tips that use to both editing and also proofreading

Get some distance from the text! It’s tough to edit or proofreview a record that you’ve simply finished writing—it’s still to acquainted, and also you tend to skip over a lot of errors. Placed the paper aside for a couple of hours, days, or weeks. Go for a run. Take a trip to the beach. Clear your head of what you’ve written so you can take a fresh look at the paper and view what is really on the page. Better yet, provide the paper to a friend—you can’t obtain much more distance than that. Someone that is reading the paper for the initially time, concerns it through totally fresh eyes.Decide which medium allows you proofread many closely. Some people choose to work ideal at the computer, while others prefer to sit earlier via a published copy that they can mark up as they read.Try changing the look of your record. Altering the dimension, spacing, shade, or style of the text may trick your brain into thinking it’s seeing an unfamiliar document, and that deserve to aid you get a different perspective on what you’ve written.Find a quiet area to job-related. Don’t attempt to carry out your proofreading in front of the TV or while you’re chugging away on the treadmill. Find a place where you can concentprice and also protect against distractions.If possible, carry out your modifying and proofanalysis in a number of brief blocks of time. Your concentration might start to wane if you attempt to proofread the entire text at once.If you’re short on time, you might wish to prioritize. Make sure that you complete the a lot of crucial editing and also proofanalysis work.


Editing is what you start doing as soon as you end up your first draft. You reread your draft to see, for instance, whether the paper is well-organized, the transitions between paragraphs are smooth, and your evidence really backs up your discussion. You have the right to edit on several levels:


Have you done every little thing the assignment requires? Are the clintends you make accurate? If it is compelled to do so, does your paper make an argument? Is the argument complete? Are all of your claims consistent? Have you supported each suggest through adequate evidence? Is every one of the indevelopment in your paper appropriate to the assignment and/or your all at once creating goal? (For additional tips, view our handouts on expertise assignments and occurring an discussion.)

Overall structure

Does your paper have an appropriate development and conclusion? Is your thesis clearly proclaimed in your introduction? Is it clear exactly how each paragraph in the body of your paper is pertained to your thesis? Are the paragraphs arranged in a logical sequence? Have you made clear transitions between paragraphs? One way to inspect the framework of your paper is to make a reverse outline of the paper after you have written the first draft. (See our handouts on introductions, conclusions, thesis statements, and also transitions.)

Structure within paragraphs

Does each paragraph have actually a clear topic sentence? Does each paragraph stick to one main idea? Are tright here any kind of extraneous or lacking sentences in any of your paragraphs? (See our handout on paragraph advance.)


Have you defined any necessary terms that might be lifwynnfoundation.orglear to your reader? Is the meaning of each sentence clear? (One means to answer this question is to read your paper one sentence at a time, beginning at the end and flifwynnfoundation.orgtioning backwards so that you will not lifwynnfoundation.orgonsciously fill in content from previous sentences.) Is it clear what each pronoun (he, she, it, they, which, that, this, etc.) refers to? Have you favored the appropriate words to express your ideas? Avoid utilizing words you discover in the thesaurus that aren’t component of your normal vocabulary; you might misusage them.


Have you supplied an proper tone (formal, informal, persuasive, etc.)? Is your use of gendered language (masculine and also feminine pronouns favor “he” or “she,” words favor “fireman” that contain “male,” and words that some world erroneously assume use to only one gender—for instance, some human being assume “nurse” must refer to a woman) appropriate? Have you differed the size and also framework of your sentences? Do you has a tendency to usage the passive voice as well often? Does your composing contain most unessential phrases prefer “there is,” “tbelow are,” “because of the fact that,” and so on.? Do you repeat a strong word (for example, a vivid major verb) unnecessarily? (For tips, view our handouts on style and also gender-inclusive language.)


Have you as necessary cited quotes, paraphrases, and also principles you got from sources? Are your citations in the correct format? (See the lifwynnfoundation.org Libraries citation tutorial for even more information.)

As you modify at all of these levels, you will typically make significant revisions to the content and wording of your paper. Keep an eye out for patterns of error; learning what kinds of difficulties you tfinish to have will certainly be beneficial, particularly if you are editing a huge record choose a thesis or dissertation. Once you have actually established a pattern, you deserve to build methods for spotting and correcting future instances of that pattern. For example, if you notice that you often comment on numerous unique topics in each paragraph, you deserve to go via your paper and underline the vital words in each paragraph, then break the paragraphs up so that each one concentrates on simply one main concept.


Proofanalysis is the final phase of the editing and enhancing process, concentrating on surconfront errors such as misspellings and also mistakes in grammar and also plifwynnfoundation.orgtuation. You have to proofread only after you have actually finimelted all of your other editing revisions.

Why proofread? It’s the content that really matters, right?

Content is essential. But prefer it or not, the way a paper looks affects the method others judge it. When you’ve operated tough to build and also existing your concepts, you don’t desire caremuch less errors distracting your reader from what you need to say. It’s worth paying attention to the details that help you to make an excellent impression.

Most civilization devote just a couple of minutes to proofreading, hoping to catch any glaring errors that jump out from the web page. But a quick and cursory reading, especially after you’ve been working long and hard on a record, commonly misses a lot. It’s better to job-related through a definite plan that helps you to search systematically for specific kinds of errors.

Sure, this takes a little added time, but it pays off in the end. If you understand that you have actually an efficient method to catch errors as soon as the paper is nearly finiburned, you have the right to worry less about editing while you are writing your initially drafts. This makes the whole writing proccess even more effective.

Try to keep the editing and proofreading processes sepaprice. When you are editing and enhancing a very early draft, you don’t desire to be bothered via thinking around plifwynnfoundation.orgtuation, grammar, and also spelling. If your worrying around the spelling of a word or the placement of a comma, you’re not concentrating on the even more essential job of arising and also connecting principles.

The proofanalysis process

You more than likely already use some of the methods debated below. Experiment through different strategies until you lifwynnfoundation.orgover a device that flifwynnfoundation.orgtions well for you. The crucial thing is to make the procedure methodical and also focused so that you capture as many kind of errors as possible in the leastern amount of time.

Don’t rely totally on spelling checkers. These deserve to be helpful devices yet they are far from foolproof. Spell checkers have a minimal dictionary, so some words that present up as misspelled may really simply not be in their memory. In addition, spell checkers will not catch misspellings that form another valid word. For example, if you form “your” rather of “you’re,” “to” instead of “too,” or “there” instead of “their,” the spell checker won’t capture the error.Grammar checkers have the right to be also more problematic. These programs work with a limited number of rules, so they can’t recognize eextremely error and often make mistakes. They likewise fail to give thoturbulent explanations to help you understand also why a sentence should be revised. You may desire to usage a grammar checker to help you recognize potential run-on sentences or too-frequent use of the passive voice, but you have to be able to evaluate the feedearlier it offers.Proofreview for only one kind of error at a time. If you try to identify and also revise as well many kind of points at once, you danger shedding emphasis, and also your proofreading will be less effective. It’s less complicated to capture grammar errors if you aren’t checking plifwynnfoundation.orgtuation and also spelling at the same time. In enhancement, some of the techniques that job-related well for spotting one kind of mistake won’t catch others.Separate the text right into individual sentences. This is another approach to help you to check out eincredibly sentence very closely. Sindicate push the rerotate essential after every duration so that eexceptionally line starts a new sentence. Then read each sentence individually, looking for grammar, plifwynnfoundation.orgtuation, or spelling errors. If you’re working via a published copy, attempt making use of an opaque object favor a ruler or a item of paper to isolate the line you’re flifwynnfoundation.orgtioning on.Circle eexceptionally plifwynnfoundation.orgtuation mark. This pressures you to look at each one. As you circle, ask yourself if the plifwynnfoundation.orgtuation is correct.Read the paper backwards. This technique is useful for checking spelling. Start via the last word on the last web page and also work-related your method ago to the beginning, analysis each word separately. Due to the fact that content, plifwynnfoundation.orgtuation, and also grammar won’t make any type of feeling, your focus will be entirely on the spelling of each word. You deserve to additionally review backwards sentence by sentence to examine grammar; this will help you stop ending up being distracted by content issues.Proofreading is a discovering process. You’re not simply searching for errors that you recognize; you’re also discovering to identify and also correct brand-new errors. This is wright here handpublications and also dictionaries come in. Keep the ones you lifwynnfoundation.orgover valuable cshed at hand also as you proofread.Ignorance might be bliss, yet it won’t make you a far better proofreader. You’ll often discover things that don’t seem quite ideal to you, however you may not be rather certain what’s wrong either. A word looks like it could be misspelled, but the spell checker didn’t capture it. You think you require a comma between 2 words, yet you’re not certain why. Should you usage “that” instead of “which”? If you’re not certain about somepoint, look it up.The proofreading process becomes even more efficient as you build and also exercise a systematic strategy. You’ll learn to determine the specific areas of your very own creating that require careful attention, and also discovering that you have a sound approach for finding errors will certainly aid you to emphasis more on occurring your principles while you are drafting the paper.

Think you’ve gained it?

Then provide it a shot, if you haven’t already! This handout consists of salso errors our proofreader have to have actually caught: three spelling errors, 2 plifwynnfoundation.orgtuation errors, and 2 grammatical errors. Try to find them, and then examine a version of this web page via the errors noted in red to watch if you’re a proofreading star.

Works consulted

We consulted these flifwynnfoundation.orgtions while creating this handout. This is not a substantial list of sources on the handout’s topic, and also we encourage you to perform your own study to discover extra publications. Please carry out not usage this list as a model for the format of your very own reference list, as it might not enhance the citation style you are utilizing. For guidance on formatting citations, please check out the lifwynnfoundation.org Libraries citation tutorial. We revise these tips periodically and also welcome feedearlier.

Especially for non-aboriginal speakers of English:

Ascher, Allen. 2006. Think About Editing: An ESL Guide for the Harbrace Handbooks. Boston: Wadsworth Cinteract Learning.

Lane, Janet, and Ellen Lange. 2012. Writing Clearly: Grammar for Editing, third ed. Boston: Heinle.

For everyone:

Einsohn, Amy. 2011. The Copyeditor’s Handbook: A Guide for Publication Publishing and Corporate Communications, third ed. Berkeley: College of California Press.

Lanham, Rictough A. 2006. Revising Pincreased, fifth ed. New York: Pearkid Longman.

See more: How To Ask For Email Address, How Do You Politely Ask For An Email

Tarshis, Barry. 1998. How to Be Your Own Best Editor: The Toolkit for Everyone Who Writes. New York: Three Rivers Press.

This work-related is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 License.You may redevelop it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and also attribute the source: The Writing Center, College of North Carolina at Chapel Hill