Proofreading: How to proofread your research paper

How to proofread your research paper
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Proofreading: How to proofread your research paper

After a manuscript is edited, goes for a final check known as proofreading. Proofreading is the process of checking the proof for grammatical, formatting, and typographical errors, a final review to ensure that the structure of the material adheres to the standard style guide of the journal.

There is no perfect guide to proofreading a paper, and proofreaders cannot always zero inon what a writer meant to convey as the difference between the written word and the intended meaning is may not be easy to discern for a third party all the time. There are some aspects that only the writer’s mind can ascertain. Most well-acclaimed authors and researchers will tell you that writing is a complicated process and requires attention to detail and cannot be made error-free in just a couple of sittings.

That being so, why writing a research paper is a time-consuming process and can take months and months to complete before your paper is ready to be published.

Here are a few tips on how to effectively proofread your research paper before submission

1. Take your time

Take your time to think and write down your thoughts carefully. Research is not an assignment with a deadline that you have to rush working through and expect the final product to be excellent. After completion of the writing part, it is advisable to take a break for a few days or even weeks before you sit down again to go through your paper. Reading your work with fresh eyes is crucial to helping a researcher to identify errors and inconsistencies, and areas that need to be corrected, altered, or enhanced. Taking time out can help relieve your mind from the research stress as well as relook at your writing, and improve it.

2. One problem at a time

Focus on identifying and checking one area of the content each time you read through, instead of looking at every area of the problem altogether. For instance, you can check the section headings and paragraph breaks first, then the sentence structures on your second read, the word choice next, then the spellings, the punctuations, etc.

3. Recheck the information used

Go for a double check of the facts, figures, dates, names, and sources used during documenting and apply the correct form of usage. Make sure that all the facts and data used are precise, and the information is current. Pay close attention if the data are all accurate in presentation and placed as per the standard guideline of the journal.

4. Reread your text using a different format

Take a printout of your paper and read the text line by line. Reading on a hard copy can sometimes help you see how it looks on paper, and the different format can be of assistance to make corrections that you previously missed.

5. Vocal recitation

Vocal recitation of your content by reading it out aloud by yourself and by a third party can help you find missing words, faulty verb endings, awkward sentence beginnings, and syntax problems, which might have missed while reading previously.

6. Make use of spellcheckers and dictionary

Use of third-party applications and online tools can come in handy for correcting and checking errors of spelling and punctuation. Standard dictionaries must be consulted when it comes to helping you choose the right words. Using context-appropriate words and correct spelling is imperative to put the message across clearly.

7. Make a list of your mistakes

Create a note or checklist of your previous errors or the mistakes that you frequently tend to make while writing, which will serve you as a reminder of the areas you need to improve and pay more attention to.

8. Let someone proofread your copy

Make an additional copy of your paper and give it to another person to review it. The necessary suggestions and errors identified by the other person can be carried out  or highlighted on the additional copy.

The aforementioned will help authors and researchers to proofread their own research paper before submitting to a third-party for further review.

At Author Assists, we provide professional proofreading services. Our team of experts are native to the Industry and have edited over 1,000,000+ research based manuscripts. Our clients range from leading publishers, reputed academic institutions in the world, budding authors and university students worldwide, who rely on our services.

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