Thinking about rolling the dice and submitting that assignment without proofreading it? Think again! You could be missing out on easy marks.

Proofreading is a crucial step to ensure you receive the highest possible marks. If you think of an assessment (essay, project, speech, etc) as a 42.195km marathon, the final kilometer is your proofreading. While proofreading may not seem important, you wouldn't stop in the home stretch of a marathon, would you? It's this last kilometer that rounds everything off, ensuring your previous effort is rewarded.

The reality is, you're not really gaining any marks from proofreading. You're simply preventing yourself from losing them.

Why the foundations are important:

Even though you are predominantly marked on the content of your writing, eloquent writing is the foundation of how your content is conveyed. Making small mistakes with these foundations will throw off what is built upon them. For example, homophones can confuse even the best of us and they can have a dramatic effect on the affect of what is conveyed to your reader.

You probably didn't notice, but effect and affect were mixed up in the previous sentence. Whoever marks your work will pick up on that silly mistake (the correct sentence is "...they can have a dramatic affect on the effect of what is conveyed..."). A single, unchecked mistake like that can undermine your message and credibility. Missing a comma in 'Let's eat Grandma' and 'Let's eat, Grandma' changes the point of the writing completely. One ends in cannibalism, the other with a delicious meal!

Why mistakes happen:

In a generation of touch typing, Google and 4G, we expect everything to be done quickly. People want to save time anywhere they can, particularly when working. When you're typing fast, it might be hard to notice the difference between "their" and "there", "a" and "an", or "effect" and "affect". Unfortunately, it's often the seemingly insignificant issues that are not looked upon favorably by markers (or by anyone).

Potential to improve:

Unless you follow the 'If tomorrow isn't the due date, today isn't the do date' approach, you'll likely leave a gap between finishing the assessment and proofreading it. Whether the gap is an hour, a day or a week, this gap is important for maximizing your marks. Whilst you might not be working directly on the assessment, your brain will continue to think about it. You will continue piecing ideas together, allowing you to further reinforce and/or develop your point. A final proofread allows you to implement these ideas in your assessment, and polish your final product before it's too late.

How to proofread manually:

  1. Read. Plain and simple. Just read over everything in your document carefully. Use your understanding of language foundations, and fix any errors you come across. Try to focus on each sentence individually.
  2. Read your work out loud. Sometimes reading something in your head will sound fine. If you read it out loud however, you'll pick up on things that sound strange, like a missing or misplaced comma.
  3. Let someone else read it. Everyone places emphasis on different things, and will analyze your writing differently. This helps make sure all bases are covered and that you aren't brushing over mistakes you missed or didn't know were mistakes.

Let GradeProof do it!

It can be a big effort to proofread long documents. Luckily, GradeProof can do this for you! GradeProof's advanced AI technology detect basic spelling and grammar errors, as well as contextual mistakes. It can also help improve the delivery of your information, making your writing concise and effective. Need to reach a word count? The word targeting features can help you increase or decrease your word count, without ruining your point. Finally, ensure the integrity of your document with the help of our plagiarism detection engine.

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