Center for Writers - Resources


Proofread to make sure your work is an accurate and clean transcription of your final draft. Proofread after you revise and edit. If you try to proofread while you edit, one process might distract from the other.

        -    You may want to proofread with a ruler so that you can focus on one line at a time.
        -    It can be helpful to start at the end so you avoid becoming distracted by the content of
                    your paper.
        -    Read your final draft aloud, to yourself or to a friend; this process can help you hear and see errors that have
                    slipped past your notice.
        -    Look for letters or words inadvertently left out.

Revising is paying attention to the meaning that you want your material to deliver effectively.

        Add. Insert needed words, sentences, and paragraphs.
        Cut. Get rid of whatever veers from the topic or repeats what has already been said.
        Replace. As needed, substitute new words, sentences, and paragraphs for what you have
        Move material around.  Change the sequence of paragraphs if the material is not
                presented in logical order. Move sentences within paragraphs or to other paragraphs
                if any paragraph arrangement seems illogical.

Now check the technical correctness of your writing--grammar, spelling, and punctuation--and the correct use of capitals, numbers, italics, and abbreviations.

        Is your grammar correct? (subject-verb agreement, pronoun-noun antecedent agreement,
        Is your spelling correct, and are your hyphens correct?
        Have you correctly used commas? (check for run ons, comma splices, and fragments)
        Have you correctly used capital letters, italics, abbreviations, and numbers?