Proofread Essays

Proofreading

Proofreading means examining your text carefully to find and correct typographical errors and mistakes in grammar, style, and spelling. Here are some tips.


Before You Proofread

  • Be sure you've revised the larger aspects of your text. Don't make corrections at the sentence and word level if you still need to work on the focus, organization, and development of the whole paper, of sections, or of paragraphs.
  • Set your text aside for a while (15 minutes, a day, a week) between writing and proofing. Some distance from the text will help you see mistakes more easily.
  • Eliminate unnecessary words before looking for mistakes. See the writing center handout how to write clear, concise, direct sentences.
  • Know what to look for. From the comments of your professors or a writing center instructor on past papers, make a list of mistakes you need to watch for.

When You Proofread

  • Work from a printout, not the computer screen. (But see below for computer functions that can help you find some kinds of mistakes.)
  • Read out loud. This is especially helpful for spotting run-on sentences, but you'll also hear other problems that you may not see when reading silently.
  • Use a blank sheet of paper to cover up the lines below the one you're reading. This technique keeps you from skipping ahead of possible mistakes.
  • Use the search function of the computer to find mistakes you're likely to make. Search for "it," for instance, if you confuse "its" and "it's;" for "-ing" if dangling modifiers are a problem; for opening parentheses or quote marks if you tend to leave out the closing ones.
  • If you tend to make many mistakes, check separately for each kind of error, moving from the most to the least important, and following whatever technique works best for you to identify that kind of mistake.
    For instance, read through once (backwards, sentence by sentence) to check for fragments; read through again (forward) to be sure subjects and verbs agree, and again (perhaps using a computer search for "this," "it," and "they") to trace pronouns to antecedents.
  • End with a spelling check, using a computer spelling checker or reading backwards word by word.
    But remember that a spelling checker won't catch mistakes with homonyms (e.g., "they're," "their," "there") or certain typos (like "he" for "the").

When You Want to Learn More

  • Take a class.
    The Writing Center offers many workshops, including a number of grammar workshops.
  • Use a handbook.
    A number of handbooks are available to consult in the Writing Center, and each Writing Center computer has an online handbook.
  • Consult a Writing Center instructor.
    Writing Center instructors won't proofread your papers, but they'll be glad to explain mistakes, help you find ways to identify and fix them, and share Writing Center handouts that focus on particular problems.

Check for information on how to make an appointment with a Writing Center instructor.

For further information see our handout on Peer Reviews

Cambridge Proofreading LLC’s experienced editors are available 24/7 to proofread and edit your essays, papers, and other documents. Our service is affordable, confidential, easy to order, and backed by our Cambridge Quality Guarantee. Our team proofread essays and reports for students and academics from all over the world. You can read reviews from our customers on TrustPilot here.

Over 6,000 papers edited each year

Our team reviews over 6,000 essays each year for students in over 80 countries. All of our editors are native English speakers and hold advanced degrees from leading American and British universities.

We have the expertise and know-how to improve your paper by developing its language, academic tone, and clarity.

Journal manuscripts

For manuscripts intended for publication, we recommend our advanced, two-editor service. This offers a more precise and in-depth review, as two sets of eyes are better than one.

Please be aware that while our service has helped thousands of authors achieve publication, we cannot guarantee that your paper will meet the English language requirements of your target journal. If your reviewers have suggested that your paper needs comprehensive language revision, you may need to consider a ‘substantive editing service’. This typically involves major rewriting and restructuring (albeit at a cost of three to five times that of a proofreading and editing service).

We do, however, offer a quality proofreading and editing service undertaken by experienced, native English speaking editors. This is suitable for the majority of manuscripts in need of language correction.

Papers that are submitted to us are matched to an editor from our team that has the most relevant expertise and experience to the academic topic of the document (not applicable to certain express time frames). We provide essay editing services in hundreds of subjects classified under the five broad disciplines below:

Our editing team is comprised of experienced professionals that hold advanced degrees from leading US/UK universities. Toggle below to view profiles of a handful of our editors:

How we will proofread and edit your essay/paper

Our editors will proofread your document and fix flaws in grammar, punctuation, and spelling. We will also edit to fix awkward phrasing and improve clarity and academic tone.

  • We check your document for language, grammar, syntax, logic and flow.
  • We will fix awkward phrasing and improve logic.
  • We will improve lexical choice and academic tone.
  • Our revisions are highlighted for you to check.

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