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If you are taking an English class and your instructor has assigned a paper, you will need to write it well. Even if you tackle the topic successfully, your instructor will take points off of your paper if you fail to proofread and fix errors. English instructors know what to look for in essays and they expect that their students will respect the English language enough to write properly. In order to earn a top grade, here are a few tips that will help you proofread your paper:
Use an online grammar-checking app: If you are one of the many students who has no idea what to look for when proofreading and how to fix it, then a free online grammar checker should be in your bookmarks. There are several apps that are easy to use. When you use an app, you copy and paste your essay into the app and let it do its job. Once the app has evaluated your paper, you will see highlighted areas and explanations about what you should fix and why. Be sure to read the reasonings, because not every highlighted mark will need to be changed. Before you fix your essay, remember that the apps are computer programs that are making the suggestions. No person looks at your paper when you load them into the apps.
Read your paper aloud. One of the most effective proofreading techniques is to read your paper out loud. When we read aloud, we read slower than if we just read visually. This helps writers find mistakes like missing words, incorrect verb tenses, and other easy-to-find mistakes. You do not have to read your paper loudly, but in a quiet voice where your lips move as your read. Do not rush through the reading, otherwise you might miss something important.
Check simple things. English instructors are often amazed by the simple mistakes that students make on their essays. Those mistakes include forgetting to capitalize proper nouns or using the wrong punctuation, like missing a comma or a period in a common place. Most English instructors consider these basic mistakes an act of carelessness. Despite the fact that these are careless mistakes, instructors will deduct points. If you are worried about those mistakes, ask a friend to do a quick proofread for you, or conduct a proofread on your own, but start at the end of the paper and work to the beginning.
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