Proof reading

After you have completed your assignment you should check your work and revise it as necessary. Always set more time aside for this than you think you are going to need. It is an important stage and should not be rushed.

You will need to read through the assignment to double check that you have:

  • answered the question
  • clearly expressed your ideas
  • made no spelling or grammatical mistakes

If you do need to make changes, be methodical and ensure that you do all of them. Again re-read your assignment and check that the changes you have made have not affected the tone and style of your work.

It is usually helpful to put your writing aside for one or two days, and then do a read through. The elapsed time means you have ‘fresher’ eyes and will spot mistakes more easily. Alternatively you can ask a friend or colleague who you trust to read your work, and ask them to advise you on spelling or grammatical mistakes.

Academic health warning!

Do not ask anyone else to re-write your work. Proofreading is a process that should highlight spelling or grammatical mistakes. If you ask someone else to read your work and they say that they don’t understand what you have written, any revision to your work must be done by you.

Remember, you will improve your writing, and it won’t always be perfect. What is important is that you express your own voice, and use your own words.

A tip: When you get your assignment back from your lecturer, look carefully at the feedback they have given you, not just the mark.

The feedback will help you improve not only your knowledge of the subject, but also how to enhance your written communication skills. Has your lecturer indicated what you did well and what you could do differently? If yes, then reflect on these and try to incorporate them into your next assignment so that you do even better next time.

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