The simplest way to goof up when submitting an assignment are careless mistakes and spelling errors. When you submit a shoddy assignment, you are not only at a risk of losing marks, but also losing face and creating a lasting bad impression amongst your faculty. So here are a few tips for proofreading your assignment.
- Use a hard copy to proof read always.
This is a critical advice since computer screens are deceptive, and a lot of times you may not realise where the mistakes actually are both in terms of spelling and grammar.The other advantage of using a hard copy is that you can use a pen or a pencil to edit and correct then and there.
- Make sure the sentences are structured clearly and are gramatically correct.
Research indicates that most academic assignments that are graded low have two common factors – poor structuring and grammar mistakes. When you proofread remember that the objective is not to just correct errors , but also to correct structure and grammar.
- Read word by word using a pointed pencil or pen.
While using a pen or a pencil mark out each word you have read to be sure that nothing has been overlooked. Correct mistakes by striking them out and wherever you get new ideas jot them down as notes so thatthey can be added or deleted later during final submission.
- Mark out errors as and when you encounter them and repeat the checks multiple times.
Remember that when you proofread you are in a constant tiff with your senses and brain all of which tell you that there are no errors. This makes it all the more important that you mark each mistake and do multiple rounds of checking.
- Make sure you read the instructions for the task at hand before you proofread.
There is a high possibility that certain critical instructions given udring the assignement may have been missed out. Proofreading is a good time to correct those and make sure that they are followed to the last detail.
- Remember to check twice for similar sounding words since they are tricky on both the brain and the eye.
Homonyms are words that sound the same but are spelt differently. They are the trickiest to locate and correct and offer a huge challenge while proof reading. While doing spell check keep a special look out for the tricky homonyms lest they put you into serious trouble by hiding in their infamous style.
- Spot excess words and delete them.
When an assignment is written for the first time, there is a risk of getting too elaborate and repeating the same points or beating around the bush. There may also be punctuation mistakes and a lot of times the right tone and figures of speech may be missing. Proof reading is a time to approach the assignemnt from a thrid person perspective and it is advisable to always proof read from the point of view of the assessor.
- Check for monotonous and boring sentences and eliminate or replace.
Often assignments suffer in rating because they are boring to read. If you happen to be the last in the list of people whose assigments are being assessed the risk of sounding boring is higher. So maybe when you proof read you can also eliminate boring and monotonous sentences.
- Proof read in a silent zone.
Distractions can not just be detrimental when you compose an assignment for the first time. It can also bring down the probability of spotting a mistake when you proofread.So make sure that proof reading is done in a distraction free zone. Keep your phones off your hands. Stop listening to music and dont ever proofread sitting in front of the television or a laptop. Give that proofreading your hundred percent attention and ensure that your errors are zero.
- Take the help of a peer.
This might not always be an easy option.But wherever possible try to get the help of a peer during proof reading. Alternatively you can also enlist the support of someone who is submittting the same task and do an exchange review where you exchange assignemnts and review each others work.
The aforesaid pointers are just suggestions that you can follow while proof reading and if followed diligently can help you minimise errors to the maximum extent possible. It would be good to remember to give in your very best during the task of writing the assignment the first time rather than wait for proof reading to correct errors. Remember that proof reading does in no way mean re-doing an entire assignment all over again. All that it aims at is to correct mistakes that have been made during the composing of the first draft.