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Writing a paper: proofreading, introduction.

Proofreading involves reading your document to correct the smaller typographical, grammatical, and spelling errors. Proofreading is usually the very last step you take before sending off the final draft of your work for evaluation or publication. It comes after you have addressed larger matters such as style, content, citations, and organization during revising. Like revising, proofreading demands a close and careful reading of the text. Although quite tedious, it is a necessary and worthwhile exercise that ensures that your reader is not distracted by careless mistakes.

Tips for Proofreading

  • Set aside the document for a few hours or even a few days before proofreading. Taking a bit of time off enables you to see the document anew. A document that might have seemed well written one day may not look the same when you review it a few days later. Taking a step back provides you with a fresh (and possibly more constructive) perspective.
  • Make a conscious effort to proofread at a specific time of day (or night!) when you are most alert to spotting errors. If you are a morning person, try proofreading then. If you are a night owl, try proofreading at this time.
  • Reviewing the document in a different format and having the ability to manually circle and underline errors can help you take the perspective of the reader, identifying issues that you might ordinarily miss. Additionally, a hard copy gives you a different visual format (away from your computer screen) to see the words anew.
  • Although useful, programs like Word's spell-checker and Grammarly can misidentify or not catch errors. Although grammar checkers give relevant tips and recommendations, they are only helpful if you know how to apply the feedback they provide. Similarly, MS Word's spell checker may not catch words that are spelled correctly but used in the wrong context (e.g., differentiating between their, they're , and there ). Beyond that, sometimes a spell checker may mark a correct word as wrong simply because the word is not found in the spell checker's dictionary. To supplement tools such as these, be sure to use dictionaries and other grammar resources to check your work. You can also make appointments with our writing instructors for feedback concerning grammar and word choice, as well as other areas of your writing!
  • Reading a text aloud allows you to identify errors that you might gloss over when reading silently. This technique is particularly useful for identifying run-on and other types of awkward sentences. If you can, read for an audience. Ask a friend or family member to listen to your work and provide feedback, checking for comprehension, organization, and flow.
  • Hearing someone else read your work allows you to simply listen without having to focus on the written words yourself. You can be a more critical listener when you are engaged in only the audible words.
  • By reading the document backwards, sentence by sentence, you are able to focus only on the words and sentences without paying attention to the context or content.
  • Placing a ruler or a blank sheet of paper under each line as you read it will give your eyes a manageable amount of text to read.
  • If you can identify one type of error that you struggle with (perhaps something that a faculty member has commented on in your previous work), go through the document and look specifically for these types of errors. Learn from your mistakes, too, by mastering the problem concept so that it does not appear in subsequent drafts.
  • Related to the previous strategy of checking for familiar errors, you can proofread by focusing on one error at a time. For instance, if commas are your most frequent problem, go through the paper checking just that one problem. Then proofread again for the next most frequent problem.
  • After you have finished making corrections, have someone else scan the document for errors. A different set of eyes and a mind that is detached from the writing can identify errors that you may have overlooked.
  • Remember that proofreading is not just about errors. You want to polish your sentences, making them smooth, interesting, and clear. Watch for very long sentences, since they may be less clear than shorter, more direct sentences. Pay attention to the rhythm of your writing; try to use sentences of varying lengths and patterns. Look for unnecessary phrases, repetition, and awkward spots.

Download and print a copy of our proofreading bookmark to use as a reference as you write!

  • Proofreading Bookmark Printable bookmark with tips on proofreading a document.

Proofreading for Grammar Video

Note that this video was created while APA 6 was the style guide edition in use. There may be some examples of writing that have not been updated to APA 7 guidelines.

  • Mastering the Mechanics: Proofreading for Grammar (video transcript)

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How to Find the Right Academic Paper Editor or Proofreader

#scribendiinc

Written by  Scribendi

You've finished your research paper. Your data has been processed, your methods have been outlined, your arguments have been laid out, and potential counterarguments have been addressed. Now comes the part that most authors dislike: academic editing.

Choosing an academic editor or proofreader is a daunting task. It requires finding someone who has the skill to correct grammatical and stylistic errors in your paper. That person should also be familiar enough with academic paper editing to employ its conventions and rules.

So, how do you find the right academic editor or proofreader for you?

What's the Difference between Academic Paper Editing and Academic Proofreading Services?

People often confuse academic paper editing and academic proofreading services because they both involve text correction. However, they are distinctly different. You'll want an academic editor when you're ready to refine your writing. However, an academic proofreading service is best when you're confident that your writing is in good shape.

When it comes to choosing an academic editor or proofreader, it helps to know the difference between the two.

Read More: Editing or Proofreading?

With academic editing , editors look for issues at the core of the writing. They look at the way sentences are constructed, as well as the flow and overall clarity of the work. They also check for readability, clarity, and tone, in addition to grammar and spelling. When you have a rough draft that needs substantial revisions, which is usually when you're at the start of your writing process, an editor is your best bet. 

With academic proofreading services, a proofreader looks for incorrectly spelled words, missed punctuation, or inconsistencies in the text. Usually, you'll need a proofreader after an editor has already reviewed your work and you just need a final review for grammar or punctuation errors before you submit it.

Most documents require both editing and proofreading, in that order. An editor can help you improve your first draft, and a proofreader can help you perfect your final draft.

Make Every Word Count with Professional Proofreading

Try our academic proofreading service , or get a free sample, how do i edit or proofread my own academic paper.

To edit your own academic paper, it can help to switch your perspective, to edit your paper in sections, to read your paper multiple times, and/or to try creating a reverse outline. We cover these methods in this blog post so you can edit your paper objectively.

The hardest part of being your own academic editor and proofreader is accepting that almost anything in your paper can be trimmed away. Many researchers spend months (if not years) polishing their papers.

It can be discouraging to look at a point that took countless hours to develop and strengthen and realize that, ultimately, it does not provide much support for your thesis. If you want to give proofreading your own paper a try, though, there are several steps you can take.

Try Switching Up Your Perspective

Sometimes when you've read something long enough, you're not able to look at it subjectively. You might not be able to easily tell what's missing, or your eyes might gloss over glaring typos.

In this case, try switching up your perspective.

Print out your academic paper and hold it in your hands instead of looking at it on a screen. Printing out your work offers an entirely new way of reading your document. It's a new experience for your eyes, and it'll be harder to make assumptions about things.

Alternatively, you can alter the font style or size of the text in your paper. You'd be surprised how much you can alter your reading experience simply by changing the font. You'll read sentences in a new way, and you might even find new things that don't make sense!

Changing an aspect of your document will help you see it from a new perspective. It will also prevent you from skimming over any words or sentences that might need your attention.

Edit or Proofread Your Academic Paper in Sections

If you start feeling fatigued, frustrated, angry, or anything but calm and self-assured, put your paper down and walk away from it for a while. It's best to take your time and do your academic paper editing with confidence, section by section. This approach is far more effective than quickly pushing through and missing obvious errors.

You can experiment with pretending that each section belongs only to itself, and that there's no other content. When you view your text this way, it's a different experience altogether. You can better digest the paper by taking it piece by piece versus trying to stuff the entire thing down in one read.

Plus, it allows you to slow down. And when you slow down during your reading, you'll catch more errors.

            Read More: How to Edit and Proofread Your Own Writing

Read Your Academic Paper Multiple Times

Most academic editors will read through a document at least twice to catch all the mistakes and typos within it.  The University of Arkansas Little Rock recommends making several passes over your paper (one pass for spelling, one for punctuation, and so on) if you plan to do your own academic editing.

You'd be surprised how easy it is to catch errors when you read something more than once. In fact, reading content multiple times is what helps editors and proofreaders find the most common mistakes. It's not a superpower; it's just simple repetition!

Try Creating a Reverse Outline for Your Academic Paper

A reverse outline can help you see your ideas clearly. Start at the end of your academic paper and work backward, identifying every point made in each paragraph. Rank your points by importance, then reshuffle your paragraphs so that the most important points are made first.

Don't be surprised if you find you have to rewrite your thesis or even your entire paper after doing this.

How Do I Ask Someone to Edit or Proofread My Academic Paper

How Do I Ask Someone to Help Me Edit or Proofread My Academic Paper?

When you need help editing or proofreading an academic paper, it helps to find someone who understands your field of study. That being said, you should also keep in mind the fact that your colleagues are busy too. It is important to be polite if they say no or to set a deadline and avoid criticizing their work if they say yes.

If you're unable to hire an academic paper editing or academic proofreading service, asking someone you know to help you is a great option. There's nothing better than getting a second pair of eyes on something you've looked at a million times.

However, there are a few things to consider before asking a friend, teacher, or classmate.

Find Someone Who Understands Your Field of Study

If you plan to find an academic editor among your classmates, teachers, or fellow academics, focus on those who share or at least understand your field of study. Ask your academic advisor or check with your student services department to see what sort of academic editing or proofreading resources are available to you.

Most institutions offer groups, guides, programs, and other helpful tools to support those in need of academic paper editing or proofreading assistance. You don't even need to be affiliated with certain schools to benefit from their guidance!

Keep In Mind That Others Are Busy Too

Bear in mind, though, that just as you have been working on your paper, your classmates and supervisors have been similarly busy.

Your professors have to lead classes, hold workshops, attend meetings, and supervise student work—all while staying on top of their own research responsibilities.

While asking for a fresh perspective and a friendly edit may sound like a simple request, asking the wrong way can bruise feelings and strain relationships.

Be Polite and Respectful If They Say No

When asking for assistance, remember to be polite and respectful, and respond with grace if the answer is "no." Here are a few examples:

  • Be polite : Use "please" in your query. It sounds simple, but it's easy to forget sometimes! And "please" goes a long way. You can say something like, "Would you please take a few minutes to review what I've written and let me know if I'm heading in the right direction?"
  • Be respectful : As a show of respect, you can say something like, "I realize you're busy, but would you mind doing me a favor?"
  • Be graceful : Even if the answer is "no," you can still show some grace by saying, "Thanks, anyway. Do you happen to know anyone else who might be able to help?"

Set a Deadline

If you get a "yes," express your gratitude and agree on a time for you to collect your edited paper. Don't say "do it when you can," even if you have plenty of time before you need to turn your paper in.

You don't want to find yourself in a situation where you're pressuring someone to read your paper because it's nearing the deadline!

Avoid Criticizing

When you get your paper back, be sure not to criticize your friend or colleague if you don't think they did a fantastic job.

Instead, focus on being grateful that they took the time to help you and did the best they could.

Academic Paper Editing

How Much Do Academic Paper Editing and Academic Proofreading Services Cost?

Academic paper editing and academic proofreading service costs vary depending on your turnaround time, the type of document you have, and the type of edit you need. Academic editing and proofreading are not the same, and different academic paper editing and academic proofreading services offer different rates.

            Read More: How Much Does Proofreading Cost?

When pricing out the cost of an academic paper editing or academic proofreading service, consider the following:

Timing is a big factor to consider. Not only does timing affect the price of having your paper edited, but it also plays a big role in ensuring that you edit and finish your paper on time.

It's good practice to submit your paper to a proofreader or editor well in advance of the due date so you're not paying extra for a rush job.

To give yourself plenty of time to make revisions and corrections to your document after you've received it back, set a deadline to have an editor review your paper at least 48 hours before it's due.

Type of Academic Paper Editing or Academic Proofreading Service

Since academic paper editing and academic proofreading services aren't the same, the pricing between the two will vary. Academic paper editing requires a more in-depth review of the work, while academic proofreading is more superficial, checking for grammar, spelling, and punctuation. For this reason, some academic paper editing services will charge more for an edit than a proofread.

When you're pricing out academic paper editing or academic proofreading services, keep an eye out for tiered or à-la-carte services. You can expect to pay extra for higher tiers or additional perks if you want a full edit plus constructive feedback. So, the full cost of academic paper editing and academic proofreading services will depend on the type of academic paper editing or academic proofreading service you're looking for.

Academic Editing Speed

In order to gauge how long it will take to get your academic paper edited or proofread, keep in mind the industry standard for academic editing: 1,000 words per hour. This means a 30,000-word research paper should take roughly 30 hours to edit completely.

Break that up into workdays of ten hours each (because editors, like everyone else, need to eat and sleep), and that makes three days of work.

So, once you've figured out your word count and compared it to the 1000-words-per-hour industry standard, you should have a good idea of how quickly you can expect someone to return your paper.

Splitting the Work

If you need your work done quickly, some academic paper editing or academic proofreading services do promise turnaround times of 24 hours or less. But another option to have your academic work edited or proofread faster is to have editors split the work. This means they'll break the document into pieces and allow several editors to work on your document at once.

While this will get the job done faster, it may also cause contradictory editorial advice or certain inconsistencies to appear when you put the pieces back together. So be sure to keep that in mind!

Academic Paper Editing and Academic Proofreading Service Reputation

You'll want to be wary of academic paper editing or academic proofreading services that have a poor reputation.

Read More: 12 Best Editing and Proofreading Services

In addition, avoid companies that rely heavily (or completely!) on computer programs to do the work. Academic editing programs are not quite sophisticated enough yet to read a document and comprehend the context well enough to spot logical flaws, poor citations, unsubstantiated assertions, or pointless deviations.

Read More: 10 Best Human and AI Grammar Checkers

Lastly, businesses that do not address your complaints or offer to make things right if you're unhappy with their academic paper editing or academic proofreading service do not deserve to handle your paper.

Longevity and Proof of Quality

Your best bet for an academic paper editing or academic proofreading service is a business that has been around for a while.

Work with an academic paper editing service that has the following qualities:

  • Human editors with experience and education
  • A proven track record of quality
  • Consistent pricing based on the academic paper editing or academic proofreading service you need
  • Ability to provide constructive feedback as well as thorough academic editing work
  • Excellent support from customer service

No matter whom you choose as your academic editor or proofreader, remember that academic editing is always beneficial and all writers consider it a necessary step of their writing journey.

Allow your paper to be edited and proofread to ensure that you have crafted a concise, thoughtful, and solid argument and have contributed to the wealth of knowledge available to the world.

Happy writing!

Make Every Word Count with Professional Academic Proofreading

About the author.

Scribendi Editing and Proofreading

Scribendi's in-house editors work with writers from all over the globe to perfect their writing. They know that no piece of writing is complete without a professional edit, and they love to see a good piece of writing transformed into a great one. Scribendi's in-house editors are unrivaled in both experience and education, having collectively edited millions of words and obtained numerous degrees. They love consuming caffeinated beverages, reading books of various genres, and relaxing in quiet, dimly lit spaces.

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The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Editing and Proofreading

What this handout is about.

This handout provides some tips and strategies for revising your writing. To give you a chance to practice proofreading, we have left seven errors (three spelling errors, two punctuation errors, and two grammatical errors) in the text of this handout. See if you can spot them!

Is editing the same thing as proofreading?

Not exactly. Although many people use the terms interchangeably, editing and proofreading are two different stages of the revision process. Both demand close and careful reading, but they focus on different aspects of the writing and employ different techniques.

Some tips that apply to both editing and proofreading

  • Get some distance from the text! It’s hard to edit or proofread a paper that you’ve just finished writing—it’s still to familiar, and you tend to skip over a lot of errors. Put the paper aside for a few hours, days, or weeks. Go for a run. Take a trip to the beach. Clear your head of what you’ve written so you can take a fresh look at the paper and see what is really on the page. Better yet, give the paper to a friend—you can’t get much more distance than that. Someone who is reading the paper for the first time, comes to it with completely fresh eyes.
  • Decide which medium lets you proofread most carefully. Some people like to work right at the computer, while others like to sit back with a printed copy that they can mark up as they read.
  • Try changing the look of your document. Altering the size, spacing, color, or style of the text may trick your brain into thinking it’s seeing an unfamiliar document, and that can help you get a different perspective on what you’ve written.
  • Find a quiet place to work. Don’t try to do your proofreading in front of the TV or while you’re chugging away on the treadmill. Find a place where you can concentrate and avoid distractions.
  • If possible, do your editing and proofreading in several short blocks of time. Your concentration may start to wane if you try to proofread the entire text at one time.
  • If you’re short on time, you may wish to prioritize. Make sure that you complete the most important editing and proofreading tasks.

Editing is what you begin doing as soon as you finish your first draft. You reread your draft to see, for example, whether the paper is well-organized, the transitions between paragraphs are smooth, and your evidence really backs up your argument. You can edit on several levels:

Have you done everything the assignment requires? Are the claims you make accurate? If it is required to do so, does your paper make an argument? Is the argument complete? Are all of your claims consistent? Have you supported each point with adequate evidence? Is all of the information in your paper relevant to the assignment and/or your overall writing goal? (For additional tips, see our handouts on understanding assignments and developing an argument .)

Overall structure

Does your paper have an appropriate introduction and conclusion? Is your thesis clearly stated in your introduction? Is it clear how each paragraph in the body of your paper is related to your thesis? Are the paragraphs arranged in a logical sequence? Have you made clear transitions between paragraphs? One way to check the structure of your paper is to make a reverse outline of the paper after you have written the first draft. (See our handouts on introductions , conclusions , thesis statements , and transitions .)

Structure within paragraphs

Does each paragraph have a clear topic sentence? Does each paragraph stick to one main idea? Are there any extraneous or missing sentences in any of your paragraphs? (See our handout on paragraph development .)

Have you defined any important terms that might be unclear to your reader? Is the meaning of each sentence clear? (One way to answer this question is to read your paper one sentence at a time, starting at the end and working backwards so that you will not unconsciously fill in content from previous sentences.) Is it clear what each pronoun (he, she, it, they, which, who, this, etc.) refers to? Have you chosen the proper words to express your ideas? Avoid using words you find in the thesaurus that aren’t part of your normal vocabulary; you may misuse them.

Have you used an appropriate tone (formal, informal, persuasive, etc.)? Is your use of gendered language (masculine and feminine pronouns like “he” or “she,” words like “fireman” that contain “man,” and words that some people incorrectly assume apply to only one gender—for example, some people assume “nurse” must refer to a woman) appropriate? Have you varied the length and structure of your sentences? Do you tends to use the passive voice too often? Does your writing contain a lot of unnecessary phrases like “there is,” “there are,” “due to the fact that,” etc.? Do you repeat a strong word (for example, a vivid main verb) unnecessarily? (For tips, see our handouts on style and gender-inclusive language .)

Have you appropriately cited quotes, paraphrases, and ideas you got from sources? Are your citations in the correct format? (See the UNC Libraries citation tutorial for more information.)

As you edit at all of these levels, you will usually make significant revisions to the content and wording of your paper. Keep an eye out for patterns of error; knowing what kinds of problems you tend to have will be helpful, especially if you are editing a large document like a thesis or dissertation. Once you have identified a pattern, you can develop techniques for spotting and correcting future instances of that pattern. For example, if you notice that you often discuss several distinct topics in each paragraph, you can go through your paper and underline the key words in each paragraph, then break the paragraphs up so that each one focuses on just one main idea.

Proofreading

Proofreading is the final stage of the editing process, focusing on surface errors such as misspellings and mistakes in grammar and punctuation. You should proofread only after you have finished all of your other editing revisions.

Why proofread? It’s the content that really matters, right?

Content is important. But like it or not, the way a paper looks affects the way others judge it. When you’ve worked hard to develop and present your ideas, you don’t want careless errors distracting your reader from what you have to say. It’s worth paying attention to the details that help you to make a good impression.

Most people devote only a few minutes to proofreading, hoping to catch any glaring errors that jump out from the page. But a quick and cursory reading, especially after you’ve been working long and hard on a paper, usually misses a lot. It’s better to work with a definite plan that helps you to search systematically for specific kinds of errors.

Sure, this takes a little extra time, but it pays off in the end. If you know that you have an effective way to catch errors when the paper is almost finished, you can worry less about editing while you are writing your first drafts. This makes the entire writing proccess more efficient.

Try to keep the editing and proofreading processes separate. When you are editing an early draft, you don’t want to be bothered with thinking about punctuation, grammar, and spelling. If your worrying about the spelling of a word or the placement of a comma, you’re not focusing on the more important task of developing and connecting ideas.

The proofreading process

You probably already use some of the strategies discussed below. Experiment with different tactics until you find a system that works well for you. The important thing is to make the process systematic and focused so that you catch as many errors as possible in the least amount of time.

  • Don’t rely entirely on spelling checkers. These can be useful tools but they are far from foolproof. Spell checkers have a limited dictionary, so some words that show up as misspelled may really just not be in their memory. In addition, spell checkers will not catch misspellings that form another valid word. For example, if you type “your” instead of “you’re,” “to” instead of “too,” or “there” instead of “their,” the spell checker won’t catch the error.
  • Grammar checkers can be even more problematic. These programs work with a limited number of rules, so they can’t identify every error and often make mistakes. They also fail to give thorough explanations to help you understand why a sentence should be revised. You may want to use a grammar checker to help you identify potential run-on sentences or too-frequent use of the passive voice, but you need to be able to evaluate the feedback it provides.
  • Proofread for only one kind of error at a time. If you try to identify and revise too many things at once, you risk losing focus, and your proofreading will be less effective. It’s easier to catch grammar errors if you aren’t checking punctuation and spelling at the same time. In addition, some of the techniques that work well for spotting one kind of mistake won’t catch others.
  • Read slow, and read every word. Try reading out loud , which forces you to say each word and also lets you hear how the words sound together. When you read silently or too quickly, you may skip over errors or make unconscious corrections.
  • Separate the text into individual sentences. This is another technique to help you to read every sentence carefully. Simply press the return key after every period so that every line begins a new sentence. Then read each sentence separately, looking for grammar, punctuation, or spelling errors. If you’re working with a printed copy, try using an opaque object like a ruler or a piece of paper to isolate the line you’re working on.
  • Circle every punctuation mark. This forces you to look at each one. As you circle, ask yourself if the punctuation is correct.
  • Read the paper backwards. This technique is helpful for checking spelling. Start with the last word on the last page and work your way back to the beginning, reading each word separately. Because content, punctuation, and grammar won’t make any sense, your focus will be entirely on the spelling of each word. You can also read backwards sentence by sentence to check grammar; this will help you avoid becoming distracted by content issues.
  • Proofreading is a learning process. You’re not just looking for errors that you recognize; you’re also learning to recognize and correct new errors. This is where handbooks and dictionaries come in. Keep the ones you find helpful close at hand as you proofread.
  • Ignorance may be bliss, but it won’t make you a better proofreader. You’ll often find things that don’t seem quite right to you, but you may not be quite sure what’s wrong either. A word looks like it might be misspelled, but the spell checker didn’t catch it. You think you need a comma between two words, but you’re not sure why. Should you use “that” instead of “which”? If you’re not sure about something, look it up.
  • The proofreading process becomes more efficient as you develop and practice a systematic strategy. You’ll learn to identify the specific areas of your own writing that need careful attention, and knowing that you have a sound method for finding errors will help you to focus more on developing your ideas while you are drafting the paper.

Think you’ve got it?

Then give it a try, if you haven’t already! This handout contains seven errors our proofreader should have caught: three spelling errors, two punctuation errors, and two grammatical errors. Try to find them, and then check a version of this page with the errors marked in red to see if you’re a proofreading star.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Especially for non-native speakers of English:

Ascher, Allen. 2006. Think About Editing: An ESL Guide for the Harbrace Handbooks . Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Lane, Janet, and Ellen Lange. 2012. Writing Clearly: Grammar for Editing , 3rd ed. Boston: Heinle.

For everyone:

Einsohn, Amy. 2011. The Copyeditor’s Handbook: A Guide for Book Publishing and Corporate Communications , 3rd ed. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Lanham, Richard A. 2006. Revising Prose , 5th ed. New York: Pearson Longman.

Tarshis, Barry. 1998. How to Be Your Own Best Editor: The Toolkit for Everyone Who Writes . New York: Three Rivers Press.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Table of Contents

It’s commonplace to feel nervous about submitting your scientific work. Whether you’re concerned about meeting research reviewers’ high expectations and/or the target journals’ guidelines. Proofreading is the final stage before a manuscript leaves your hands and enters the expanding universe of appraisal for publication. So, it makes sense that you want to deliver a perfectly written document, and avoid embarrassing mistakes.

Most of us simply have either friends or colleagues proofread our work, but they may have their own limitations regarding proficiency in text writing. Instead, it’s highly advised that you look for professional help at this important stage.

The main purpose of proofreading is to improve the quality of the paper, ensuring there are no lingering mistakes, and correcting generalized discourse errors or writing inconsistencies. Essentially, you want to make sure you have a well-defined communication goal. Analyzing whether the content is properly conveyed, and the sentences are syntactically and grammatically well-written, are just two of the basic tasks to achieve publication-ready work. Specifically, a perfect manuscript, ready to be published in the most recognized scientific journals.

What is proofreading

Proofreading is the last writing process before the author submits the article for publication. It is the stage of verification, by the author him or herself, or by another person. Thus, it is not only important to check grammar and spelling, it is also highly advised to ensure that the idea of the writer/author is in agreement with what he or she wants to communicate with the audience. In other words, that the article/work is clearly written for its intended target audience.

Proofreading Vs. Editing

Paper proofreader.

How often have you conducted high-quality research, but the article about that research didn’t match the quality of the research itself? How many times have you regretted missing a mistake that ultimately led to a failed submission?

Proofreading ensures flawless content for publication, increasing your chances of success. An excellent paper proofreader checks all digital sources related to the document, including websites, email addresses, etc.

A good paper proofreader is someone who will take care of your work as if it were his or her own and, in addition to correcting grammar errors, also detects the possibility of scientific plagiarism. Proofreading your scientific article using scientific editing will save you from the humiliation of having your article rejected by scientific journals due to grammatical errors or inadequate language.

Why is proofreading important?

Effective proofreading is absolutely essential for producing high-quality documents, whether academic or professional. When done clearly, correctly and thoroughly, proofreading can be the difference between writing something that communicates as it is supposed to or a huge misunderstanding. It can also be the difference between acceptance and rejection in a distinguished journal. No author creates an excellent text without reviewing, reflecting, and revising – or trusting someone to do so – before the final version of their manuscript is complete and submitted.

Language and text reviewing are important to detect:

  • Grammar mistakes and numbering errors – e.g. forms of numbers, short and scientific forms, degrees of comparison, etc.
  • Spelling mistakes – simple misspellings, or incorrect use of a homonym (words that sound alike, but have different meanings, e.g. “read,” for “red”), typographical error, etc.
  • Inconsistency in the document format – this can be simple font, spacing and justification rules, or standard format for the applicable research sub-type (e.g. research review versus experiment)
  • Punctuation errors – missing or extra commas, periods, and/or quotation marks used incorrectly
  • Misplaced words – correct word choice improves the quality of your content
  • Poorly structured paragraphs
  • Errors in sentence structure

Whatever the nature of your research, Elsevier will be glad to give you a hand in reviewing and amending your manuscript. Professional editors can proofread your document so the final product is well-written, precise, and easy to read. With Elsevier’s medical editing and proofreading services team, we can help you with grammar, syntax, spelling, and punctuation; maximizing impact, and increasing your chances of publication.

Language Editing Services by Elsevier Author Services:

Find more about our  Language Editing Standard : completion within 7 business days; editing by native speakers in (scientific) American or British English; PhD or PhD candidates selection according to your field of study and an exclusive guarantee: free re-edit or your money back.

Know the diferent types of Scientific articles

  • Manuscript Preparation

Types of Scientific Articles

FINER: a research framework

  • Research Process

Navigating the Research Landscape: A Deep Dive into the FINER Method

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Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper

  • 10. Proofreading Your Paper
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Proofreading is the act of reviewing, identifying, and correcting errors in your research paper before it is handed in to be graded by your professor. Common errors found within the text of a paper can be both typographical [i.e., an error in typing] and grammatical [i.e., faulty, unconventional use of language]. However, the act of proofreading can also include identifying and correcting problems with the narrative flow of your paper [i.e., the logical sequence of thoughts and ideas], problems with concise writing [i.e., wordiness and imprecise vocabulary], and problems created by word processing software applications [e.g., unintentional font types, indented paragraphs, line spacing, uneven margins, or orphan headings, sentences, or words].

Editing and Proofreading Strategies. Writing@CSU. Colorado State University; Proofreading. The Writing Center. University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Proofreading Strategies

Proofreading is often the final act before handing in your paper. It is important because most professors grade papers not only on the quality of how you addressed the research problem and the overall organization of the study, but also on the quality of the grammar, punctuation, formatting, and narrative flow of your paper. The assigning of research papers is not just an exercise in developing good research and critical thinking skills, but it is also intended to help you become a better writer. Below are step-by-step strategies you can follow.

Before You Proofread

  • Revise the larger aspects of the text . Don't proofread for the purpose of making corrections at the sentence and word level [the act of editing] if you still need to work on the overall focus, development, and organization of the paper or you need to re-arrange or change specific sections [the act of revising].
  • Set your paper aside between writing and proofreading . Give yourself a day or so between the writing of your paper and proofreading it. This will help you identify mistakes more easily. This is also a reason why you shouldn't wait until the last minute to draft your paper because it won't provide the time needed to step away before proofreading.
  • Eliminate unnecessary words before looking for mistakes . Throughout your paper, you should try to avoid using inflated diction if a more concise phrase works equally well. Simple, precise language is easier to proofread than overly complex sentence constructions and vocabulary. At the same time, also identify and change empty or repetitive phrases.
  • Know what to look for . Make a mental note of the mistakes you need to watch for based on comments from your professor on previous drafts of the paper or that you have received about papers written in other classes. This will help you to identify repeated patterns of mistakes more readily.
  • Review your list of references . Review the sources mentioned in your paper and make sure you have properly cited them in your bibliography. Also make sure that the titles cited in your bibliography are mentioned in the text. Any omissions should be resolved before you begin proofreading your paper.

NOTE:   Do not confuse the act of revising your paper with the act of editing it. Editing is intended to tighten up language so that your paper is easier to read and understand. This should be the focus when you proofread. If your professor asks you to revise your paper, review the text above concerning ways to improve the overall quality of your paper. The act of revision implies that there is something within the paper that needs to be changed, improved, or re-organized in some significant way. If the reason for a revision is not specified, always ask for clarification.

Individualize the Act of Proofreading

Individualizing your proofreading process to match weaknesses in your writing will help you correct errors more efficiently and effectively . For example, I still tend to make subject-verb agreement errors. Accept the fact that you likely won't be able to check for everything, so be introspective about what your typical problem areas are and look for each type of error individually. Here's how:

  • Think about what errors you typically make . Review instructors' comments about your writing and/or set up an appointment to review your paper with a staff member in the Writing Center .
  • Learn how to fix those errors . Talk with your professor about helping you understand why you make the errors you do so that you can learn how to avoid them while writing.
  • Use specific strategies . Develop strategies you are most comfortable with to find and correct your particular errors in usage, sentence structure, spelling, and punctuation.
  • Where you proofread is important! Effective and efficient proofreading requires extended focus and concentration. If you are easily distracted by external activity or noise, proofread in a quiet corner of the library rather than at a table in Starbucks.
  • Proofread in several short blocks of time . Avoid trying to proofread your entire paper all at once, otherwise, it will be difficult to maintain your concentration. A good strategy is to start your proofreading each time at the beginning of your paper. It will take longer to make corrections, but you may be surprised how many mistakes you find in text that you have already reviewed.

In general, verb tense should be in the following format, although variations can occur within the text of each section depending on the narrative style of your paper. Note that references to prior research mentioned anywhere in your paper should always be stated in the past tense.

  • Abstract--past tense [summary description of what I did]
  • Introduction--present tense [I am describing the study to you now]
  • Literature Review--past tense [the studies I reviewed have already been published]
  • Methodology--past tense [the way I gathered and synthesized data has already happened]
  • Results--past tense [the findings of my study have already been discovered]
  • Discussion--present tense [I am talking to you now about how I interpreted the findings]
  • Conclusion--present tense [I am summarizing the study for you now]

General Strategies for Strengthening Your Paper

As noted above, proofreading involves a detailed examination of your paper to ensure there are no content errors. However, proofreading is also an opportunity to strengthen the overall quality of your paper beyond correcting specific grammar, diction, or formatting mistakes. Before you begin reviewing your paper line-by-line, step back and reflect on what you have written; consider if there are ways to improve each section of the paper by taking into consideration the following “big picture” elements of good writing.

Introduction . Look for any language that reflects broad generalizations, indeterminate phrasing, or text that does not directly inform the reader about the research and its significance. This can include unnecessary qualifiers or text, such as, "This study includes a significant review of the literature [what constitutes "significant"?], "There are a number of findings that are important [just state the number of findings; leave it to the discussion to argue the context of their importance], and, for example, "This research reminds me of...." [why does the research study relate to remembering something; is this first person perspective essential to introducing the research problem].

Research Topic . Make sure the topic does not come across as ambiguous, simplistic, overly broad, or ill-defined. A strong research problem and the associated research questions establish a set of assumptions that should be nuanced, yet challenges the reader to think. Review the Choosing a Research Problem page in this guide. Place yourself in the position of a reader totally unfamiliar with the topic, then, critically evaluate the research problem, any associated research questions you are trying to address, and the theoretical framework. Ask yourself if there is anything that may not make sense or requires further explanation or refinement. The rest of the paper will build on these elements, but the introduction of these foundational aspects of your paper should be clearly and concisely stated.

Paragraph Transitions . Review the overall paper to make sure the narrative flow is coherent throughout and that there are smooth transitions between paragraphs. Ensure that major transitions in text have a heading or sub-heading [if needed] and that the paragraph prior to the transition let's the reader know that you are about to shift to a new idea. Also, look for text that is overly long or that contains too much description and too little analysis and interpretation. Sometimes you need a long paragraph to describe a complex idea, event, or issue, but review them to make sure they can't be broken apart into shorter, more readable paragraphs.

Discussion of Results . Read over your discussion of the research findings and make sure you have not treated any of the evidence as unproblematic or uncomplicated. Make sure you have discussed the results through a critical lens of analysis that takes into account alternative interpretations or possible counter-arguments. In most cases, your discussion section should demonstrate a thorough understanding of the study's findings and their implications, both positive, supportive findings and negative, unanticipated findings.

Conclusion . Make sure you have done more than simply re-state the research problem and what you did. Provide the reader with a sense of closure by ensuring that the conclusion has highlighted all the main points of the paper and tells the reader why the study was important, what the paper's broader significance and implications might be, and, if applicable, what areas of the study require further research. Also note that the conclusion is usually no more than two or three paragraphs. If your conclusion is longer, look for ways to condense the text and be alert to information that is superfluous or should be integrated into other parts of your paper [e.g., new information].

Specific Strategies to Help Identify Errors

Once you have made any necessary revisions to your paper and looked for ways to strengthen its overall quality, focus on identifying and correcting specific errors within the text.

  • Work from a printout, not a computer screen . Besides sparing your eyes from the strain of glaring at a computer screen, proofreading from a printout allows you to easily skip around to where errors might have been repeated throughout the paper [e.g., misspelling the name of a person].
  • Read out loud . This is especially helpful for spotting run-on sentences and missing words, but you'll also hear other problems that you may not have identified while reading the text out loud. This will also help you adopt the role of the reader, thereby helping you to understand the paper as your audience might.
  • Use a ruler or blank sheet of paper to cover up the lines below the one you're reading . This technique keeps you from skipping over possible mistakes and allows you to deliberately pace yourself as you read through your paper.
  • Circle or highlight every punctuation mark in your paper . This forces you to pay attention to each mark you used and to confirm its purpose in each sentence or paragraph. This is a particularly helpful strategy if you tend to misuse or overuse a punctuation mark, such as a comma or semi-colon.
  • Use the search function of the computer to find mistakes . Using the Ctrl F search [find] feature can help identify repeated errors faster. For example, if you overuse a phrase or repeatedly rely on the same qualifier [e.g., "important"], you can do a search for those words or phrases and in each instance make a decision about whether to remove it, rewrite the sentence, or use a synonym.
  • 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 using a computer spell checker or reading backwards word by word . Remember that a spell checker won't catch mistakes with homonyms [e.g., "they're," "their," "there"] or certain word-to-word typos [like typing "he" when you meant to write "the"]. The spell-checker function can catch some errors quickly, but it is not a substitute for carefully reviewing the text. This also applies to the grammar check function as well.
  • Leave yourself enough time . Since many errors are made and overlooked by speeding through writing and proofreading, setting aside the time to carefully review your writing will help you identify errors you might otherwise miss. Always read through your writing slowly. If you read through the paper at a normal speed, you won't give your eyes sufficient time to spot errors.
  • Ask a friend to read your paper . Offer to proofread a friend's paper if they will review yours. Having another set of eyes look over your writing will often spot errors that you would have otherwise missed.

NOTE:   Pay particular attention to the spelling of proper nouns [an individual person, place, or organization]. Make sure the name is carefully capitalized and spelled correctly, and that this spelling has been used consistently throughout the text of your paper. This is especially true for proper nouns transliterated into English or that have been spelled differently over time. In this case, choose the spelling most consistently used by researchers in the literature you have cited so, if asked, you can explain the logic of your choice.

Carduner, Jessie. "Teaching Proofreading Skills as a Means of Reducing Composition Errors." Language Learning Journal 35 (2007): 283-295; Gaste, Barbara. “Editing and Proofreading Your Own Work.” American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) Journal 30 (2015): 147-151; Editing and Proofreading. Writing Center, University of North Carolina; Proofreading. Writing Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Proofreading. Writing Center, University of Maryland; Harris, Jeanette. "Proofreading: A Reading/Writing Skill." College Composition and Communication 38 (1987): 464-466; Editing and Proofreading. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Mintz, Steve. “Simple Ways to Strengthen Your Students’ Writing.” Higher Ed Gamma (Opinion). Inside Higher Ed , August 17, 2022; Revising vs. Proofreading, Kathleen Jones Wright Writing Center, Indiana University of Pennsylvania; Editing and Proofreading Strategies. Student Writing Support, University of Minnesota; Saleh, Naveed. The Writer's Guide to Self-Editing: Essential Tips for Online and Print Publication . Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2019; Writing a Paper. Walden Writing Center, Walden University; The Writing Process: Proofreading. The Purdue Online Writing Lab, Purdue University.

USC Writing Center

S hould you need help proofreading your paper, take advantage of the assistance offered by consultants at the USC Writing Center located on the second floor of Taper Hall, room 216. Consultations are free and they can help you with any aspect of the writing process. Walk-in help is provided when consultants are available, but you should schedule an appointment online because the Center gets very busy as the semester progresses. If you meet with a consultant be sure to bring a copy of your writing assignment, any relevant handouts or texts, and any outlines or drafts you've written. Also, the Center conducts helpful, fifty minute small-group writing skills workshops for students that cover a wide range of topics. These workshops provide an opportunity for you to improve your skills related to an aspect of writing that you may be struggling with, particularly if English is not your native language.

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Good research is careful, thorough, and comprehensive. But unless your writing has these qualities, too, it may be difficult to communicate your ideas clearly. So if you’re writing up your research, our dedicated research paper  proofreading service  will ensure you can present your findings with confidence.

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Research Paper Proofreading Example (After Editing)

When you submit a research paper for proofreading, our editors will:

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And to ensure you are in full control of the final draft, we also provide two copies of your edited paper when we’re done:

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Proofreading is primarily about searching your writing for errors, both grammatical and typographical, before submitting your paper for an audience (a teacher, a publisher, etc.). Use this resource to help you find and fix common errors.

Proofreading can be a difficult process, especially when you’re not sure where to start or what this process entails. Think of proofreading as a process of looking for any inconsistencies and grammatical errors as well as style and spelling issues. Below are a few general strategies that can help you get started.

General Strategies Before You Proofread

General strategies while you proofread, when you are done.

  • Make sure that you leave plenty of time after you have finished your paper to walk away for a day or two, a week, or even 20 minutes. This will allow you to approach proofreading with fresh eyes.
  • Print out a hard copy. Reading from a computer screen is not the most effective way to proofread. Having a hardcopy of your paper and a pen will help you.
  • Have a list of what to look for. This will help you manage your time and not feel overwhelmed by proofreading. You can get this list from previous assignments where your instructor(s) noted common errors you make.
  • Don’t rush . Many mistakes in writing occur because we rush. Read slowly and carefully to give your eyes enough time to spot errors.
  • Read aloud to yourself. Reading a paper aloud encourages you to read each word and can help you notice small mistakes.
  • Read aloud to a friend and have the friend give you oral feedback.
  • Have a friend read your paper aloud while you don’t read along.
  • Use the search in document function of the computer to look for common errors from your list.
  • Read from the end. Read individual sentences one at a time starting from the end of the paper rather than the beginning. This forces you to pay attention to the sentence itself rather than to the ideas of the paper as a whole.
  • Role-play. While reading, put yourself in your audience's shoes. Playing the role of the reader encourages you to see the paper as your audience might.
  • Have a friend look at your paper after you have made all the corrections you identified. A new reader will be able to help you catch mistakes that you might have overlooked.
  • Make an appointment with a Writing Lab tutor if you have any further questions or want someone to teach you more about proofreading.
  • Ask your teacher to look at the areas you usually have trouble with to see if you have made any progress.

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What Is Academic Proofreading? (+ Why It’s Important!)

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proofread academic paper

If you participate in academia in any capacity, you may wonder what academic proofreading entails. Given that students, professors, and researchers are responsible for producing a large volume of writing throughout their time in universities, it’s important to consider the role of proofreading. So what exactly is meant by academic proofreading?

Academic proofreading is the proofreading of scholarly documents produced by professors, researchers, and students within colleges and universities. It involves checking these texts for proper grammar, capitalization, spelling, punctuation, and formatting.

Academic proofreading has a few unique considerations compared to other kinds of proofreading .

Let’s discover more about this type of proofreading, including its vital role in the writing process. Then we’ll find out how you can best proofread your scholarly documents to ensure readers focus on your ideas and conclusions instead of getting caught up in a web of errors.

Table of Contents

What Is Academic Proofreading?

As we know, academic proofreading is the proofreading of academic texts.

Proofreading is the last step in the four-step editorial process. Here’s a look at the four stages of editing:

  • developmental editing
  • line editing
  • copyediting
  • proofreading

I penned a post about the particulars of proofreading if you’d like to peruse it. The article discusses proofreading in general.

Academic Editing vs. Academic Proofreading

While editing deals with the big picture elements (organizational structure, clarity, tone, flow, etc.), proofreading addresses the details.

A proofreader will find and correct spelling, grammar, capitalization, punctuation, and formatting mistakes. They’ll also keep an eye out for improper word choices and words that have been repeated or omitted.

Similar to editors, proofreaders rely on the appropriate style guide to ensure the writing conforms to the specified guidelines.

They will also ensure the works-cited page, reference list, or bibliography is formatted correctly.

And an astute proofreader will make sure that all in-text citations have a corresponding source listed at the end of the paper. They’ll also eliminate any sources mentioned in the reference list or works-cited page that aren’t cited in the document.

Let’s see a few significant differences between academic proofreading and editing.

Academic Proofreading vs. Academic Editing

I authored an article about proofreading vs. editing if you’d like to delve into this topic.

Who Performs Academic Proofreading?

A wooden desk with a variety of objects, including a notebook with the word

So who does academic proofreading? It depends.

Note: Under most circumstances, it’s okay for undergraduate students to have someone else proofread their work. However, it’s always best to check a university’s academic policy to be sure that all courses allow proofreading!

Although we typically think of academic proofreading as being performed by a professional proofreader, having another set of eyes on one’s work is beneficial—even if those eyes don’t belong to someone who has received formal training.

The proofreading can be done by a colleague or classmate, a friend or family member, or a professional proofreader.

Hiring a professional proofreader with knowledge of the relevant subject will undoubtedly provide the best results; however, this isn’t always feasible.

Let’s see several examples of documents that fall under the umbrella of academic proofreading.

Examples of Scholarly Texts that Need Proofreading

  • research papers
  • lab reports
  • personal statements
  • statements of purpose
  • college admissions essays
  • dissertations
  • scholarly journal articles
  • research proposals

Now let’s see who can benefit from academic proofreading.

Examples of People Who Need Academic Proofreading

  • students applying to colleges
  • undergraduate students
  • graduate students
  • researchers

Now that we know what academic proofreading involves, who does it, the kinds of documents they work on, and who may need it, let’s see why it’s essential.

What Is the Importance of Proofreading in Academic Writing?

Proofreading is essential in all kinds of writing , and academic writing is no exception. Academic texts are often scrutinized by academic publishing companies, admissions committees and professors.

Here are several reasons why academic proofreading is indispensable:

  • It improves the chance that a professor’s research will be published.
  • Proofreading ensures that a document’s sources are correctly cited and recorded.
  • It allows for enhanced clarity and readability of a text.
  • Proofreading provides the polish needed to produce high-quality work.
  • It gives grad students a stronger thesis or dissertation.
  • Proofreading increases the likelihood that students will get into their college of choice.
  • It leads to better grades for undergrads.

Proofreading is the final step in the editorial process. Therefore, it’s the last chance to eliminate unsightly blunders that can distract readers and even deter them from comprehending the argument, findings, or message in a piece of scholarly writing.

How Do I Proofread My Academic Paper?

A checklist with a few tasks checked off.

The best way to proofread an academic paper is carefully and methodically. Having a checklist of all the elements (grammar, punctuation, formatting, etc.) you need to review can be helpful. You’ll also want to follow the proofreading strategies that work best for you.

Let’s see some proofreading strategies that are applicable to scholarly documents.

1) Read your writing and hear your writing.

The best advice I can give you for proofreading an academic document is to read it out loud or have your computer read it to you using the Read Aloud function.

You’ve already read several sections of your paper as you composed it. You know what your text is supposed to say, and your eyes will likely read what you think you wrote instead of what you actually wrote.

Relying solely on your eyes while proofreading can lead to many missed mistakes.

To offset this disadvantage we face when proofing our work, we need to get another sense involved: hello, ears!

By hearing your text, you’ll notice mistakes that your eyes will inevitably miss. Of course, we can’t detect every error just by listening. For example, you’ll need your eyes on the screen to pick up punctuation pitfalls.

2) Slow down your reading speed.

proofread academic paper

When proofing with your eyes, my top tip is to slow down. I know you’re probably used to reading at a quick pace, but with proofreading, you have to pump the breaks!

Did you catch the gaffe in that last sentence, or were you reading fairly fast? It should have said brakes , not breaks .

Reading quickly will lead to overlooked flubs. Then you’ll have to proofread your paper again to catch the errors that escaped your scrutiny.

Since you don’t have time to waste, remember to proofread like a tortoise, not a hare.

3) Alter the text in some way.

To detect more missteps, change the appearance of your document. You can do this by modifying the font’s style, size, or color. You can also divide the text into two columns or increase the space between lines, giving those slipups more room to stand out.

With these changes in place, your brain will perceive reading your paper as a novel experience—increasing the likelihood you’ll find more fumbles.

I think these three tips will help you with proofreading. But if you’d like to learn more, I wrote an article that includes numerous proofreading techniques !

I also wrote a post about the elements to check when proofreading your work . You can use this article as a checklist as you proofread your paper.

Finally, if you need a professional to polish your work, you may want to read my article about the best academic proofreading services .

What Is an Academic Proofreader?

Someone has typed the word

An academic proofreader is a professional who proofreads scholarly works like essays, theses, dissertations, and scholarly journal articles. They review these documents with a fine-tooth comb to locate and correct punctuation, grammar, capitalization, spelling, and formatting mistakes.

Academic proofreaders need to be familiar with at least one of the major style guides used in academic proofreading:

  • The Chicago Manual of Style (for the humanities, especially history)
  • the MLA (Modern Language Association) Handbook (for the humanities, especially literature)
  • the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (for behavioral and social sciences)

They must also be well-acquainted with how to format elements like in-text citations, endnotes, footnotes, and quotations according to the relevant style guide.

The guide will also provide them with the requirements for formatting pages containing the list of sources that were consulted/used in a paper.

Finally, academic proofreaders need a wide range of knowledge to sufficiently understand the subject matter they proofread.

Some Academic Proofreaders Select a Niche

Academic proofreaders who polish texts written by grad students and college professors often choose to work within a niche that aligns with their subject matter expertise. The more they understand a particular topic, the easier it will be to proof papers about it.

If you’re interested in becoming an academic proofreader, you may want to read my article about the best online proofreading courses .

You’ll need proper training if you’d like to become a proofreader of any kind.

I hope this article has helped you better understand what is meant by academic proofreading.

Whether you need to proofread your paper or are thinking about becoming a proofreader, I wish you luck.

Best wishes to you!

“You are the universe, expressing itself as a human for a little while.”   – Eckhart Tolle

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Lindsay Babcock

Lindsay is the creator of Om Proofreading. She has a BA in psychology and earned a certificate in proofreading by passing the final exam in Proofread Anywhere’s general proofreading course. She shares what she’s learning in the field and through research to inform and inspire her readers.

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Title: mm1: methods, analysis & insights from multimodal llm pre-training.

Abstract: In this work, we discuss building performant Multimodal Large Language Models (MLLMs). In particular, we study the importance of various architecture components and data choices. Through careful and comprehensive ablations of the image encoder, the vision language connector, and various pre-training data choices, we identified several crucial design lessons. For example, we demonstrate that for large-scale multimodal pre-training using a careful mix of image-caption, interleaved image-text, and text-only data is crucial for achieving state-of-the-art (SOTA) few-shot results across multiple benchmarks, compared to other published pre-training results. Further, we show that the image encoder together with image resolution and the image token count has substantial impact, while the vision-language connector design is of comparatively negligible importance. By scaling up the presented recipe, we build MM1, a family of multimodal models up to 30B parameters, including both dense models and mixture-of-experts (MoE) variants, that are SOTA in pre-training metrics and achieve competitive performance after supervised fine-tuning on a range of established multimodal benchmarks. Thanks to large-scale pre-training, MM1 enjoys appealing properties such as enhanced in-context learning, and multi-image reasoning, enabling few-shot chain-of-thought prompting.

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    The main purpose of proofreading is to improve the quality of the paper, ensuring there are no lingering mistakes, and correcting generalized discourse errors or writing inconsistencies. Essentially, you want to make sure you have a well-defined communication goal. Analyzing whether the content is properly conveyed, and the sentences are ...

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    Make sure that you leave plenty of time after you have finished your paper to walk away for a day or two, a week, or even 20 minutes. This will allow you to approach proofreading with fresh eyes. Print out a hard copy. Reading from a computer screen is not the most effective way to proofread.

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  19. MM1: Methods, Analysis & Insights from Multimodal LLM Pre-training

    Download a PDF of the paper titled MM1: Methods, Analysis & Insights from Multimodal LLM Pre-training, by Brandon McKinzie and 31 other authors. Download PDF Abstract: In this work, we discuss building performant Multimodal Large Language Models (MLLMs). In particular, we study the importance of various architecture components and data choices.

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