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Academic Tips and Tricks: Editing Your Paper

 

When writing a paper you want it to be the best possible paper it can be. The goal is to do well to get a good grade right? Typos and spelling mistakes may be minor but they show a lack of attention to detail that leaves teachers longing for better work. If you follow these tips and tricks you should be able to keep that from being a factor as much as is possible.

Spell check


Word documents have a grammar and spell check feature that look just for mistakes that you may have made and overlooked. This is a computer program, it does not assume it knows what you meant or over look anything, it is set to check for errors so that is all it does. Sometimes Word does not flag these at first but catches on once you run the check for errors. This should smooth out a lot of them but remember, it is a computer program, not a person so if the word is spelled correctly but in the wrong place, it may not notice.

Read it


That is where you come in. you know what order words should be in, so read through the whole thing slowly and out loud. The brain fixes mistakes for you so that you don’t see them. It is trying to do you a favor but really it isn’t much help at all. Reading out loud and one word at a time should help override this brain phenomenon and get your paper edited.

Have a friend read it


You wrote the paper and because of that you will miss more mistakes than others. Since you know what you meant to say, that is what your brain often sees. Giving the paper to a friend to read will give them a chance to see it for what it is, mistakes and all. They might also see something that is not technically wrong but poorly phrased and feedback like that really helps.

After you have done all of this make any and all necessary changes and then reread the whole thing again. Make sure that in fixing it you didn’t make another mistake. Maybe even have another friend check it after making changes. These tips can serve well to help you through paper editing. Do all of this and you will have much better odds of a lot fewer mistakes.

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