Our top tips for proof reading your assignments

By Jun.25, 2015

Whether you’re writing a short essay or dissertation, it’s really important to save some time before submission for proof reading it properly. As well as checking you’ve answered the question and included all of the necessary information, you need to ensure your work makes sense and that it isn’t full of spelling mistakes or confusing sentences. Here are our top tips for effective proof reading:

  • Don’t try to proof read your work straight after you finish writing it. Leave a gap (overnight, or a few days if you can) so that you can look at it with fresh eyes. You’re much more likely to spot mistakes or sections which don’t sound right.
  • Print it out. Most people are better at noticing errors on paper as opposed to on the computer screen.
  • Read it out loud. This can really help you, as you’ll hear when sentences don’t sound right or are too long.
  • Have a look at our proof reading guide for more information

The University does not offer a proof reading service. There are private proof reading companies who will look at your work (for a fee!) but do be very careful if you choose to use a private proof reader. They can point out the kinds of errors they’ve noticed, but they mustn’t change your work in any way or they could be seen to be colluding with you and helping you to write your assignment (see the academic misconduct regulations here). It’s definitely worth working on your own proof reading skills so that you can do it yourself!

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