Read this sentence and see if you find anything wrong with it –
“In ancient times, Egyptians were a powerful ethnic group that were native to Egypt and shared a common culture as well as a common dialect, which is known as Egyptian Arabic and Egyptian identity was firmly grounded in the geography.”
Notice anything wrong?
No? Give it a second read and this time, go slow. If you find anything wrong, make a small note of it.
On the surface of it, this sentence seems fine. But if you look closer, you will find proofreading as well as editing errors.
Take for example, the first line itself. Instead of “In ancient times, Egyptians were…”, it should be “In ancient times, the Egyptians were a powerful…”. Egyptians is a proper noun and proper nouns (apart from names) are preceded by “the.” This was mistake made in proofreading.
If you don’t, try again. Isn’t the sentence too long with too many connecting words needlessly tying it up all together? Isn’t it a bit too complicated to read? That is an error of editing. If the above sentence could be broken into two different sentences it would be a lot easier to read. Sample this –
“In ancient times, the Egyptians were a powerful ethnic group that were native to Egypt and shared a common culture as well as dialect, which is known as Egyptian Arabic. The Egyptian identity was firmly grounded in geography.”
Not everyone is naturally born to be a great writer, which is why tools like editing and proofreading exist. Editing and proofreading any document you compose, specifically your academic assignments, is extremely important. If you make the mistake of submitting your paper without it, you can expect to see a significant drop in your grades. Even if your paper was well-researched!
That said, editing and proofreading can seem overwhelming tasks, especially, if you don’t know how to do them. But don’t worry as here are some genius hacks on proofreading and editing from the desk of professionals to get you started!
As mentioned in the example given above, long sentences are very hard to read. They seem complicated and the reader can lose the meaning of the sentence if it drags on too long. Hence, if you see that your sentences are more than a line long and seem jumbled up, put periods in the middle to chop them off. However, don’t be random with your chopping. Make sure that each sentence makes perfect sense in itself.
The same rule applies to paragraphs too. Long, chunky paragraphs can make your professor lose interest in what you are rambling about. So make sure you edit your paragraphs and chop them down to maximum 4 to 5 lines each. However, when shortening your paragraphs, ensure that each of them connect so that there’s an easy flow from one paragraph to the next.
Basically, the words that end with an ‘ly’ such as easily, quickly, slowly etc. You might be wondering why should you axe these words? After all, they are not grammatically wrong. The reason is simple: adverbs make your sentence sound weak and ineffective. For example, the ‘boy knows how to run quickly’ doesn’t sound as good as ‘the boy is an excellent sprinter.’ So instead of using adverbs, just use a more powerful verb.
Professors hate it and professional assignment helpers will tell you the same: using two voices in one assignment is one of the worst mistakes you can make! Many students are in the habit of using both second and first person in their assignment. For example, you may start by talking about your personal experience in the introduction but you may move on to address the audience in the next paragraph. This will only muddle your readers. Hence, stick to one voice only. For formal writing such as assignments, the third person is preferred.
Just like adverbs, writing in passive voice isn’t exactly wrong. And just like adverbs, writing in passive voice doesn’t create a strong impact. Besides, using passive voice can also make your sentences long and cumbersome to read. So if you get the chance to make them clearer and easier to read, you should take it. This means replacing all passive voice sentences with active ones. For example-
Passive – ‘There are many great scientists in the world.’
Active – ‘The world is full of great scientists.’
The temptation to put a thoughtful pause-inducing semicolon and an impact-creating hyphen might be strong but you should know where to draw the line. An academic paper that is littered with punctuations such as ellipses, commas, colons and parenthesis galore may not go down well with your professor. This is why professional assignment help editors insist you nix all the extra punctuations and start a new sentence instead.
You may think that negative language creates a strong impression and is effective in putting your point across, but using it is a big no-no in formal writing. Assignment writing demands that you make use of positive language as it sounds more reaffirming. So for instance, you want to say, “You shouldn’t do this.” Instead of putting it across that way, write “You want to avoid doing this.”
Ask yourself – is there a point writing the same thing in two different ways? You might want to say you do it to emphasize your argument, but again in formal writing, repetition of this sort counts as redundancy. Professional assignment editors suggest you keep your sentences crisp and to the point always.
Unlike editing which is all about making big changes, proofreading concentrates on the small and hard to notice alterations. This is why you really need to focus on your assignment when you’re trying to proofread it. Choose a quiet spot and turn off your phone, TV or radio so you can divert all your attention to proofreading your assignment.
Since proofreading is all about eliminating the smaller errors, doing it on a computer can seem like a challenge. In fact, reading on screen and reading on paper are two very different experiences; and you are likely to notice more errors when you read a paper. Hence, after you’re done editing, you may want to print out a copy of your assignment for the sake of proofreading. Apart from the fact that proofreading a printed a copy is easier, reading out loud what you’ve written can also help you catch errors, which you’d normally miss. If you’re not comfortable in reading out yourself, make a friend do it so you can listen and circle out the errors in your copy.
Homonyms are words that sound the same but have different spellings and meanings such as ‘compliment’ and ‘complement.’ When you’re typing out in a hurry and trying to meet urgent assignment deadlines, you may often end up using the wrong homonym in the right place. This can lead to disastrous errors in your paper which can considerably affect your grades. Hence, when proofreading your paper, make sure you use the right word at the right place.
These are the tricky ones – mistakes you might never notice but mistakes that have the potential to alter the meaning of your sentence. It is common to mix there with they’re, its with it’s and your with you’re. But if these mix-ups hurt the credibility of your assignment, proofreaders recommend you remove them immediately.
When you’re writing out your assignment, your brain has the tendency to overlook the mistakes you make, making them appear correct even though they’re not. So when you start reading your assignment from the start to the finish, your brain may do the same thing again, which means you’ll again miss the errors you’ve made. To prevent this from happening, read your assignment backwards. This’ll break the pattern and make it easier to spot the writing gaffes you’ve made.
If there’s a death knell for an assignment, the usage of the wrong facts and figures would be it. You use data to supplement the argument you make in your assignment. When the data itself is misrepresented, you can expect your argument to fall flat and your professor to be unimpressed. So if you have to mention say the population of China in your assignment, make sure you mention the correct figure, which means 1.2 billion instead of 1.2 million.
Being the most time-consuming and confusing part of any assignment, mistakes in the referencing section are natural according to professional assignment proofreaders. This is why it’s not enough to just read through your assignment and leave the referencing section when proofreading. You have to make sure that your referencing is in order too and that you have made use of one citation style only throughout the length and breadth of your assignment. So if you started your assignment using the MLA citation format, make sure your entire paper is referenced in the same format.
Never try to rush the proofreading of your assignment. The whole purpose of proofreading is to ensure that your academic paper is flawless and ready for submission. If you try to rush it, you may end up skipping over the errors you’ve made, some of which can turn out to be big blunders. Hence, if you want to get a high grade, go slow with your proofreading. Take your time and read each and every word carefully before deeming your paper perfect for submission.
Bonus Tip – Make use of editing and proofreading tools
Both editing and proofreading are tedious activities, which require a lot of time and attention. Two things you may not have if you’re on a tight schedule with plenty more assignments to finish. However, that doesn’t justify skipping the process of editing and proofreading your paper. If you do not have the time to do it, you can always make use of online editing and proofreading tools. These’ll help remove the majority of the errors from your paper so you can hand it over to your professor without worrying.
The importance of editing and proofreading your assignments cannot be denied. Both of these exercises help in polishing your paper as well as in improving your writing skills, making them necessary evils if you will! The above-mentioned tips will make the process of editing and proofreading your academic papers much easier so that you can breeze through all your assignments with confidence!
Time is the biggest constraint when it comes to editing and proofreading your assignments. So if you don’t have enough time to spare on this mundane task, hand it over to the professional assignment editing and proofreading experts at StudyAssignment help.com. With a dedicated team of qualified and experienced proofreaders and editors, we can help you eliminate the tiniest of errors from your assignment so that you submit a perfect copy. We are adept at meeting the strictest of deadlines and our prices are very competitive, making us the best choice for any kind of assignment help you need.