The proofread is your final check before you submit your work. It is an opportunity to verify that your work is accurate, clear and follows the appropriate styles and conventions.
Your edit will have been much more comprehensive and you may have cut content out or moved content around. A proofread is a good chance to check again that the edited content still makes sense.
It is also the point at which you refine the details and consider how the words look on the page.
What am I looking for?
During a proofread you should be checking:
- Accuracy: are all the facts correct?
- Language: are there any spelling, grammar, punctuation, or typing errors?
- Referencing: do all citations and references follow your departmental style? Are all source names and titles accurate and their references punctuated correctly?
- Appearance : layout, tables, figures, font size, page numbers, headers.
Here are a few tips for effective proofreading:
- Build it in your timings.
- Use technology. Microsoft Word has tools to check layout, spelling and grammar, and repeated words.
- check meaning is correct by looking in dictionaries or Google. Use a thesaurus to find variations.
- Read it aloud. This will slow your reading down and prevent you from skim reading and missing errors.
- Separate your focus. Check language, appearance and referencing in separate sessions.
If you need particular help with referencing, go to our comprehensive referencing pages.
Spelling and grammar: useful resources
There are several resources available to help you improve your spelling and grammar. Books about grammar are available in the Skills Collection on Level 1 of the Laidlaw Library.
You can also find useful grammar guidance in the VLE under The Language Centre. This is found at the bottom of the screen after you have logged in. Follow the link to Language learning materials > English language > Academic English > Grammar 1 and Grammar 2.
In addition, the Academic Phrasebank from the University of Manchester gives examples of phrases you can use in various areas of your academic writing.