What Is Proofreading?

The literal meaning of proofreading, as Cambridge dictionary defined, is “to find and correct mistakes in the text before it is printed or put online”.

You may have heard of proofreading regarding an academic paper publishing.

Some students and researchers hire a proofreader to edit their work before submitting it in a journal. However, you can do it by yourself.

What is proofreading?

Before everything else you should know there is a difference between proofreading and editing. Proofreading is related to grammar, spelling, punctuation, and formatting, while editing involves checking the content, language, flow, readability, and generally focus on the whole document to make sense.

So you need to get your paper proofread (or do it by yourself) just after editing it. In other words, it is the last stage before submitting a paper or handing in a thesis to your professor.

Regarding the grammatical, spelling, and punctuation issues you can consult with a native speaker, take advantage of a dictionary, or a grammar checker. Regarding the format, your document needs to be matched with the journal or the university format.

Why proofreading is important?

Grammatical and spelling errors may cause problems in comprehension.

In addition, when you read your paper once more in order to find its mistakes, it can prevent the paper from being rejected since, as it is stated in “a reason for paper rejection”, an important reason for paper rejection is grammatical errors.

Also, a well written paper can be published in higher quality journals.

How to proofread a research paper?

In order to proofread a research paper, in addition to making sure that the document is out of grammatical and spelling errors, you need to follow the following steps, too:

  • Correct the problems identified during the editing phase.
  • Check page numbers, headers, and footers, as well as font, font size, line spacing, and so on. They need to be matched with the journal/university rules.
  • Check the table of content. It needs to be matched with the content and the page numbers.
  • Judge the cohesion and coherence of the paper or thesis.
  • Check the references and in-text citation. In addition to following the journal’s format, in-text citation needs to be matched with references at the end of the paper.
  • Check the label of illustrations, tables, graphs, etc.
  • Prepare the first page and the whole content based on the journal’s rules.

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