Essay Proofreading

Essay proofreading is an important part of the essay writing process.

Proofreading an essay is something that all essay writers should do. It’s an important part of essay writing. When proofreading your essay you’ll be looking for mistakes in the writing.

For whatever reason you’re writing your essay you should follow the academic writing process of:

  • Plan – Write – Finalize

The finalizing stage includes proofreading your essay.

The essay editing and proofreading stage is important because this is where you can improve what you’ve written.

During the drafting and writing process you should concentrate on the contents of your essay. That's the information your essay will contain and the order in which you present it.

Essay proofreading needs to be done on every essay you write.

Your essay will succeed or fail due to the contents. Essays are set to test your knowledge or ability to research new knowledge, find the most important bits and present them in a clear and logical way.The contents are the most important bits, but it’s the presentation of those contents that can make the difference between a good mark and a great mark or a fail and a pass. The presentation includes, the words used, correct spelling of those words and the grammar used. These are the parts that can be improved in the proofreading stage of essay writing.


1) The words used
Choosing the best words to use and the way to use them is part of the writing stage, but also part of the proofreading stage. In the proofreading stage you can take an overall look at the whole essay and decide if the vocabulary you’ve used is consistent throughout, or if you’ve used the same word too many times.

The essay proofreading stage is where you can finalize the choices of the words and make sure that they’re all appropriate for your topic.


2) Correctly spelt words
Your spell checker should be able to help you find most of the words where the spelling is wrong, either due to typos or a mistake on your part.

But there are also words that might not be spelt wrongly, just used incorrectly. These would be works such as:

  • There / their
  • Your / you’re
  • Dog / dig (both words are spelt correctly but the ‘i’ and ‘o’ are next to each other on your keyboard and so could be pressed by mistake when typing quickly)

Words like these are spelt correctly and so won’t be highlighted by a spell checker but will be noticed by your teacher who’s marking your essay and could result in the loss of marks. So you need to find them by proofreading; that's by reading your essay and finding the mistakes yourself.


3) Grammar used
The way that people speak and form their sentences in spoken English is different from the way that people write them. Writing is more formal and academic essay writing is even more formal than normal writing. So you’ll need to check the grammar that you’ve used to make sure it’s appropriate for your essay.

A good grammar book would be useful as a reference to help you or you can look at the page about grammar checking in this site.



There are many other proofreading resources in the proofreading section of this website to help you with the proofreading of your essay.

Alternatively you can visit the Excellent Proofreading and Writing Facebook page where I’m happy to answer your questions and offer advice.



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