APU Careers & Learning

For Better Proofreading, Read Your Paper Backwards

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It’s your responsibility, as the student, to proofread your work before submitting to your instructor. That way you avoid a bloody paper in return. Typical proofreading advice suggests spell checking, reading slow and word for word, circling punctuation marks, and checking your citations. It is quite possible to spend a couple of hours combing through your work for clarity, and mistakes. While it is good to be thorough, it’s even better to be precise.

Here’s another proofreading tip to add to the books, read it backwards. I would even suggest reading the first pass this way. Start with the last sentence of the paper, or discussion post, and move your way up. This helps you zero in on content gaps, typos, and grammar.

Give this a try on your next paper. It’s almost like you have a new set of eyes on a paper you’ve been staring at for hours.

Now, did you read this post from top to bottom, or backwards?

By J. Mason

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