One of the key components for editing your written work is proofreading. Proofreading helps to detect spelling, grammar, and sentence styling errors in your work. Sure, we can rely on spell check, but sometimes our sources may not catch all of the mistakes. I like to think that my work represents me and the effort I put into it, so it is viable that you deliver your best work by getting rid of small mistakes ahead of time. Although you may think that proofreading does not matter, I am sure you have heard of stories where companies throw away your resumes for spelling errors. It is that serious.
Here are some tips/steps that you can take to help you proofread your work:
- Find a quiet place to work where there are no distractions
- Figure out how much time you need to proofread your work
- Determine which medium helps you proofread the best… this can be on your laptop or printing out a paper copy
- Read your work out loud or have someone else read your work out loud for you
- You can also copy and paste your work on google translate while you listen and follow from there
- Reading backward also helps find mistakes too
- Try to proofread one error at a time whether it be a sentence style, grammar, or spelling
Higher Order Concerns
“Higher Order Concerns” in writing refers to the elements of your work that are considered “more important.” Some examples of Higher Order Concerns include the thesis, organization, development, audience, and purpose of your paper. Websites such as Purdue Owl make suggestions about how to properly write and edit these components:
Thesis: Be concise when stating your thesis. If you nor your peers can summarize the purpose of your work in one sentence, it needs to be edited. It may also be helpful to have a friend give suggestions about how to write a thesis statement and what it should say.
Organization: There are three main ways you can assess the organization of your paper: 1) Read through it and determine whether or not the ideas are logically addressed; 2) create an outline and examine its structure; 3) have a peer read your paper and predict the direction it will take.
Development: The developmental aspect of your paper deals with the content you include. When evaluating your paper’s content, it’s important to consider how much or how little “attention” every idea receives. In other words, every topic mentioned should have an equal amount of focus. If you notice that an idea is elaborated upon in too much or too little detail, edit it accordingly. This will ensure a greater balance within your paper.
Audience and Purpose: While determining the audience of your paper seems like an easy task, it is a vitally important one. If you are aware of who you are writing for, deciding what voice to use for your paper will be easier, and your choice will be more appropriate. If for example, you are writing an essay for an English class, writing it with more formal diction would be the best course of action. Knowing who your audience is composed of will allow your paper to appear more professional.
Knowing the purpose: The objective of and the reason you’re writing the paper is another important aspect of your writing to consider. Your purposes for writing a paper, short story, etc. can range from informing your readers to entertaining them. In any case, understanding why you are writing something can also help you decide how to organize your work, which voice to use, which themes to touch upon, etc.