Re-reading Academic Papers Can Help Spot the Mistakes

Taking the time to re-read your paper before you submit it to your instructor is usually well worth the time and effort. There are a lot of different kinds of mistakes that can be found upon reading it again. What’s even more effective is to get someone else to do the re-reading for you.

Many student writers sit down at a computer and just start to write. It’s very common to leave all the editing and revising till the very end, and that’s actually a great way of writing your academic paper. But you simply can’t forget that the paper needs to be re-read to continue the revision and editing process.

Many students find the following process makes the whole thing simpler:

  • Write freely at first. Don’t look up the spelling of words or try to decide if the information is relevant or anything else. Just write freely at this stage.
  • Take a break from your rough draft after you’ve finished writing. A day or two is great. If you don’t have time, then even an hour or two is helpful.
  • When you go back to your draft to see how you’ve done, try to match your paragraphs up to your outline (yes outlines are important; always make one). If it matches up pretty closely, then it’s time to revise.
  • Read through the entire paper to see if the flow is logical. Does it go from one idea to the next in a seamless and smooth manner?
  • Write little notes to yourself in the margins as you read. When you are finished, it’s time to revise.
  • The revision should include all the big changes if any. Move paragraphs around, add a sentence here or omit one there.
  • When the revisions are done you can begin on the proofreading part of the process. In this step you are looking for spelling errors, grammar, and syntax, etc.
  • Write the final draft. It should practically sparkle by now.

It’s worth taking the time to re-read your academic paper. It’s the best way to spot any mistakes you might have made and correct them. It can be very disheartening to hand in a paper only to get it back full of red marks because the paper contained many errors that would have been so simple to fix.

If you have someone available to read it over for you, it’s to your advantage to do so. If you don’t, then make sure your own re-reads are thorough.


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