Looking for Mistakes
Looking for mistakes in any piece of writing is extremely important. This is just another way to say “proofreading.” You need to proofread whatever you have written to look for any grammatical mistakes, spelling mistakes, or other structural mistakes of your sentences.
Like I said, this is extremely important. So, generally, ask for someone else to look over your paper.The following transcript is provided for your convenience. The next lesson: Making Your Paper Professional, both lessons are included in Practice Tests.
This could be a parent, a friend, a spouse, a colleague. You want someone else with another brain to look over your paper and look for any mistakes.
If you can’t get someone else to help you, or if it’s against school policy to have someone else look over your paper, try reading it aloud to yourself. So, I’m going to write up here on the board “read aloud,” because that’s an important point.
Because if you just reread your paper in your head, then you’re only employing the use of your eyes. But when you read something out loud, you are also employing the use of your ears.
And oftentimes, when you read something aloud, you will stumble over certain words, trying to read them, and those words you might not stumble over if you read it in your head. So, oftentimes, you will catch mistakes if you read it aloud.
I’m also going to put “ask for help,” because that’s also very important. Anytime you can have someone else look over your paper.
And then sometimes, when you’re typing something on the computer, it will also underline things that are incorrect, any grammatical errors. That can be very helpful, but remember, a computer program is not going to catch every grammatical mistake. So, it’s important to have someone else also look over your paper if that’s a possibility.
Alright, and one last note is to be flexible. The reason I say “be flexible” is because when you have someone else look over your paper, they’re going to catch grammatical errors in your paper. Okay, so you need to be flexible enough to be able to correct those errors.
I could also put here “be humble.” Oftentimes, when we write something, we’re very proud of our work, and anytime someone says that our writing is incorrect, we take it very personally, thinking that they’re critiquing us when in fact, they’re only critiquing the paper we have written. So, remember that. Be humble, be flexible, be willing to change things in your paper that are incorrect.
Another good thing to do is after you write your paper, don’t immediately take it to someone else for them to proofread it, because oftentimes, right after you write something, you’ll be the most sensitive about correction. But if you wait a little bit, you’re less sensitive when someone offers insights about how to make your paper better.