Sometimes you get to the end of an assignment, ffffinally, and you can’t wait to see the back of it. Let’s be honest, the last thing you want to do is go back over and proof read it. But we’ve all gotta remember that this is the easiest way to improve your marks. You’ve put in all the hard work already; you’re pretty much just ripping yourself off if you don’t proof it. Feel free to give yourself a rest from it for a while first though (if you have the luxury of time and your assignment isn’t due in an hour).
There will be typos and grammatical errors that are confusing to read and distort your sentences, that make it hard for your lecturer to work out what you’re trying to say – you don’t really want to work them too hard when they’re reading and marking your assignment. You want them to be happy and smiling and glad.
I had an assignment the other day that I just couldn’t get started. I forced myself to get some words on the page and basically began brainstorming my response, in sentence form. Bad sentences. But I had made a start and got on a roll. When I finally came to proof read it, it was ugly. It was U-G-L-Y.
So I frowned a little bit first, then I printed it out and plodded along scribbling on it (and cussing on it) and reading sentences aloud. I reckon printing my assignments out, scribbling on and editing them is a pretty effective way of proofing and improving my work, cos it essentially provides two proofing opportunities. First when I’m going to town scribbling on it and then again when I’m inputting my changes onto my word doc.
Reading your work out-aloud is really great for picking up grammatical errors, especially if you have a pal available to listen and give you some pointers 😉 For particularly difficult, fluffy, confusing sentences I speak aloud and pretend to explain to someone what I’m actually trying to say, what I meant by the sentence. This usually gives me some clues as to how I could structure my sentence to get my message across a bit more efficiently.
Another way to have your work read aloud is to use the program WYNN, that’s on all the Uni computers. This program is pretty nifty. It reads and highlights the text from documents you upload (or even webpages) so you can then listen and pick up any errors or areas for improvement. You can also type straight into this program and it will predict the next word of your sentence (sort of like Android predictive text on a mobile), this can be handy for reducing grammatical errors in expression, especially for international students.
Anyway, they’re the methods I used to proof read this particularly bad assignment I had written. I got through it and was pretty glad for it to be over once I’d finally finished. I definitely knew though that the work I submitted was MUCH better than if I had have neglected the proofing/editing process and felt much happier with the result. Smile.
So from me to you, do yourself a solid and proof read ya work.
P.S. I ended up getting 34/35 for this assignment… Wow, proof reading huh. What magic.