The ability to express the thought in writing is a critically important skill for every English learner. Writing in proper language requires sufficient grammar and punctuation skills, as well as ability to provide appropriate sentence structure and choice of words, so learners spend years to master these skills. In this article, we are going to concentrate on writing in English and proofreading methods that could be used learners could use to enhance their skills. Specifically, we will examine a number of practical proofreading strategies that correct some of the most essential mistakes made by English learners of various knowledge levels.
Find them below and use them to make your proofreading efforts much more effective.
1. Look for Homonyms
Homonyms are two or more words that share the same spelling or pronunciation but different meanings, so detecting them could be really tricky for English learners. However, it is one of the first and most important tasks to look for them in your text. Here are some examples for you to review.
Incorrect: The man has congratulated everyone on the bench accept the last man.
Have you found the mistake here? If you read this sentence out loud, it sounds perfectly correct, right? But one homonym in this sentence, accept, is a false friend to you. Here is how this sentence should look like
Correct: The man has congratulated everyone on the bench except the last man.
To avoid these mistakes, look for homonyms in your text and pay attention. Here is the complete list of homonyms for you.
2. Look for Apostrophes and Contractions
You won’t believe how many times English learners mix contractions and apostrophes in their writing. This is a horrible mistake that should not be committed because it hurts the credibility of your writing in a profound way. There are some specific rules in the English language that you should learn as well (for example apostrophes are never used to form plurals) but proofreading is equally important. Let’s review some examples.
Incorrect: I’ve been waiting for you since 5 o’clock but your saying that you had better things to do.
Noticed one mistake here? It is actually a pretty ‘popular’ one among English learners: mixing your and you’re. Among other common mistakes are they’re and their and it’s and its. Here is how the sentence should be written:
Correct: I’ve been waiting for you since 5 o’clock but you’re saying that had better things to do.
3. Check the Punctuation
A proper punctuation is apparently important in writing, so checking it over and over again is essential. You should look for missing or extra commas, correct use of periods and capitalized words. Mistakes like these could be hiding anywhere in the text, so the more careful and attentive you are, the better. Let’s review some examples.
Incorrect: the girl, who lives on my street, attends my acting class.
Here, the use of commas is not required because all information in the sentence is needed to understand the meaning.
Correct: The girl who lives on my street attends my acting class.
On the other hand, commas are often missed by English learners in many easy sentences. For example, the rules of the proper written English language state that a comma must be used between the transitional word and the following word. For example, try to find a mistake here in these sentences:
Incorrect: Therefore the proper planning is essential for health care budget.
Incorrect: The nurses were prepared to lift the patient when required; however the physician has asked to postpone the procedure.
The transition words in these sentences are however and therefore. Here is how these sentences should be written because commas should split the results of the sentence after the transition:
Correct: Therefore, the proper planning is essential for health care budget.
Correct: The nurses were prepared to lift the patient when required; however, the physician has asked to postpone the procedure.
The examples of other transition words are moreover, nevertheless, and furthermore. Look for them in your text as you proofread it to avoid these critical mistakes.
4. Ask a peer to proofread it
If you have spent your proofreading energy, it is a good idea to have someone take a look at your text to correct some mistakes. Often, writing and manual proofreading could be exhausting, so even apparent mistakes can be missed because of tiredness. However, your peers might be in better position to evaluate the writing than you are and there is no shame in asking, said Michael Gorman from writing service.
Learning to write in proper English is essential for any learner. Use these practical proofreading strategies to ensure that your text is perfect and ready. No machine or online checker can do the job better than you, so let’s master proofreading skills and writing along the way.