Writing excellent academic papers is generally a process. Each step of this process is just as important as any other. It follows that most instructors will highly advise their students to proofread their work before they hand it in. As the final part, it usually makes the difference between submitting a mediocre and a remarkable paper.
Proofreading focuses on polishing your work to ensure that you only hand it the best possible version of the paper. First and foremost, it entails eliminating language mistakes in the paper. As you convey your thoughts and ideas in writing, you are likely to make errors along the way. It could be an inconsistent tense, misused phrase, or even incorrect punctuation.
Through proofreading, you similarly get a chance to revise your content. This means that you will adopt the reader's perspective, hence evaluating your own work before submitting the paper. Therefore, you get to improve your style and structure in the process. You might come across incomplete sentences or sections where you did not expound effectively. It also helps you to work on the paper's coherence, whereby you can polish the transitions in the text.
Generally, most students will only commit only a couple of minutes to proofread. Furthermore, this is mostly as soon as they are done writing the paper. Usually, they will do this in the hope of making up the apparent errors. However, this approach is highly ineffective. You are even more likely to miss out on even glaring errors.
Preferably, you should set out a substantial amount of time for proofreading. Ideally, this should be maybe a while after you have finished the paper. This ensures that your mind is solely focused on revising the paper up to standard.
It is also highly recommended that you break down the proofreading process into smaller, more specialized tasks. Most students will proofread as they correct whichever errors they encounter along the way. This also increases the chances of not catching all the errors since it can get quite overwhelming. Therefore, it would be best if you worked on kind of an error at a time. If you find other glaring mistakes along the way, you can highlight them for future convenience.
An effective proofreading process is usually a work in progress. This means that you have to try out different things until you find an approach that works out adequately for you. Nevertheless, you must ensure that you have a systematic and focused means that will help you to identify and correct as many mistakes as possible.
Just as important, using a grammar checker should be a last resort. You cannot rely on these tools one hundred percent since most of them will not meet your specific requirements. Some of these reservations including limiting proofreading to simply the grammar mistakes. Therefore, it would be best if you made the commitment to revise your academic papers yourself. Only then can you be confident of when handing in the task.