Essays are an integral part of your studies. On the one hand, you get to learn more about what you see at lectures. On the other hand, they also provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate that you understand subject matter and can apply it. Furthermore, essays are preparing you for the bigger tasks waiting for you, such as your dissertation and scientific publications later on. Over time, essays normally teach you academic writing. However, no essay is flawless. There are typos, grammatical errors and maybe also complicated sentence structure. That’s why you’ll need professional proofreading services.
What is proofreading anyway?
Once you’ve finished your essay, you’d read it again to check it for any flaws – often several times. The procedure of checking a text for spelling mistakes and other minor errors as well as correcting those is called proofreading. As the last step of writing an essay, it’s the most important part of writing. If you were handing in an essay without it being proofread, you could get a bad mark. Grammar and style are evaluated along with the content of your essay. Thus, to avoid bad grades, your essays need to be proofread.
Isn’t proofreading the same as editing?
Proofreading only focuses on grammar and your writing style. Grammar mistakes include spelling errors, missing commas and the use of correct tenses. Essays should be easy to read for which long sentences are undesirable. You may not notice you’re writing overly long while you’re at it. Those are the type of sentences where you don’t know the beginning of it once you’ve reached its end. What’s more, regarding writing style is that you have to stick to academic writing. It’s a slightly different writing style that doesn’t use any slang. Unfortunately, it’s usually not taught at universities how academic writing works. Studies are filled with subject matter to the brim that there’s literally no time to teach this part as well. Hence, students are left to somehow learn it themselves even though it’s required from the first essay onwards.
Editing goes a little further than simple proofreading. It checks your essay for textual coherence. It easily happens to lose your golden thread when you’re writing an essay. Parts of your essay may appear clear to you but can leave loopholes for the reader so that he’s missing out on context. This is what editing looks to fix and has mastery of final touches.
Why proofreading yourself is a bad idea
Of course, you do proofread your own essay before you hand it in. The problem is only that you easily miss your own mistakes. If you’re reading a typo your brain automatically recognizes what it means and thus you don’t notice it. A lot of students forward their essays to a friend or a relative for proofreading. They may find some errors, but if they don’t and you get a bad grade for it you’d be at loggerheads. Taking advantage of proofreading services won’t hurt any friendships.
Fortunately, there is proofreading software you can also find for free online. The downside is that they are AI-based. Proofreading software is quite unreliable at finding all grammar mistakes, especially in context. You’ll see it once you’ve used such software and had your essay checked by proofreading services.
How to find good proofreading services
Even if you were an ace at grammar, no one is completely safe from finding his or her own mistakes. Proofreading services are also extremely helpful if you know your English skills aren’t the best. Of course, you’d rely on proofreading services if English is not your mother tongue. Regardless of the exact reason why you’re looking for proofreading services, you will always receive better marks.
In this day and age, a lot of agencies and freelancers offering proofreading services. The advantage of using freelancers for proofreading services is that you can choose with whom you work. You’re usually also able to negotiate the fees. With freelancers, you may face long delivery times though. Furthermore, there’s no quality control. A freelancer has to do it himself and we already discussed how well that works with proofreading your own work. Agencies are in the position to deliver a lot faster and they’ve some rates upfront. As they’d have a reputation to lose, they always do quality control.
Now that we’ve discussed your options for proofreading services, here’s how you find the right one.
Choose certified proofreading services
Certified services are quite eager to deliver good work and they’ll certainly do their job right. Uncertified proofreading services may only claim good quality but they often just rob you of your money.
Choose the right proofreading services for your genre
Technically, it doesn’t matter what content a proofreader reads as long he or she does the job right. It’s always more advantageous to pick one that knows what you’re writing about. Hence, if you were writing a romance novel, you’d pick proofreading services for that genre. Academic writing is a little different and might be hard to tackle for someone who doesn’t know the subject matter. For essays, you should always choose academic proofreading services with a proofreader who’s familiar with your subject.
The best idea about the quality of particular proofreading services you’ll get from reviews. Try to find independent customer reviews. Reviews that they publish on their webpage may have been written by a ghostwriter, i.e. they can be fake.
Work with proofreaders directly
If you’re choosing to work with an agency, always ask for a direct connection with your proofreader. If you’ve got any questions, you can ask him or her directly. Moreover, you’ll have the peace of mind that there’s an actual human doing proofreading services.
Ask for samples
Always ask for samples before you’re choosing which proofreading services you’re going with. You’ll get a straight idea of how they work and if it suits you.