To write an assigned essay without any errors is very difficult and almost next to impossible. This is because there is no such thing as a perfect essay. Everyone makes mistakes, especially when writing. This is because one can speak English adequately well, but make mistakes when writing. Spoken English is different from written English, precisely because there are words that might sound correct when spoken, but would not scan as correct in a sentence.
This is a problem encountered by many students. To avoid handing in work that contains grammatical and other forms of errors, it is important for the writer to proofread all work. Proofreading is the final stage when writing a good essay. Students are often confused by the term. “What does it mean to proofread my essay?”
It is usually taken to mean going through the whole document a couple of times, to find and alter any mistakes made while writing. Student writers can proofread their documents repeatedly, but might not be able to see their own mistakes. This is because as they read, they see what they think they should have written, rather than what they wrote. Because of this partial “error blindness”, it is important to give the document to someone else other than the person who wrote it. A second pair of eyes can usually pinpoint mistakes, because the reader has no expectations other than wanting to read a piece that makes grammatical and logical sense.
Handing the work to a second person corrects mistakes that the writer was not able to see. This level of inspection enables the writer to present work practically free of mistakes. Students who are content with their work without going through the proofreading stage might submit work to the tutor that has not been checked, and be surprised that their work has several errors, which they were not able to see. Since each mistake is penalized by deduction of points, the more mistakes are found by the examiner, the more points are deducted, resulting in a poor grade. Tutors are trained to see any mistakes in essays, and just like the second reader, who has read the essay after the writer has written it, can see faults and blunders. Most tutors are used to the type of mistakes that students make.
Knowing about the proofreading stage makes students cautious and wary of being slack. When writing an essay they must learn which mistakes to avoid, and should be careful about each word they write. The students should also practice how to proofread their work without assistance. Many guides can be found online, which teach writers how to do this. By looking at their work as if it were the first time that they have seen it, writers can proof their own papers.