It’s extremely difficult to proofread your own work. The brain sees what it expects to see and auto-corrects the errors, so any grammar mistakes and typos become invisible. And remember that standard spell-checking software may not highlight the incorrect use of words with the same pronunciation but different meanings, such as ‘there’, ‘their’ and ‘they’re’. Try to put aside your work for a few days before you re-read it. You will come back to your text with fresh eyes and see errors you had skipped over before. It’s also worth inviting accommodating friends to read aloud sections of your work that you want to improve, for example, sentences that do not flow well. Friends may come up with helpful suggestions, and you never know — they might even be interested!
11 June 2020
Words such as ‘therefore’ and ‘however’ have a specific use – make sure you are using them correctly.
Focus on using powerful, single-word verbs to make your writing more formal.
Finessing an argument and spotting typos need different mindsets. Whether you’re writing an essay or a PhD, you need to be the editor as well as the author.