PROOFREADING For a writer, proofreading is a must. Even if the written product is only a 250-word essay, the writer must be able to reread it and spot any errors. Proofreading is an acquired skill, not an innate ability. Here are some hints for proofreading more effectively: If you are writing rather than typing: 1. Write on every other line. This may help you see mistakes, and it provides room for corrections. 2. Write on one side of the paper. If you do, the letters look clearer and neater. In general: 3. When proofreading, read slowly and carefully. Make sure you read what is actually written there, not what you think you wrote. Also, if you are in a place where you can read aloud, do it. If you are writing an out-of-class assignment, find someone who spells well to proofread for you. 4. If at all possible, do not proofread something as soon as you write it; let it “rest” for one or two days first. 5. Try reading the essay backwards. This technique forces you to look for each word individually. 6. If you are proofreading a rough draft, make the spelling corrections in a different color of ink. 7. You might find it necessary to proofread at least two times—once for content and the second for grammar. Questions to Ask Yourself When Proofreading Your Papers: 1. Did I stop to soon and place a period where I didn’t need one? 2. Is every group of words between a capital letter and a period a complete sentence? 3. Did I use a comma where I really needed to stop the sentence and use a period? 4. Did I forget to use a period to separate two sentences that are running into each other? 5. If the subject of my sentence is singular and the verb that goes with it is in the present tense, did I remember to add s to the verb? 6. Did I forget to add s or es or ies to the regular plural nouns? 7. Did I forget to add ed to the regular verbs that are supposed to be in the past tense? 8. Do the pronouns that I used agree with the nouns they refer to? 9. When I was trying to show possession, did I add ‘ or ‘s as needed? 10. Did I ever leave the reader waiting for more explanation? PROOFREADING EXERCISE 1 Introduction to Your Own Eye Span 1. a. Take an index card or sheet in your hand and cover the slogan below. Quickly uncover it and glance at it at once. b. Now glance at one line at a time, do you notice any errors? EVERYBODY IS SUPPORTING THE THE MORATORIUM 2. This pyramid is made up of letters of the alphabet in normal order: a b c d e, etc. Each line has two more letters than the line before. Read down, using your card to expose one line at a time, finding out how many letters you can take in one eye fixation. a abc abcde abcfdeg abcdefghij Now proofread each line, are there any errors? 3. Here is a pyramid of numbers in normal order. Follow the same directions. 1 123 12345 1243567 123457689 4. Here is a word pyramid. Try again. a it top bird smile indeed anxeity complete newspaper PROOFREADING EXERCISE # 2 Some of the following sentences contain spelling errors; others do not. No sentence contains more than one mistake. When you find an error, print the word, correctly spelled, in the “W” column. If you find no errors, leave the “W” column blank. If you are doubtful of your choice, put a check mark in the “D” column. W 1. W.C. Fields said that no man who hated children and dogs could be all bad. D _____________________ ______ 2. We were suprised when snow fell in July. _____________________ ______ 3. The cowboy rode down the canyon trial into the sunset. _____________________ ______ 4. When I open my books and start studing, I tend to fall asleep. _____________________ ______ 5. My father is a rancher, but my brother wants to study diary farming. _____________________ ______ 6. I’d rather sleep ten hours tonight then go to the concert. _____________________ ______ 7. He found his boots on the kiteken floor among the empty bottles. _____________________ ______ 8. Running across campus, he tripped anb broke his ankle. _____________________ ______ 9. The lecturer seemed indifferent to his students’ feelings. _____________________ ______ 10. He gamble his fortune on the cards, and lost everthing he had saved. _____________________ ______ 11. If there were more trash csns around, the campus might be neater. _____________________ ______ 12. The only good thing about cold weather is the chance to go skating and sking. _____________________ ______ 13. Ancient scholars used to argue about how many angels could dance on the point of a pin. _____________________ ______ W D 14. If we don’t hang separately, we shall hang togeather. _____________________ ______ 15. The boy threw the ball though the window. _____________________ ______ 16. It’s not the exams I mind so much as the prepartion. _____________________ ______ 17. It’s hard to remember the differecs between “exceed” and “accede.” _____________________ ______ 18. Proofreading is a difficult but pratical skill. _____________________ ______ 19. I find it hard to maintain an interest in Botany. _____________________ ______ 20. Proofreading is harder than writting. _____________________ ______ 21. She returned from Florida gorgeonsly tanned. _____________________ ______ 22. Does any faculty member at the university know all of his students individally? _____________________ ______ 23. I keep hoping I’ll fall in love. _____________________ ______ 24. I find Chemistry throughly confusing. _____________________ ______ 25. It’s better to participate in events than to stand their looking on. _____________________ ______ PROOFREADING EXERCISE # 3 The directions are the same as for Exercise 2. Caution: In some of the following sentences a word may be omitted or repeated. In that case there will be no spelling errors in the sentence. If you find any omissions or repetitions, make an appropriate note in the “W” column. W D Example: John fell off bicycle on his way to the supermarket. _____________________ ______ 1. The linebacker suffered an injury to his soldier muscles. _____________________ ______ 2. There are many ways of measuring educational achievement, but it is an unfortunate truth that that none is particularly successful. _____________________ ______ 3. Subtracting wrong answers from right answers on multiple-choice test is known as “overcorrection for chance.” _____________________ ______ 4. These are the times that try men’s soula. _____________________ ______ 5. English contains many words, which were borrowed form Latin and Greek. _____________________ ______ 6. Some methods of instrution are considerably more successful than others. _____________________ ______ 7. For instance, it has been proved that teaching grammar has little or no effect the quality of writing. _____________________ ______ 8. The worst prisoners make the best guards. _____________________ ______ 10. Perhaps there are eighteen mistakes in this exercise, but I thing there are only fifteen. _____________________ ______ 11. When he gets though college, he plans to go to graduate school. _____________________ ______ 9. Thorough preparation is essential for success on examinations. W D 12. When you finish listening to tape, turn off tape recorder. _____________________ ______ 13. The girl complained that her roommate ate peanuts all night. _____________________ ______ 14. When the football game was over, the bleachers ware littered with pop bottles. _____________________ ______ 15. Never accept anything from “the friendly strager.” _____________________ ______ 16. He lost his balance and fell from the scaffolding. _____________________ ______ 17. The population explosion will probaly bring mass starvation in its wake. _____________________ ______ 18. All the shows were solde out. _____________________ ______ 19. Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like hone. _____________________ ______ 20. The trouble with lectures is that the listener’s mind words faster than the speaker can talk. _____________________ ______ 21. I can’t possible go to the movies tonight. _____________________ ______ 22. Research into methods of teaching composition reveals that there is no one universally successful method of instruction. _____________________ ______ 23. Spelling becomes more understandable when you learn to tell the differences between stressed and unstressed syllables. _____________________ ______ 24. “Privilege” is among the forty words most commonly mispelled by college students. _____________________ ______ 25. An increased sense of doubt lead to a decreased number spelling errors. _____________________ ______ PROOFREADING EXERCISE # 4 Directions: In the following paragraph, locate, circle, and correct the spelling errors you find. Being the cheif historian in a large organization is a real challenge. The recuests to compile the momentos collected throughout the year are usualy made very late in the year, but, amazingly enough, those who make incredable demands expect nothing less then perfeccion. After the peices of “scraps” are collected for a scrapbook, there is no one around to help out. However, those who didnt work are the first to pass judgement on the final product. The quickest way known to man to become knowledgeable about the art of cutting and glueing is to become a historian.