Finding Mistakes in Your Writing
Many times, our first drafts aren’t always our best work. In order to achieve maximum efficacy, we must first edit our works. If a reader notices mistakes in a text, they will often focus more on the errors, rather than the content. One easy way to help alleviate this problem is to simply read what you have written. Reading your own work helps you notice the mistakes you might not notice as you are writing. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Often times, other people will be able to notice mistakes that you might not notice.
Looking for Mistakes
Looking for mistakes in any piece of writing is extremely important. This is just another way to say “proofread”. You need to proofread whatever you’ve written to look for any grammatical mistakes, spelling mistakes, or other structural mistakes of your sentences. Like I said, this is extremely important. Generally, ask for someone else to look over your paper. This can be a parent, a friend, a spouse, or a colleague. You want someone else with another brain to look over your paper and look for any mistakes. If you can’t get someone else to help you, or if it’s against school policy to have someone else look over your paper, try reading it aloud to yourself.
I’m going to write up here on the board “read aloud”, because that’s an important point. If you just reread your paper in your head, then you’re only employing the use of your eyes. When you read something out loud, you are also employing the use of your ears. Oftentimes, when you read something aloud, you will stumble over certain words trying to read them. You might not stumble over those words if you read it in your head. Oftentimes, you’ll catch mistakes if you read it aloud.
I’m also going to put “ask for help”, because it’s also very important anytime you can have someone else look over your paper. Sometimes, when you’re typing something on the computer, it will also underline things that are incorrect, such as grammatical errors. That can be very helpful, but, remember, a computer program is not going to catch every grammatical mistake. It’s important to have someone else also look over your paper if that’s a possibility.
I have one last note: Be flexible. The reason I say “be flexible” is because when you have someone else look over your paper, they’re going to catch grammatical errors in your paper. You need to be flexible enough to correct those errors. I could also put here “be humble”. Oftentimes, when we write something, we’re very proud of our work. Anytime someone says that our writing is incorrect, we take it very personally, thinking that they’re critiquing us, when, in fact, they’re only critiquing the paper we have written. Remember that. Be humble. Be flexible. Be willing to change things in your paper that are incorrect.
Another good thing to do is, after you write your paper, don’t immediately take it to someone else for them to proofread it. Oftentimes, right after you write something, you’ll be the most sensitive about correction. If you wait a little bit, you’re less sensitive when someone offers insights about how to make your paper better.