Finally finished. Relaxing your fingers on the keyboard, you lean back and let out a contented sigh. After hours of planning, seemingly endless typing, and extremely sore quad muscles from several trips down to the University Writing Center, you have finally completed that important paper… or have you?
Before you print out a final draft and head for that celebratory Mocha Frappuccino, be sure to proofread and revise your paper! I know, I know, the final touches seem excruciatingly unnecessary when compared to Starbucks’ chocolate version of heaven, but trust me… revising and editing your paper is ALWAYS WORTH IT!
Ideally, I would suggest waiting a day after completing your paper to begin proofreading and revising. However, the odds are likely that you’re a typical college student and MAY have waited until the last minute to start your major paper. No judgment; we’ve all been there. So, if that’s you, start by reading your paper backwards. Yes, sdrawkcab! Reading your paper from the last paragraph to the first will often help you to catch unnecessary word repetition, misspellings, and contractions.
Next, head over to the University Writing Center again to grab a copy of our nifty Proofreading and Revising Checklist. (OR, you can access it online here). Everybody needs a little extra guidance sometimes, and this handout provides just that. It gives some great ideas and suggestions to make sure your paper looks picture perfect by the time class starts.
Lastly, I would suggest asking a friend to look over your paper with you. Since you’ve already spent hours perfecting that stellar paper, it may be a good idea to get a peer’s feedback and perspective. If you feel a little uncomfortable reading to a roommate, you can always make an appointment at the University Writing Center (214-333-5474). The UWC helps students throughout all stages of the writing process (including the finishing touches), and we would absolutely love to read over your paper with you.
Once you’ve proofread, edited, revised, and feel confident about your paper, print it out and….
GO ENJOY THAT FRAPPUCCINO! You earned it!
Written by Leah
For more information on proof reading, revising, and other writing subjects, check out our Proof Reading and Revising Checklist handout and the Quick Reference Flyers page of our website!