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Writing: Editing and proofreading

Writing

Editing and proofreading your assignment

The final thing you should do before submitting any assignment is to edit and proofread your work. Editing focuses on refining the content and structure of your assignment, whereas proofreading is more of a final check for any typos or formatting issues.

 

Ideally you will be editing and revising your writing as you go, but a few final checks will ensure you are submitting your best possible draft. Plan to have enough time to read over and edit your assignment multiple times. Editing your own work generally works best if you have set your assignment aside for a while and come back to it with a fresh perspective. We recommend leaving it overnight but, regardless of how much, some space will always help. 

 

Reading your work out loud is a helpful way to identify any awkward or confusing sentences, or any gaps in your assignment. Getting someone else to read over your writing is also a great way to pick up on any areas you may have missed. Just remember that any editing (including grammar and spelling) is your responsibility, and should not be undertaken by anyone else. 

 

Download the Editing/proofreading checklist [PDF 211 KB] to use when doing the final check of your assignment (note: not all items will be applicable to every assignment type). It helps to have this list handy alongside your marking rubric, to ensure you are meeting all of your assessment requirements. You may want to add your own items to the list as well. 

 

You can also work your way through the following activities to test your understanding of this part of the assignment process.

 

 

Final Tips

There are a few online tools (with free and paid versions) that may help you to edit and proofread your writing). 

Don't forget that most word processing software have an in-built spelling and grammar checking function. To use the tool in Microsoft Word:

  1. Go to the Review tab
  2. Click Spelling & Grammar
  3. Go through the suggested corrections from Word, and either ignore or accept the changes (Word is not 100% accurate, so you will need to check the suggestions carefully). 

For more tips on using Microsoft Word, head to our Microsoft Word essentials program.