You’ve probably experienced having a grade lowered or points removed from an assignment because of a few grammar mistakes. While you may think that small mistakes aren’t that big a deal, they actually are. Your reader may find himself tripping up or pausing every few sentences because of these mistakes, so it’s easy to see that an essay with several grammar errors might actually be quite difficult to get through. For this reason, it’s important that you get your paper checked for proper grammar before turning it in.
Your computer or laptop should already be equipped with a pretty good grammar check software or feature hiding in the word processing program. The settings for it can be adjusted so that it makes auto-corrections, suggests changes, or simply underline the error. The most effective way to use this is to turn off the feature when you are free writing and to turn it back on when you get down to writing your final drafts. The reason for this is so that you don’t find yourself stopping every few seconds when working on just a draft. There’s always time to make corrections later on.
Several online writing services will offer free automated proofreading. You simply need to copy and paste portions of your text into a box and the service should highlight potential errors. The services won’t make any corrections without your knowledge but they will provide you with a list of suggestions as well as explanations for why a phrase has been highlighted.
Proprietary writing software might be the most accurate of all these computer-based proofreading programs, but they come at a cost. To use them for free you should visit your school’s library or go to your local writing center. Each of these places will have the software loaded onto their computer terminals which you can access for short periods of time. Simply open your file and run the software.
Lastly, you should consider visiting a writing center to see if they offer proofreading services by some of their workers or volunteers. This is simply having someone with a fresh set of eyes, and good knowledge of the elements of great writing, proofread your paper for all kinds of mistakes. Afterwards you’ll have a brief one-on-one review where you can go over some areas where you can improve on for your future assignments.