You may have spent long hours reading, researching, planning and writing your term paper and still fail to get good marks. You content may be sound and relevant yet your grade is poor.
Often students are focused on the huge task of getting the paper written they fail to realize the importance of the presentation. A paper with good content also needs to be properly presented, flow from paragraph to paragraph and be smooth and logical. The sentences need to be clear, concise and properly constructed. Then the use of words, grammar, spelling and punctuation need to be perfect. There is no one who writes such a paper in one draft. Changes need to be made to ensure you achieve a well-crafted and polished assignment. Your first pass may involve rewriting passages and moving paragraphs around ensuring logical flow. Once you have completely revised the first draft, re-read your paper to ensure it still makes sense. Now you can start editing your paper having settled its major form. Now you can fix minor problems, such as deleting a word or a sentence to make it readable, concise and interesting. The final and vital step is your proofreading. This means a lot more than a quick spell check on your computer.
- You need to sit down and critically read your paper.
- Be on the lookout for punctuation errors, commas are often a problem, spelling errors, subject-verb agreement, its/it’s confusion, their/there confusion, etc.
- Because you wrote it, you may find it difficult to see your own errors after reading your paper several times. One method is to slow down and read every word out loud. Take a break then come back and read it again. This will help you focus. Print a hard copy of your paper rather than reading it off the computer. Now you will be able to notice and correct any small errors. A comma used in the wrong place can spoil your paper.
- Ask someone with good academic writing Skills to read it through when you have finished.
A fresh set of eyes may pick up what you missed. They cannot only find small proofreading errors but they can also tell you if the paper is logical. Finally, put your paper away for a day or two then pick it up and read it. The paper that you thought was perfect may need a slight revision or another proofreader read your paper. Ask yourself: Did I meet the requirements of the assignment? Did I say what I intended to say?
If it is evident to you that you cannot improve it then you may submit it to your lecturer.