Editing? Proofreading? Revision?

From LitWiki

So, you think your essay’s finished, eh? Well, not so fast. Consider the most common mechanical errors new college writers make by proofreading. To proofread, look back over all of your essay’s sentences, one-by-one, and consider the following:

  1. Are your sentences clear and complete? No fragments.
  2. Do your verbs and subjects agree?
  3. Are active voice verbs chosen over passive voice ones?
  4. Do pronouns agree with and clearly refer to their antecedents?
  5. Are distinctions made between plurals and possessives?
  6. Is punctuation correct? (Check those commas.)
  7. Is word choice correct? Wordiness eliminated? Spelling correct?
  8. Is tense correct and consistent?
  9. Does the essay have a title and opening sentence that catch the reader’s attention?
  10. Is there an explicit thesis statement?
  11. Do paragraphs begin with a clear topic sentence?
  12. Do paragraphs flow logically from one to another using transitions?
  13. Does your essay stay on topic?
  14. Is your essay’s purpose clearly identifiable?
  15. Does your essay use interesting detail to develop and support your subject?
  16. Does your essay address a particular audience? Can you identify it?
  17. Does your essay prove your assertion satisfactorily?
  18. Are all of your sources documented correctly?
  19. Is your essay legible? Fonts and margins are not too large or too small?
  20. When you read your essay aloud, are there any parts that sound awkward?

When proofreading for clarity, try reading your essay aloud. If you stumble on any parts, mark them — chances are they can be revised to be clearer and less awkward.