2.4: Strategies for Writing Essays
Strategies for You
Like all parts of the writing process, proofreading is a personal activity that people do differently. You will likely find that your proofreading process differs from others, and that is okay. As you practice your writing process while preparing for the GED, try out some of the proofreading strategies below.
Plan for Proofreading
A common mistake people make when writing a timed essay is not leaving enough time to proofread. While writing your GED essay, make sure to leave a few minutes to carefully read over your essay. This is not a step you should skip, since you should find and correct as many errors as you can before finishing your essay.
When you read through your essay, be careful to read slowly. You will catch far more errors than if you speed through it or even read at a normal pace. One strategy to help yourself read slower is to use your pencil to follow each word in the essay. Though you will not be able to read aloud in the testing environment, mouthing the words silently can also help you slow down your reading.
As you practice writing and revising, you will probably find that you make some of the same errors repeatedly. This is actually good news, since you can get even better at finding your errors by getting familiar with the ones you tend to make. Keep a list of errors you commonly make and learn how to correct them.
During the actual GED test, of course, you will not be able to get help from others. Before the test, though, consider having others look at your writing to help you identify the errors you commonly make. Other people, including teachers, friends, and family, may also be able to help you learn how to correct these errors.
For more information about proofing your essay, please visit these Purdue OWL resources:
- Higher Order Concerns (HOCs) and Lower Order Concerns (LOCs)
- Paramedic Method: A Lesson in Writing Concisely
- Proofreading Your Writing
- Sentence Clarity
- Sentence Variety
- Using Appropriate Language