One of the most important skills involved in writing is the ability to edit what you have produced. There isn’t a writer alive who can produce perfect, seamless prose entirely alone, on the first try. Everyone needs to know how to proofread his or her own work and the work of others.
In its most basic form, proofreading involves reading a recently finished work of writing to check for obvious errors in spelling, grammar, or usage. In real life, proofreading can often involve more involved changes, verging into the realm of copyediting. However, that goes beyond the purview of what most people need to learn from proofreading tutoring. For basic proofreading, it’s best to learn the most common mistakes people make in their writing. This usually consists of a few areas: capitalization, commas, parallelism, agreement, run-on sentences, pronoun errors, and apostrophes. Proofreading tutoring can teach you or your child how to read his or her own work or the work of others to catch these issues before the work is submitted to a teacher or released to the public.
Many people have been fooled by the prevalence of computers in so many domains of human effort into thinking that the spellcheck and “grammar checker” functions of many word processors can substitute for a human proofreader. Make no mistake: it can’t. It’s that simple. Spellcheck algorithms can’t tell you if you typed “manger” instead of “manager,” if you typed “their” when you should have typed “there,” or if you used “its” when you should have used “it’s.” Grammar checkers are even worse – they often suggest “corrections” that are themselves incorrect or at least unnecessary. At Ascent Tutors we can provide proofreading tutoring that will leave you or your child ready to grapple with any text and catch any and all errors of spelling, grammar, and usage. Give us a call today to get started!