It is coming to that time of year again, when the Christmas festivities are nearly over and the submission date for your FYP looms ahead. Whether you are writing furiously to fill your word count or you have all your chapters neatly filed away here are a few tips to help you polish up your work.
- Make sure your document language setting is English (UK). If your computer has the dictionary expansion for English (Ireland), all the better, but if not, English (UK) is best. This is very important as some word processors default to English (US).
- Revise your quotations first. Make sure that all quoted and paraphrased material is referenced correctly and in line with your department's preferred referencing method.
- Check that your document is formatted correctly. Most departments will give you guidelines on how they want the document formatted. Check the line spacing, paragraph spacing, font, and font size. If no guidelines are given stick to either Times New Roman or Calibri for font, size 12 with 1.5 line spacing.
- Consistency. This is one of the most important parts of proofreading any text. Not only does your formatting need to be consistent (headings the same size and font, section numbers and page numbers are in order, all text margins align) your word use needs to be consistent. For example, if you are using the term "copyeditor" in a text, you need to be sure it appears as one consistent spelling and not hyphenated "copy-editor" or as two words "copy editor" throughout the text.
- Run a spell-check. This is an important step that many people skip over. When you do run the spell check make sure that it is in the correct language English (UK).
- Read your work aloud. Students often underestimate how helpful this can be. By reading your sentences aloud you can hear any grammatical mistakes that your brain skips over while reading. Try it and see how it improves your writing.
- Get a friend to read your FYP. By now, you are too familiar with your work and it will be difficult for you to see any errors in spelling or grammar. It would be preferable to get a friend who has some knowledge of your subject, but if not, anyone with a basic level of english will do.
These are just a few of my tips and tricks for proofreading your FYP, thesis, or essay. Remember to give yourself enough time to proof your work before you print it and to give yourself a pat on the back when it is all over and done with. If all of this seems like too much for you, you can always call your friendly proofreader here at Best Copy. Happy proofing!