Why Proofreading of your Research Article matters

Guest Writer: Sheetal Rajpurohit

One thing should not be forgotten, An impeccable Research Article  written by you can be the stepping stone for your Success.

Proofreading may be simply defined as the reading of an article in order to detect any sort of grammatical, lingual, statistical errors.  Proofreading is the final and essential step that must be taken before submission of any article. Your writing is a reflection of yourself and will be the first impression you implant on people who haven’t met you. We need to invest as much care and thought in our writing as we do in our speech and. It is extremely important to proof read your research article because errors in written works cause misunderstanding; the intent and meaning of the written word being changed can cause damage to the writer’s reputation. Proof-reading your document shows people that you take pride in your work and are serious about what you publish.  Though many computers and word processors offer spell-checkers, they cannot catch tricky and commonly misused words, such as homophones. It is always a good idea to review your work or hire a  proofreader to do so. Give yourself and your work some time before finally submitting your article, as a fresh look will always help you in editing your paper with clear eyes. If you decide to get your paper proofread by someone else, the best person to proofread your work should be someone who is not having any idea about your work and has unbiased view on the subject.

What are the benefits of proofreading?

1. Humans vs. Machines

The in-built spelling and grammar checkers that come with word processors may be helpful, but they are by no means as reliable as a human pair of eyes. Especially if those eyes are of a proof reader. You may think that a lack of red error lines in your Microsoft Word document means that you have a perfect piece of writing, but there are some mistakes that a computer simply cannot catch. For instance, a computer will not always notice if you mix up homophones (two words that sound the same but are spelled differently). That’s where humans have the advantage.

2. A Professional Edge

Your work will look for professional if you proofread it properly. A polished piece of writing can be a pleasure to read and the extra effort pays off in the end.  While the originality and orchestration  of your research work are the most important facets of any research article you write, the way you present your ideas in your article  says a lot about the  thrift that has gone into your writing. Your research article  should be not only neat but also readable in terms of how well you have formatted and placed your content. Good research articles tend to reflect an individual’s thinking through their writing to the readers of the paper.

3. Avoiding doltish mistakes 

It doesn’t matter how great a writer you are,  you can not catch every error that you make. That’s why proofreaders exist. When your article is proofread, you will most likely  find errors such as  Misspelling, Punctuation errors, Grammatical Errors, Uneven flow in paragraphs and Improper references. Having someone else proofread your work can help you identify any parts of your writing that require clarification. You may have a great argument, but this doesn’t count for much unless you can communicate it clearly.

4. Editors/Reviewers will know you care about your work

Journals most often reject articles which are written carelessly, though the concept is enticing.  Properly written articles will allow  the reviewers  to swiftly glide through your research concept rather than your language skills. This will increase your chances of getting published. Submitting a piece that’s clogged with mistakes is a clear indication for the reviewers that you don’t care for language and flow.

5. Authority

You will loose your authority over your research work as minor grammatical errors can undermine your arguments,  because they suggest you weren’t paying attention. The reviewer  might think: ‘If the author is least bothered  to proofread his/her work, how should I trust that his/her ideas have been thoroughly researched?’

6. Mental Block

Mental blocks are every researcher’s worst enemy,  but  a researcher has to cross these mental blocks when he/she  works on a research article. You start out enthusiastically , making a humongous progress, and then for some reason, you  start feeling  it impossible to read further for corrections. This is the point you  feel like to submit the article without further corrections. A pair of fresh eyes with clear focus on your article flow and grammatical mistakes can make a huge difference to your article. It is the proved fact that we cant see our own errors when we start reading our own article again and again.

7. Facing the ire  of  Co-Authors

Most of the times you will be authoring an article along with your supervisor or your research grant partners.  If your article is rejected due to poor flow or grammatical mistakes, you may loose the trust of your supervisor or the the co-authors. They may later  refuse to be the co-author for your article. This may severely affect your research career.

Professional Proof Reading Benefits

Professional proofreaders can proofread your document so the final product is well written, precise, and easy to comprehend. It is important to carefully proofread all written material. The proof reader addresses  every error, no matter how big or small. Proof reader will minimize the potential for misunderstanding by choosing the right words to communicate your ideas.

A proof reader will

  • Spell Check: correct misspelled words or identify words used in the wrong context, e.g. ‘their’, ‘there’ or ‘they’re’.
  • Check punctuation : the marks, such as full stop, comma, and brackets, used in writing to separate sentences and their elements and to clarify meaning.
  • Identify cliches:  Unknowingly the author can use some terms which are overused and lost relevance. Such words will be substituted by some other meaningful terms.
  • Check the clarity and consistency of your  article flow  and that it is suitable for the intended readers.
  • Check Long sentences: Long sentences are irritating for reviewers as they loose the link between the first and last word in a long sentence. They may not understand what you want to convey through that sentence. A proof reader can cut the long sentence into small meaningful sentences.
  • Provide single word for a circumventing statement: Many authors use multiple words or tell something in a long sentence which can be reduced to a single meaningful word.
  • Correct  Present, past tense, Singular/Plural:  Many authors get confused in using present or past tense consistently and it shows the poor grip on the language.
  • Help in Numbering of Figures and Tables: If Figures and Tables are numbered wrongly  reviewers will loose the patience to search the exact Figure and Table relevant to the explanation. This may lead to the rejection of the research article citing the ignorance of the author in numbering the Figures/Tables.
  • Help in protecting  your author brand  from damage  which may cause by documents containing errors or confused wordings.

About the Author:


Sheetal Rajpurohit

Sheetal Rajpurohit  is a   freelance  proof reader and a translator. She holds a Masters degree in English. She has done proof reading work for several research articles and web contents. For proofreading works she can be reached at +91-831-2484222 / sheetal.vsr@gmail.com.


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