You will get lots of ideas from different sources about reading through your manuscript – print out, don’t read from the computer screen, read from the end; and yes, read it upside down! These are ideas you would less likely use. But, you really should have some things to look out for:
Put the requirements of the journal in mind while checking through. Different journals have different guidelines. Be mindful of the rules and regulations of the journal you intend to send your academic paper to.
Focus on the larger aspect of your paper. A quick read through should tell you that the point you tried to make with your paper is still intact. Correction at the sentence and word level of your paper would be futile if the organization and focus of your paper is out of place.
Check the arrangement of your document from Abstract, through Introduction; Literature Review/Conceptual Framework; Materials and Method/ Research Methodology to Result and Discussion; and Conclusion – depending on how your research work is structured. Ensure they are well arranged.
Check the tables, figures, numbers/values and units. Some journals and publishers have rules concerning these. For example, all theses are required to only present a table on a page. Ensure that such details are strictly followed. Check that your abbreviations have been clearly written out in their first appearance. Check that the abbreviations are used correctly afterwards.
Some technical terms would appear as misspelt words to editors, so check to ensure these are left intact. When these words are perceived wrong, the sentences that contain them are usually changed. Check that both the words and sentences are left intact, or correct.
Invest in a grammar checker. This will serve as a screening tool. While the checker would be right grammatically about most sentences, it won’t understand some technical terms. So, be sure of the point you set out to make with each sentence.
Does the style of citation and referencing follow the guideline of the journal you are submitting to? A well put-together reference is key to knowing a perfectly proofread academic paper. Do not miss this point.
Reading through your work is key to submitting a paper that won’t be deemed ‘unfit for publication!’. With these tips, you can read through in no time and ensure you got a perfectly proofread paper.
Wishing you success in your academic pursuit.
Comment a point you think we might have missed out.