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In this video, you will proofread your paper for small but important errors.

If you have not yet revised your paper for a clear main point, relevant content, and logical organization, do that now.

It can be difficult to proofread a document you wrote.

You have read and re-read your paper many times by this point, so you’re less likely to see mistakes.

There are several strategies you can use to help catch errors.

You could print your paper and make changes by hand.

You could change the font style and color of your document, so it looks less familiar.

Highlight the text...

...and select a different font style, size, or color.

You could also read your paper out loud to yourself.

Changing the appearance of the text or listening to the paper instead of reading it can help you catch mistakes you might otherwise miss.

As you read, correct spelling errors, awkward phrasing, and grammatical mistakes.

Google Docs shows spelling errors in your document.

To see all the misspelled words in your document, use the spelling tool.

A box appears with each misspelled word in your document, as well as suggestions for the correct spelling.

Select the correct spelling from these suggestions.

Examine each suggestion carefully before accepting it.

Computers can be very helpful for catching misspelled words and grammatical errors, but they aren’t foolproof.

For example, if you use a homophone -- a word that sounds the same but has a different meaning...

...or, if you use the wrong tense of a verb but spell the verb correctly...

...Google Docs may not catch the error.

Read carefully for incorrect words or places where you could use more specific words.

To verify the meaning of words -- or to find more specific ones -- use the dictionary.

Highlight a word in your document.

Select Tools...

...and Define.

The dictionary tool provides spelling suggestions, examples, and synonyms, or words that have similar meanings.

Use this tool any time you are unsure of a word’s meaning, or if you are looking for a better word.

Make sure to define any unfamiliar words before you use them in your paper.

Check for grammar, too.

Make sure every sentence has a subject and a verb.

Check that every sentence starts with a capital letter and ends with a period.

Don’t place a comma between 2 complete sentences; separate them with a period, or use a word like “and,” “or,” or “but” to link the 2 sentences.

Avoid sentences that are too long and have lots of verbs and phrases.

Check out Chrome add-ons and browser extensions that can help you check for grammatical errors.

You can also share your draft with a classmate or friend.

Watch the “Share and Collect Feedback” video to learn how.

Proofreading is important whether you are writing research papers, reflective essays, emails, or social media posts.

Even for a short piece of writing, take a moment to proofread before publishing.

Polishing your work makes it more professional and helps you avoid embarrassing mistakes.


  1. Proofread your paper carefully for spelling and grammatical errors.
  2. Use the spelling tool to make sure you’ve spelled each word correctly.
  3. Use the dictionary tool to verify the meaning of words you are unsure about, or to choose more specific words.
  4. Check for grammatical errors using Chrome extensions.