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Proofreading academic work

by: Garry Pierrepont (11 August 2011)

Proofreading academic work differs from proofreading for, say fiction books, programmes or brochures.

Two of the most striking differences and most important to the writer are:

  • Jargon
  • References

The jargon involved in academic writing depends, of course, on the subject matter as it will differ greatly between a dissertation on Chemistry and one of Law. Communication with the writer to ensure the correct use of terms and symbols is crucial.

References are hugely important in academic works. No academic work can be written without reference to other material, and is vital to reference the resources used to avoid any accusations of plagiarism. Academic writers usual list their sources, but the proofreader is wise to check the spelling of both the work's title and its author(s). Getting MS Word to list the references correctly is the subject of a completely separate article!

Proofreading academic work is highly important for the writer as it may mean the difference between as pass or fail in an exam or, for an academic work submitted for publication, quite simply whether the work will be published or not. Examiners are not going to want to spend their time wading through bad English, spelling errors and missing references, for example.

It may all seem obvious, but not all writers of academic works think it's worth the time and money getting a proofreader to check their work.

But it is.

Views: 3475

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