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Quick Guide to Proofreading | What, Why and How to Proofread

Published on 19 September 2022 by Shona McCombes . Revised on 15 May 2023.

Proofreading means carefully checking for errors in a text before it is published or shared. It is the very last stage of the writing process , when you fix minor spelling and punctuation mistakes, typos, formatting issues and inconsistencies.

Proofreading is essential for any text that will be shared with an audience, whether it’s an academic paper, a job application, an online article, or a print flyer. Depending on your skills and budget, you can choose to proofread the text yourself or to hire a professional.

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Table of contents

Proofreading example, proofreading vs editing, proofreading tips and tricks, choosing a proofreading service, recommended proofreading service, frequently asked questions about proofreading.

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Editing and proofreading are different steps in the process of revising a text. Editing can involve major changes to content, structure and language, but proofreading focuses only on minor errors and inconsistencies.

Often a text will go through several stages of editing before it is proofread. The table below shows some common steps in the editing process.

The four stages of editing and proofreading

Type of editing What it involves
Step 1: Content editing Revising an early draft of a text, often making significant changes to the content and moving, adding or deleting entire sections (also known as developmental or substantive editing).
Step 2: Line editing Revising the use of language to communicate your story, ideas, or arguments as effectively as possible.

This might involve changing words, phrases and sentences and restructuring to improve the flow of the text.

Step 3: Copy editing Polishing individual sentences to ensure , clear syntax, and stylistic consistency, often following the rules of a specific style guide (such as or ).

Copy editors don’t change the content of a text, but if a sentence or paragraph is ambiguous or awkward, they can work with the author to improve it.

Step 4: Proofreading Carefully checking for any remaining errors, such as misspelled words, , and stylistic inconsistencies.

In print publishing, proofreaders are also responsible for checking the formatting (e.g. page numbers and line spacing).

Do I need to go through every stage?

It depends on the type and length of text. You don’t need to strictly follow the division of tasks shown above, but a good piece of writing will nearly always go through a similar process of revising, editing and proofreading.

In the traditional publishing process, the stages are clearly divided, with different professionals responsible for each revision. A separate proofread of the final print version is necessary, especially because new typographical errors can be introduced during production.

However, in texts that don’t need to be formatted for mass printing, there is often more overlap between the steps. Some editorial services combine copy editing and proofreading into a single stage (sometimes called proof-editing), where grammar, syntax and style are addressed at the same time as minor spelling and punctuation errors.

Basic proofreading skills are important for anyone who writes. For everyday texts, such as business reports, blogs, or college papers, there are some techniques you can use to proofread efficiently and effectively before sharing your work.

Edit your writing first

Before you get to the final stage of proofreading, make sure you’ve thoroughly revised and edited your work. There’s no point spending time fixing minor errors if you might later remove whole sections or rewrite paragraphs. Only proofread once you’ve got a completed final draft that you’re happy with.

Take a break from the text

When you’ve been reading and rereading the same words for hours or days, it becomes much harder to notice mistakes. Before proofreading, set your work aside for a while so that you can look at it with fresh eyes.

Ideally you should wait at least a day or two before final proofreading, but if you’re on a tight deadline, even a half hour break can help.

Proofread a printout

Seeing your words on a printed page is another useful strategy for noticing things that might have escaped your attention on the screen. If the final version will be printed, this is also a good chance to check your formatting is correct and consistent on the page.

Use digital shortcuts

While reading from print can help you spot errors, word processing software can help you fix them efficiently. Most obviously, run a spell check – but don’t rely on the computer to catch every mistake.

If you notice that you’ve repeatedly misspelled a particular word, inconsistently capitalised a term, or switched between UK and US English , you can use the Find and Replace function to fix the same mistake throughout the document.

Be careful, though, and don’t use ‘replace all’. Click through and check every replacement to avoid accidentally adding more errors!

Learn from your mistakes

Pay attention to the errors that keep recurring in the text. This can help you avoid them in future.

Knowing what to look out for is the most challenging part of proofreading. You’ll probably notice obvious typos, but subtle mistakes in grammar and punctuation can be harder to recognise. The table below shows some of the most common errors to look out for.

What to watch out for when proofreading

Spelling and word choice confusions )  ( )
Misplaced punctuation ,
Stylistic inconsistency of terms or titles
Formatting issues and

If you lack confidence in your written English, or if you just want to ensure you haven’t missed anything in an important document, you might want to consider using a professional proofreading service.

There are two main options: you can hire a freelance proofreader, or you can send your document to a proofreading and editing company. There are various things to consider when choosing a service.

Do you only need proofreading or also editing?

It’s important to have a clear idea of how much work your text requires. People often think they only need proofreading when, in reality, the text would benefit from some level of editing as well.

If you send a proofreader a document full of grammar mistakes, confusing sentences, and difficult-to-follow paragraphs, they might decline the job or recommend a different service.

Many freelancers and companies offer both editing and proofreading, either separately (with separate pricing) or combined into one service. Make sure you understand exactly what kind of changes are included. Will the editor only correct minor errors, or will they also comment on awkward phrasings and structural issues?

Should the proofreader be specialised in your type of document?

Many different types of documents require proofreading: from literary novels to technical reports, from PhD dissertations to promotional flyers. The best choice of service is usually one that’s specialised in your type of document.

While proofreaders and copy editors generally don’t need expert knowledge of the text’s content, the process will be smoother if your proofreader is familiar with the rules and conventions of the genre you’re working in.

How much does proofreading cost?

The cost of proofreading varies widely. The price depends partly on the proofreader’s location and level of experience, the type and length of text, and the turnaround time. Rates are usually calculated per word or per hour. If the service also focuses on formatting, it may be priced per page.

How long does proofreading take?

You should try to leave plenty of time for editing and proofreading, but if you have a hard deadline, it’s important to find a service that can deliver on time.

Most companies offer various choices of deadline, but it’s best to plan a minimum of 24 hours for proofreading. The price will generally be lower if you can wait longer to have your document returned.

For very long documents, it might not be possible to complete the job in 24 hours, especially if you also need editing services. For combined proofreading and copy editing, you can expect an experienced editor to complete around 10,000–15,000 words in a single day.

How can you check the quality and reliability of the service?

Like everything on the internet, the quality of proofreading services varies widely. Do your research before you choose one. There are a few things you can check:

  • Online reviews : are they rated on independent review sites (e.g. Trustpilot ) or freelancer platforms (e.g. Upwork )?
  • Qualifications : do they have professional training and experience? If you’re using a company, how do they select and train proofreaders?
  • Customer service : are they easily contactable and responsive to inquiries?
  • Complaints policy : what happens if you’re not happy with the job? Can you get a refund or a second edit?
Type Advantages Disadvantages
Automated proofreaders
Freelance proofreaders
Proofreading companies

Scribbr offers proofreading services for students and academic editing services for all sorts of study-related documents, including essays, papers, theses, dissertations, reports, and proposals.

The basic service combines proofreading and copy editing at a rate of  £0.013 per word. You can choose between a 24-hour, 3-day, or 7-day turnaround time.

Scribbr is rated  4.6   on Trustpilot, with 13,322  reviews so far.

Editing and proofreading are different steps in the process of revising a text.

Editing comes first, and can involve major changes to content, structure and language. The first stages of editing are often done by authors themselves, while a professional editor makes the final improvements to grammar and style (for example, by improving sentence structure and word choice ).

Proofreading is the final stage of checking a text before it is published or shared. It focuses on correcting minor errors and inconsistencies (for example, in punctuation and capitalization ). Proofreaders often also check for formatting issues, especially in print publishing.

Whether you’re publishing a blog, submitting a research paper , or even just writing an important email, there are a few techniques you can use to make sure it’s error-free:

  • Take a break : Set your work aside for at least a few hours so that you can look at it with fresh eyes.
  • Proofread a printout : Staring at a screen for too long can cause fatigue – sit down with a pen and paper to check the final version.
  • Use digital shortcuts : Take note of any recurring mistakes (for example, misspelling a particular word, switching between US and UK English , or inconsistently capitalizing a term), and use Find and Replace to fix it throughout the document.

If you want to be confident that an important text is error-free, it might be worth choosing a professional proofreading service instead.

The cost of proofreading depends on the type and length of text, the turnaround time, and the level of services required. Most proofreading companies charge per word or page, while freelancers sometimes charge an hourly rate.

For proofreading alone, which involves only basic corrections of typos and formatting mistakes, you might pay as little as £0.01 per word, but in many cases, your text will also require some level of editing , which costs slightly more.

It’s often possible to purchase combined proofreading and editing services and calculate the price in advance based on your requirements.

There are many different routes to becoming a professional proofreader or editor. The necessary qualifications depend on the field – to be an academic or scientific proofreader, for example, you will need at least a university degree in a relevant subject.

For most proofreading jobs, experience and demonstrated skills are more important than specific qualifications. Often your skills will be tested as part of the application process.

To learn practical proofreading skills, you can choose to take a course with a professional organisation such as the Society for Editors and Proofreaders . Alternatively, you can apply to companies that offer specialised on-the-job training programmes, such as the Scribbr Academy .

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the ‘Cite this Scribbr article’ button to automatically add the citation to our free Reference Generator.

McCombes, S. (2023, May 15). Quick Guide to Proofreading | What, Why and How to Proofread. Scribbr. Retrieved 5 July 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/english-language/proofreading-guide/

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Proofreading can be a difficult process, especially when you’re not sure where to start or what this process entails. Think of proofreading as a process of looking for any inconsistencies and grammatical errors as well as style and spelling issues. Below are a few general strategies that can help you get started.

General Strategies Before You Proofread

General strategies while you proofread, when you are done.

  • Make sure that you leave plenty of time after you have finished your paper to walk away for a day or two, a week, or even 20 minutes. This will allow you to approach proofreading with fresh eyes.
  • Print out a hard copy. Reading from a computer screen is not the most effective way to proofread. Having a hardcopy of your paper and a pen will help you.
  • Have a list of what to look for. This will help you manage your time and not feel overwhelmed by proofreading. You can get this list from previous assignments where your instructor(s) noted common errors you make.
  • Don’t rush . Many mistakes in writing occur because we rush. Read slowly and carefully to give your eyes enough time to spot errors.
  • Read aloud to yourself. Reading a paper aloud encourages you to read each word and can help you notice small mistakes.
  • Read aloud to a friend and have the friend give you oral feedback.
  • Have a friend read your paper aloud while you don’t read along.
  • Use the search in document function of the computer to look for common errors from your list.
  • Read from the end. Read individual sentences one at a time starting from the end of the paper rather than the beginning. This forces you to pay attention to the sentence itself rather than to the ideas of the paper as a whole.
  • Role-play. While reading, put yourself in your audience's shoes. Playing the role of the reader encourages you to see the paper as your audience might.
  • Have a friend look at your paper after you have made all the corrections you identified. A new reader will be able to help you catch mistakes that you might have overlooked.
  • Make an appointment with a Writing Lab tutor if you have any further questions or want someone to teach you more about proofreading.
  • Ask your teacher to look at the areas you usually have trouble with to see if you have made any progress.

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Writing a Paper: Proofreading

Introduction.

Proofreading involves reading your document to correct the smaller typographical, grammatical, and spelling errors. Proofreading is usually the very last step you take before sending off the final draft of your work for evaluation or publication. It comes after you have addressed larger matters such as style, content, citations, and organization during revising. Like revising, proofreading demands a close and careful reading of the text. Although quite tedious, it is a necessary and worthwhile exercise that ensures that your reader is not distracted by careless mistakes.

Tips for Proofreading

  • Set aside the document for a few hours or even a few days before proofreading. Taking a bit of time off enables you to see the document anew. A document that might have seemed well written one day may not look the same when you review it a few days later. Taking a step back provides you with a fresh (and possibly more constructive) perspective.
  • Make a conscious effort to proofread at a specific time of day (or night!) when you are most alert to spotting errors. If you are a morning person, try proofreading then. If you are a night owl, try proofreading at this time.
  • Reviewing the document in a different format and having the ability to manually circle and underline errors can help you take the perspective of the reader, identifying issues that you might ordinarily miss. Additionally, a hard copy gives you a different visual format (away from your computer screen) to see the words anew.
  • Although useful, programs like Word's spell-checker and Grammarly can misidentify or not catch errors. Although grammar checkers give relevant tips and recommendations, they are only helpful if you know how to apply the feedback they provide. Similarly, MS Word's spell checker may not catch words that are spelled correctly but used in the wrong context (e.g., differentiating between their, they're , and there ). Beyond that, sometimes a spell checker may mark a correct word as wrong simply because the word is not found in the spell checker's dictionary. To supplement tools such as these, be sure to use dictionaries and other grammar resources to check your work. You can also make appointments with our writing instructors for feedback concerning grammar and word choice, as well as other areas of your writing!
  • Reading a text aloud allows you to identify errors that you might gloss over when reading silently. This technique is particularly useful for identifying run-on and other types of awkward sentences. If you can, read for an audience. Ask a friend or family member to listen to your work and provide feedback, checking for comprehension, organization, and flow.
  • Hearing someone else read your work allows you to simply listen without having to focus on the written words yourself. You can be a more critical listener when you are engaged in only the audible words.
  • By reading the document backwards, sentence by sentence, you are able to focus only on the words and sentences without paying attention to the context or content.
  • Placing a ruler or a blank sheet of paper under each line as you read it will give your eyes a manageable amount of text to read.
  • If you can identify one type of error that you struggle with (perhaps something that a faculty member has commented on in your previous work), go through the document and look specifically for these types of errors. Learn from your mistakes, too, by mastering the problem concept so that it does not appear in subsequent drafts.
  • Related to the previous strategy of checking for familiar errors, you can proofread by focusing on one error at a time. For instance, if commas are your most frequent problem, go through the paper checking just that one problem. Then proofread again for the next most frequent problem.
  • After you have finished making corrections, have someone else scan the document for errors. A different set of eyes and a mind that is detached from the writing can identify errors that you may have overlooked.
  • Remember that proofreading is not just about errors. You want to polish your sentences, making them smooth, interesting, and clear. Watch for very long sentences, since they may be less clear than shorter, more direct sentences. Pay attention to the rhythm of your writing; try to use sentences of varying lengths and patterns. Look for unnecessary phrases, repetition, and awkward spots.

Download and print a copy of our proofreading bookmark to use as a reference as you write!

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Note that this video was created while APA 6 was the style guide edition in use. There may be some examples of writing that have not been updated to APA 7 guidelines.

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WRITER > GUIDES

Publish confidently by proofreading to perfection

Proofreading

“Writing without revising is the literary equivalent of waltzing gaily out of the house in your underwear.” — Patricia Fuller

We’re pretty open-minded, but we generally recommend that writing be at least partially dressed before sharing it with the world.

Now that just about everyone is a writer, just about everyone is a proofreader too, when you think about it. Which is why we believe now is the time to get clear about what exactly proofreading entails in our modern world.

What is proofreading?

Proofreading refers to carefully checking for writing and formatting errors in a text before it’s published. It’s the final step in making sure a piece of writing is as close to “perfect” as possible by double-checking for punctuation and spelling errors, typos, and any inconsistencies. The most important purpose of writing is to communicate your thoughts effectively. This, however, is better suited for the editing phase, not the proofreading phase. While proofreaders will check for clarity in consistency, they’re more focused on minor errors that may have slipped through. When you proofread, you evaluate the content in what will be its final, published form, or a proof. (Get it now?) Proofreaders look at more than just the words — they’re scanning for any formatting errors as well. Proofreading marks are either made on paper, or in comments and digital notes in Google Docs and word processing software, to alert the writer of suggested corrections within a document. There are both US and UK English conventions for proofreading. The final step of any personal or business writing process, proofreading is the process of identifying and correcting spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors.

The difference between proofreading and editing

It’s important to note that proofreading and editing are not the same. Editing involves a different skill set and is usually more time-consuming. Though there are various stages to the entire editing process, copy editing and proofreading are the two most common. Coincidentally, they’re also the two that get mixed up the most. Though developmental, structural, and line editing all deserve their time and place , they’re seen less frequently in the world of digital content creation. These parts of the editing process are better reserved for lengthier works, such as books, investigative journalism, essays, instructional works, and magazine articles. The terms copy editing and proofreading are often used interchangeably by those not familiar with the space. These two are not the same, though, and it’s crucial to be aware of their differences if you’re anyone working with written content.

Copy editing Copy editing takes place before proofreading and involves a more thorough shake down of the content at hand. Copy editors will look for things such as readability, grammar, spelling, style, syntax, and punctuation depending on what style guide they’re following. In this stage of the editing process, it’s okay to offer revisions that will require additional writing.

Examples of what a copy editor might comment: Point out wordy sentences, suggest change in word choice, fix punctuation marks in a sentence.

Proofreading Proofreading occurs after copy editing. Though proofreaders look for grammar and punctuation, they’re also focused on the overall formatting of the piece. They’re the last set of eyes before publication, so it’s their job to ensure the text is as close to perfect as it can get. No drastic changes will happen here — that’s the job of all the editors who came before.

Examples of what a proofreader might comment: Fix bad line breaks, change improper punctuation, point out incorrect page numbers.

How to proofread

Traditionally, proofreading is meant to be a relatively rapid and focused process of making sure writing is free of minor errors, such as typos that may have occurred during a more rigorous round of editing. For online publishing and blogging — which often includes transferring of content from a word processing document to a CMS (content management system) — proofreading includes making sure that formatting is correct. Adhering to a style guide — whether that be the Associated Press Stylebook , Chicago Manual of Style , or your own — is another vital part of the process. Consistency is key, and proofreaders need to be aware of what rules to follow for the given copy.

Common things to double-check when proofreading

  • Links function properly and direct readers to the right pages
  • Words — especially names and organizations — are spelled correctly
  • Formatting appears as it was intended — bolds, italics, indentations, new paragraphs, and fonts are correct
  • Proper punctuation is used throughout
  • Capitalization is correct
  • No “bad breaks,” such as widows or orphans
  • Helpful information such as an FAQ section exists
  • Consistent tenses throughout the piece
  • No subject-verb agreement issues
  • Headline or email subject is clear
  • Citations match the brand style guide
  • No misplaced or misused commas
  • Voice and style are consistent throughout

When is the best time to proofread text?

The best time to proofread is during every project’s final stage, after revisions are done and copy editing has been completed. Proofreading is the last step. If you’re wondering what time is the best, we advise after morning coffee and before your deadline. Because the proofreading process is intended to be the final step before publishing or hitting “send,” the changes should be relatively minor — meaning, catching typos or errors that may have slipped by. In other words, proofreading is not the phase where you should be completely reworking a paragraph or changing the direction of your main points. Proofreading is not the time to decide that you’ve changed your stance on an important topic — that kind of change should happen during the initial planning, thesis-writing, or outline phase of your writing. In this stage, you also shouldn’t completely overhaul a piece of writing from, say, a 1,500-word blog post to a 3,000-word help article. That work should have been done during the developmental editing phase.

Top proofreading techniques and tricks

Ask someone else to proofread for you Get a pair of fresh eyes on your writing. After spending so much time on your work, you’ll be apt to accidentally glaze over errors and typographical errors. It’s like a crooked painting in your house — you don’t notice it until someone else points it out. If you have to proofread your own work, step away Close your document, shut down your computer, and take a break from staring at the screen for a few hours (the longer, the better). Go for a walk, sip some coffee, and you’ll have a fresher set of eyes when you return. Focus on one thing at a time When you’re on high-alert for every type of proofing error, it’s easier to miss some mistakes. Instead, try combing a paper only for punctuation, then again for spelling mistakes, and so on. Come back to it if you’re tired Don’t ever try to proofread at the end of the day when your attention span is nil, and all you want to do is sleep. Sleep on it and try again in the morning. Proofreading with a set of sleepy eyes is as good as not proofreading at all. Print it out Editing a hard copy — and not a digital one — will help you see your writing from a different perspective. It feels different, and putting pen to paper feels more substantive and also satisfying. Read it out loud Reading your own writing out loud is a great way to catch any misspelled words or wonky sentences you might’ve missed before. While it might feel funny at first, you’ll find yourself noticing things such as run-on sentences that you wouldn’t have otherwise when reading it silently. Allot two days to proofread Ideally, proofreading should happen at least two days before a deadline. This ensures that you’ll have enough time to implement changes with one more round of proofing to come. Take into consideration the length of your writing — the longer it is, the longer proofing will take. Use an AI proofreading tool You can use an AI writing assistant to help with proofreading digital content. Nowadays, the top ones on the market are programmed to catch spelling, grammatical errors, and some even help you adhere to your style guide . For example, Writer uses AI to catch and correct common writing mistakes — as well as ones personal to your company’s style guide — and ensure your text is ready to share. Proofreading example Editors and professional proofreaders usually check a printed “proof copy” of the text and make corrections using specialized marks. In the digital realm, proofreaders work with AI writing assistants. Most of these online proofreading and editing services also include plagiarism checkers to identify duplicate content on the web and provide an efficient solution for the publication.

Improve your proofreading skills with Writer

With edits occurring more frequently in the “tracked changes” on Microsoft Word or in suggestions on shared Google Docs, proofreaders find themselves doing their job digitally. And in a world flooded with copy and content, it’s crucial to ensure your words stand out, for all the right reasons. Writer is much more than just a spell check — think of it as your very own professional proofreader. And if you’re looking to implement language and content consistency company-wide, Writer has that too. Take your proofreading up a notch by publishing a living, breathing style guide that Writer implements almost anywhere you produce copy. With terminology management , custom writing style rules, snippets, and more, you don’t ever have to worry about your content being flooded with errors.

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Editing and Proofreading

What this handout is about.

This handout provides some tips and strategies for revising your writing. To give you a chance to practice proofreading, we have left seven errors (three spelling errors, two punctuation errors, and two grammatical errors) in the text of this handout. See if you can spot them!

Is editing the same thing as proofreading?

Not exactly. Although many people use the terms interchangeably, editing and proofreading are two different stages of the revision process. Both demand close and careful reading, but they focus on different aspects of the writing and employ different techniques.

Some tips that apply to both editing and proofreading

  • Get some distance from the text! It’s hard to edit or proofread a paper that you’ve just finished writing—it’s still to familiar, and you tend to skip over a lot of errors. Put the paper aside for a few hours, days, or weeks. Go for a run. Take a trip to the beach. Clear your head of what you’ve written so you can take a fresh look at the paper and see what is really on the page. Better yet, give the paper to a friend—you can’t get much more distance than that. Someone who is reading the paper for the first time, comes to it with completely fresh eyes.
  • Decide which medium lets you proofread most carefully. Some people like to work right at the computer, while others like to sit back with a printed copy that they can mark up as they read.
  • Try changing the look of your document. Altering the size, spacing, color, or style of the text may trick your brain into thinking it’s seeing an unfamiliar document, and that can help you get a different perspective on what you’ve written.
  • Find a quiet place to work. Don’t try to do your proofreading in front of the TV or while you’re chugging away on the treadmill. Find a place where you can concentrate and avoid distractions.
  • If possible, do your editing and proofreading in several short blocks of time. Your concentration may start to wane if you try to proofread the entire text at one time.
  • If you’re short on time, you may wish to prioritize. Make sure that you complete the most important editing and proofreading tasks.

Editing is what you begin doing as soon as you finish your first draft. You reread your draft to see, for example, whether the paper is well-organized, the transitions between paragraphs are smooth, and your evidence really backs up your argument. You can edit on several levels:

Have you done everything the assignment requires? Are the claims you make accurate? If it is required to do so, does your paper make an argument? Is the argument complete? Are all of your claims consistent? Have you supported each point with adequate evidence? Is all of the information in your paper relevant to the assignment and/or your overall writing goal? (For additional tips, see our handouts on understanding assignments and developing an argument .)

Overall structure

Does your paper have an appropriate introduction and conclusion? Is your thesis clearly stated in your introduction? Is it clear how each paragraph in the body of your paper is related to your thesis? Are the paragraphs arranged in a logical sequence? Have you made clear transitions between paragraphs? One way to check the structure of your paper is to make a reverse outline of the paper after you have written the first draft. (See our handouts on introductions , conclusions , thesis statements , and transitions .)

Structure within paragraphs

Does each paragraph have a clear topic sentence? Does each paragraph stick to one main idea? Are there any extraneous or missing sentences in any of your paragraphs? (See our handout on paragraph development .)

Have you defined any important terms that might be unclear to your reader? Is the meaning of each sentence clear? (One way to answer this question is to read your paper one sentence at a time, starting at the end and working backwards so that you will not unconsciously fill in content from previous sentences.) Is it clear what each pronoun (he, she, it, they, which, who, this, etc.) refers to? Have you chosen the proper words to express your ideas? Avoid using words you find in the thesaurus that aren’t part of your normal vocabulary; you may misuse them.

Have you used an appropriate tone (formal, informal, persuasive, etc.)? Is your use of gendered language (masculine and feminine pronouns like “he” or “she,” words like “fireman” that contain “man,” and words that some people incorrectly assume apply to only one gender—for example, some people assume “nurse” must refer to a woman) appropriate? Have you varied the length and structure of your sentences? Do you tends to use the passive voice too often? Does your writing contain a lot of unnecessary phrases like “there is,” “there are,” “due to the fact that,” etc.? Do you repeat a strong word (for example, a vivid main verb) unnecessarily? (For tips, see our handouts on style and gender-inclusive language .)

Have you appropriately cited quotes, paraphrases, and ideas you got from sources? Are your citations in the correct format? (See the UNC Libraries citation tutorial for more information.)

As you edit at all of these levels, you will usually make significant revisions to the content and wording of your paper. Keep an eye out for patterns of error; knowing what kinds of problems you tend to have will be helpful, especially if you are editing a large document like a thesis or dissertation. Once you have identified a pattern, you can develop techniques for spotting and correcting future instances of that pattern. For example, if you notice that you often discuss several distinct topics in each paragraph, you can go through your paper and underline the key words in each paragraph, then break the paragraphs up so that each one focuses on just one main idea.

Proofreading

Proofreading is the final stage of the editing process, focusing on surface errors such as misspellings and mistakes in grammar and punctuation. You should proofread only after you have finished all of your other editing revisions.

Why proofread? It’s the content that really matters, right?

Content is important. But like it or not, the way a paper looks affects the way others judge it. When you’ve worked hard to develop and present your ideas, you don’t want careless errors distracting your reader from what you have to say. It’s worth paying attention to the details that help you to make a good impression.

Most people devote only a few minutes to proofreading, hoping to catch any glaring errors that jump out from the page. But a quick and cursory reading, especially after you’ve been working long and hard on a paper, usually misses a lot. It’s better to work with a definite plan that helps you to search systematically for specific kinds of errors.

Sure, this takes a little extra time, but it pays off in the end. If you know that you have an effective way to catch errors when the paper is almost finished, you can worry less about editing while you are writing your first drafts. This makes the entire writing proccess more efficient.

Try to keep the editing and proofreading processes separate. When you are editing an early draft, you don’t want to be bothered with thinking about punctuation, grammar, and spelling. If your worrying about the spelling of a word or the placement of a comma, you’re not focusing on the more important task of developing and connecting ideas.

The proofreading process

You probably already use some of the strategies discussed below. Experiment with different tactics until you find a system that works well for you. The important thing is to make the process systematic and focused so that you catch as many errors as possible in the least amount of time.

  • Don’t rely entirely on spelling checkers. These can be useful tools but they are far from foolproof. Spell checkers have a limited dictionary, so some words that show up as misspelled may really just not be in their memory. In addition, spell checkers will not catch misspellings that form another valid word. For example, if you type “your” instead of “you’re,” “to” instead of “too,” or “there” instead of “their,” the spell checker won’t catch the error.
  • Grammar checkers can be even more problematic. These programs work with a limited number of rules, so they can’t identify every error and often make mistakes. They also fail to give thorough explanations to help you understand why a sentence should be revised. You may want to use a grammar checker to help you identify potential run-on sentences or too-frequent use of the passive voice, but you need to be able to evaluate the feedback it provides.
  • Proofread for only one kind of error at a time. If you try to identify and revise too many things at once, you risk losing focus, and your proofreading will be less effective. It’s easier to catch grammar errors if you aren’t checking punctuation and spelling at the same time. In addition, some of the techniques that work well for spotting one kind of mistake won’t catch others.
  • Read slow, and read every word. Try reading out loud , which forces you to say each word and also lets you hear how the words sound together. When you read silently or too quickly, you may skip over errors or make unconscious corrections.
  • Separate the text into individual sentences. This is another technique to help you to read every sentence carefully. Simply press the return key after every period so that every line begins a new sentence. Then read each sentence separately, looking for grammar, punctuation, or spelling errors. If you’re working with a printed copy, try using an opaque object like a ruler or a piece of paper to isolate the line you’re working on.
  • Circle every punctuation mark. This forces you to look at each one. As you circle, ask yourself if the punctuation is correct.
  • Read the paper backwards. This technique is helpful for checking spelling. Start with the last word on the last page and work your way back to the beginning, reading each word separately. Because content, punctuation, and grammar won’t make any sense, your focus will be entirely on the spelling of each word. You can also read backwards sentence by sentence to check grammar; this will help you avoid becoming distracted by content issues.
  • Proofreading is a learning process. You’re not just looking for errors that you recognize; you’re also learning to recognize and correct new errors. This is where handbooks and dictionaries come in. Keep the ones you find helpful close at hand as you proofread.
  • Ignorance may be bliss, but it won’t make you a better proofreader. You’ll often find things that don’t seem quite right to you, but you may not be quite sure what’s wrong either. A word looks like it might be misspelled, but the spell checker didn’t catch it. You think you need a comma between two words, but you’re not sure why. Should you use “that” instead of “which”? If you’re not sure about something, look it up.
  • The proofreading process becomes more efficient as you develop and practice a systematic strategy. You’ll learn to identify the specific areas of your own writing that need careful attention, and knowing that you have a sound method for finding errors will help you to focus more on developing your ideas while you are drafting the paper.

Think you’ve got it?

Then give it a try, if you haven’t already! This handout contains seven errors our proofreader should have caught: three spelling errors, two punctuation errors, and two grammatical errors. Try to find them, and then check a version of this page with the errors marked in red to see if you’re a proofreading star.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Especially for non-native speakers of English:

Ascher, Allen. 2006. Think About Editing: An ESL Guide for the Harbrace Handbooks . Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Lane, Janet, and Ellen Lange. 2012. Writing Clearly: Grammar for Editing , 3rd ed. Boston: Heinle.

For everyone:

Einsohn, Amy. 2011. The Copyeditor’s Handbook: A Guide for Book Publishing and Corporate Communications , 3rd ed. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Lanham, Richard A. 2006. Revising Prose , 5th ed. New York: Pearson Longman.

Tarshis, Barry. 1998. How to Be Your Own Best Editor: The Toolkit for Everyone Who Writes . New York: Three Rivers Press.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Tips For Effective Proofreading

Proofread backwards. Begin at the end and work back through the paper paragraph by paragraph or even line by line. This will force you to look at the surface elements rather than the meaning of the paper.

Place a ruler under each line as you read it. This will give your eyes a manageable amount of text to read.

Know your own typical mistakes. Before you proofread, look over papers you have written in the past. Make a list of the errors you make repeatedly.

Proofread for one type of error at a time. If commas are your most frequent problem, go through the paper checking just that one problem. Then proofread again for the next most frequent problem.

Try to make a break between writing and proofreading. Set the paper aside for the night — or even for twenty minutes.

Proofread at the time of day when you are most alert to spotting errors.

Proofread once aloud. This will slow you down and you will hear the difference between what you meant to write and what you actually wrote.

Try to give yourself a break between the time you complete your final version of the paper and the time you sit down to edit. Approaching your writing with a clear head and having at least an hour to work on editing will ensure that you can do a thorough, thoughtful job. The results will definitely be worthwhile.

Ask someone else to read over your paper and help you find sentences that aren’t clear, places where you’re being wordy, and any errors.

Try reading backwards, a sentence at a time. This will help you focus on the sentences, rather than getting caught up in the content of your paper.

Know your own patterns. Your instructor can probably help you identify the errors you’ve made most often in your previous papers, and then you can focus your attention on finding and fixing them.

Read through your paper several times , once looking just at spelling, another time looking just at punctuation, and so on. Again, this can help you focus so you’ll do a better job.

Use the spell-checker on your computer, but use it carefully, and also do your own spell-checking. Computer spell-checkers often make errors – they might suggest a word that isn’t what you want at all, and they don’t know the difference between there, their, and they’re, for example.

Get help. If you’re not sure if you need that comma or whether to use “affect” or “effect,” look it up in a writing handbook, or ask your instructor for help.

Remember that editing isn’t just about errors. You want to polish your sentences at this point, making them smooth, interesting, and clear. Watch for very long sentences, since they may be less clear than shorter, more direct sentences. Pay attention to the rhythm of your writing; try to use sentences of varying lengths and patterns. Look for unnecessary phrases, repetition, and awkward spots.

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Something Has Gone Deeply Wrong at the Supreme Court

Jurists who preach fidelity to the Constitution are making decisions that flatly contradict our founding document’s text and ideals.

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F orget Donald Trump . Forget Joe Biden. Think instead about the Constitution. What does this document, the supreme law of our land, actually say about ​​lawsuits against ex-presidents?

Nothing remotely resembling what Chief Justice John Roberts and five associate ​justices declared​ in yesterday’s disappointing Trump v. United States decision​. The Court’s curious and convoluted majority opinion turns the Constitution’s text and structure inside out and upside down, saying things that are flatly contradicted by the document’s unambiguous letter and obvious spirit.​

Imagine a simple hypothetical designed to highlight the key constitutional clauses that should have been the Court’s starting point: In the year 2050, when Trump and Biden are presumably long gone, David Dealer commits serious drug crimes and then bribes President Jane Jones to pardon him.

Adam Serwer: The Supreme Court puts Trump above the law

Is Jones acting as president, in her official capacity, when she pardons Dealer? Of course. She is pardoning qua president. No one else can issue such a pardon. The Constitution expressly vests this power in the president: “The President … shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States.”

But the Constitution also contains express language that a president who takes a bribe can be impeached for bribery and then booted from office: “The President … shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.” And once our hypothetical President Jones has been thus removed and is now ex-President Jones, the Constitution’s plain text says that she is subject to ordinary criminal prosecution, just like anyone else: “In cases of Impeachment … the Party convicted shall … be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.”

Obviously, in Jones’s impeachment trial in the Senate, all sorts of evidence is admissible to prove not just that she issued the pardon but also why she did this—to prove that she had an unconstitutional motive , to prove that she pardoned Dealer because she was bribed to do so. Just as obviously, in the ensuing criminal case, all of this evidence surely must be allowed to come in.

But the Trump majority opinion, ​written by Roberts, says otherwise​, ​proclaim​ing that “courts may not inquire into the President’s motives.” ​In a later footnote all about bribery, the Roberts opinion says that criminal-trial courts are not allowed to “admit testimony or private records of the President or his advisers probing the official act itself. Allowing that sort of evidence would invite the jury to inspect the President’s motivations for his official actions and to second-guess their propriety.”

​​But ​​​such an inspection is​​​​ exactly what the Constitution itself plainly calls for​​​. An impeachment court and, later, a criminal court would have to​​ determine whether Jones pardoned Dealer because she thought he was innocent, or because she thought he had already suffered enough, or because he put money in her pocket for the very purpose of procuring the pardon. The smoking gun may well be in Jones’s diary—her “private records”​—​or in a recorded Oval Office conversation with Jones’s “advisers,” as​ was the case in the Watergate scandal​​​. Essentially, the​ Court ​in Trump v. United States ​is declaring the Constitution itself unconstitutional​.​​ Instead of properly starting with the Constitution’s text and structure, the ​​Court has ended up repealing them​​.

In a quid-pro-quo bribery case—money for a pardon—Roberts apparently would allow evidence of the quid (the money transfer) and evidence of the quo (the fact of a later pardon) but not evidence of the pro: evidence that the pardon was given because of the money, that the pardon was motivated by the money. This is absurd.

In the oral argument this past April, one of the Court’s best jurists posed the issue well: “Giving somebody money isn’t bribery unless you get something in exchange, and if what you get in exchange is [an] official act … how does [the case] go forward?” The answer, of course, is by allowing evidence of all three legs of the bribery stool—the quid (the money), the quo (the official act), and the pro (the unconstitutional and vicious motive). Yet Roberts’s majority opinion entirely misses the thrust of this oral-argument episode.

Claire Finkelstein and Richard W. Painter: Trump’s presidential-immunity theory is a threat to the chain of command

This is astonishing, because the impressive jurist who shone in this oral exchange was none other than the chief justice himself. John Roberts, meet John Roberts.

And please meet the John Roberts who has long believed that the judiciary shouldn’t be partisan. Over the course of his career, Roberts has repeatedly said that there are no Republican justices or Democratic justices, no Trump justices or Obama justices or Biden justices—there are just justices, period. Yet the ​​Court​ in Trump v. United States ​ split along sharply partisan lines—six Republican​ appointees,​​ three of whom were named to the Court by Trump himself,​ versus three Democrat​ic appointees​​​. ​Roberts failed to pull these sides together​​.

This is precisely the opposite of what happened in the celebrated ​​​decision United States v. Nixon ​​, also known as the Nixon-tapes case, in which​ the Court​—including three justices appointed by Richard Nixon himself—issued a unanimous no-man-is-above-the-law ruling against the president. (A fourth Nixon appointee—William Rehnquist, for whom a young Roberts later clerked—recused himself.) The ​opinion​​​ also made clear that presidential conversations with top aides are indeed admissible when part of a criminal conspiracy.

​​​​Yesterday’s liberal dissenters came much closer to the constitutional mark, but they, too, made mistakes. ​The​ir​​ biggest blunder in Trump was relying on a 1982 case, Nixon v. Fitzgerald , that simply invented out of whole cloth broad immunity for ex-presidents in civil cases. If liberal precedents lacking strong roots in the Constitution, such as Roe v. Wade , are fair game for conservatives, then mistaken conservative precedents ​ought to​​ be fair game for liberals. Fitzgerald made stuff up, and ​the liberals should have said​ so.

No one is above the law​—or, at least, no one should be​. Not presidents, not ex-presidents, and not justices either. Because the Constitution itself is our highest law, jurists across the spectrum must prioritize that document’s letter and spirit above all else. In Trump v. United States , the Court failed to do this and also failed to live up to America’s highest ideals: nonpartisan justice and the rule of law.

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Don’t Believe John Roberts. The Supreme Court Just Made the President a King.

This is part of  Opinionpalooza , Slate’s coverage of the major decisions from the Supreme Court this June. Alongside  Amicus , we kicked things off this year by explaining  How Originalism Ate the Law . The best way to support our work is by joining  Slate Plus . (If you are already a member, consider a  donation  or  merch !)

The Supreme Court’s conservative supermajority fundamentally altered American democracy on Monday, awarding the president a sweeping and novel immunity when he weaponizes the power of his office for corrupt, violent, or treasonous purposes. This near-insurmountable shield against prosecution for crimes committed while in office upends the structure of the federal government, elevating the presidency to a king-like status high above the other branches. The immediate impact of the court’s sweeping decision will be devastating enough, allowing Donald Trump to evade accountability for the most destructive and criminal efforts he took to overturn the 2020 election. But the long-term impact is even more harrowing. It is unclear, after Monday’s decision, what constitutional checks remain to stop any president from assuming dangerous and monarchical powers that are anathema to representative government. As Justice Sonia Sotomayor put it in her terrified and terrifying dissent, “the President is now a king above the law.”

Trump v. United States , Monday’s decision, has no basis in the Constitution as written. Donald Trump brought the case as a delay tactic, an effort to run out the clock on his prosecution before the November election. Special counsel Jack Smith has charged the former president with a series of crimes related to his conspiracy to block the peaceful transition of power in 2020, culminating in the insurrection of Jan. 6. The indictment weaves a narrative of election subversion out of various actions the president took—many of which involved abuse of his office. In response, Trump raised a claim of “absolute immunity” from criminal prosecution for any “official act” he took before leaving the White House. The theory was, again, largely designed to stall the case, but also meant to shield him from the most damning charges if the case moved forward. First, the Supreme Court abetted his stalling strategy , taking up the appeal then sitting on it for months. Now it has rewarded his larger plan, too, cutting the legs from Smith’s indictment.

The fundamental problem with Trump’s legal theory is that it has absolutely no basis in the text of the Constitution, history, or tradition . The Framers knew how to grant immunity to officeholders—they did it for members of Congress—yet expressly declined to immunize the president. So Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority, located this nonexistent rule in, for lack of a better word, a vibe ostensibly expressed by bits and bobs of the Constitution. His views flow from the premise that the Framers envisioned a “vigorous” and “energetic” executive who could “fearlessly” carry out his duties. Fear of criminal prosecution, Roberts warned, could interfere with “vigorous, decisive, and speedy execution” of his obligation to ensure the law is “faithfully executed.” From this hazy generalization, the chief justice extracted an atextual “absolute immunity” for any “official act” that the president takes “within his exclusive sphere of constitutional authority.” Thus, a president who accepts a million-dollar bribe in exchange for a pardon may never be criminally prosecuted, since his pardon power falls within this “exclusive sphere.”

Roberts also created, out of whole cloth, a second category of acts for which the president has “presumptive immunity,” which are at once broader and hazier. Any action that falls within “the outer perimeter of his official responsibility” now enjoys this robust immunity. How do courts know what falls within this category? They must ask if it is necessary “to enable the President to carry out his constitutional duties without undue caution.” Roberts suggested that this immunity may also be “absolute,” but “we need not decide that question today.” Rather, the lower courts will have to apply this Jell-O–style standard to the allegations in the indictment, deciding whether this immunity can be “rebutted.” Finally, the chief justice conceded that “unofficial acts” receive no immunity.

Where does that leave us? With a huge hole blown in this particular indictment and seeds sown for a future American dictator. To the first part: At the heart of Smith’s case are allegations that Trump tried to coerce the Department of Justice into interfering with the 2020 election, threatening sham investigations and wielding the agency’s powers to cow swing states into changing their results. These charges are critically important to Smith’s case; they show a president abusing the tools of his office in a desperate bid to remain in power, arguably the highest possible betrayal of the public trust. Yet Roberts declared that this coercion amounted to an “official act” that is absolutely immune from prosecution. Notably, if Trump had succeeded in using his DOJ to flip the results of the election, he would have been absolutely immune from criminal prosecution for a successful coup.

Roberts also granted presumptive immunity to many other acts in the indictment. Into this category, he placed Trump’s browbeating of Vice President Mike Pence to reject swing states’ electoral votes on Jan. 6, because he did not wish to chill the president’s ability to “discuss official matters with the Vice President” or “hinder the President’s ability to perform his constitutional functions.” Smith now bears the burden of rebutting this presumption of immunity by somehow showing that prosecution of this conduct does not pose “dangers of intrusion on the authority and functions of the Executive Branch.” The chief justice’s rhetoric in this passage suggests that he does not believe Smith can meet that high standard. He lumped a ton of other conduct into this category, too, including the use of his “bully pulpit” to demand the rejection of electoral votes and foment the insurrection on Jan. 6.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s dissent, joined by Justices Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson, may be one of the most alarming opinions in the Supreme Court’s history. Her introduction lays out the stakes:

Today’s decision to grant former Presidents criminal immunity reshapes the institution of the Presidency. It makes a mockery of the principle, foundational to our Constitution and system of Government, that no man is above the law. Relying on little more than its own misguided wisdom about the need for “bold and unhesitating action” by the President, the Court gives former President Trump all the immunity he asked for and more. Because our Constitution does not shield a former President from answering for criminal and treasonous acts, I dissent.

Sotomayor also rejected Roberts’ mushy hedging designed to make his opinion sound less extreme than it really is. Make no mistake, she wrote: The elements of his decision, “in effect, completely insulate Presidents from criminal liability.” The chief justice “invents immunity through brute force,” with “disastrous consequences for the Presidency and for our democracy.” His dance around “presumptive immunity” will, she warned, not prove “meaningful” in practice. As for the “unofficial” conduct that can allegedly still be prosecuted? Roberts narrows that category “almost to a nullity” by denying courts the ability to “inquire into the President’s motives.” Thus, a president may simply lie, claiming that an act was undertaken for some “official” reason, and receive near-impenetrable immunity.

Unlike Roberts, who glossed over much of Trump’s most egregious misconduct, Sotomayor dug into the sordid weeds of his scheme, explaining how it illustrates precisely the kind of conduct that merits accountability in our system. “It is not conceivable,” she wrote, “that a prosecution for these alleged efforts to overturn a presidential election” could “pose any ‘dangers of intrusion on the authority and functions of the Executive Branch.’ ” To the contrary: The Constitution demands a transition of power when a president loses reelection, and Trump illicitly sought to interfere with that process. It gets the hierarchy of constitutional values exactly backward to insulate his most corrupt acts by labeling them “official,” Sotomayor warned. The majority’s approach frees every president to manipulate his authority as a weapon against perceived enemies, with potentially lethal results. She explained:

The Court effectively creates a law-free zone around the President, upsetting the status quo that has existed since the Founding. … When he uses his official powers in any way, under the majority’s reasoning, he now will be insulated from criminal prosecution. Orders the Navy’s Seal Team 6 to assassinate a political rival? Immune. Organizes a military coup to hold onto power? Immune. Takes a bribe in exchange for a pardon? Immune. Immune, immune, immune.

Sotomayor went on:

Let the President violate the law, let him exploit the trappings of his office for personal gain, let him use his official power for evil ends. Because if he knew that he may one day face liability for breaking the law, he might not be as bold and fearless as we would like him to be. That is the majority’s message today.  Even if these nightmare scenarios never play out, and I pray they never do, the damage has been done. The relationship between the President and the people he serves has shifted irrevocably. In every use of official power, the President is now a king above the law.

The justice concluded her opinion on a chilling note: “With fear for our democracy, I dissent.”

After Friday, Smith’s Jan. 6 prosecution stands on shaky ground. The district court must now spend many more months parsing the distinction between acts that are absolutely immune, almost certainly immune, and non-immune (if this final category even really exists). If a trial ever happens—which would first require Trump to lose his bid to reclaim the presidency, since his DOJ would dismantle the criminal cases against him—it will take place in the distant future; Trump will surely appeal the district court’s application of Roberts’ foggy taxonomy, and may well receive another favorable decision at SCOTUS. Beyond that, all future presidents will enter office with the knowledge that they are protected from prosecution for even the most appalling and dangerous abuses of power so long as they insist they were seeking to carry out their duties, as they understood them. (Remember, courts cannot even question their motives.) The Framers of the Constitution, wary of reestablishing the monarchy they overthrew, carefully limited the chief executive’s powers. And six justices just crowned him king.

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Welcome to the fifth week of our 15th Annual Summer Reading Contest .

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Current Issue

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The President Can Now Assassinate You, Officially

Under this new standard, a president can go on a four-to-eight-year crime spree and then retire from public life, never to be held accountable.

United States Supreme Court justices

United States Supreme Court justices pose for their official portrait on October 7, 2022, in Washington, DC.

Welp, Donald Trump won. The Supreme Court today ruled that presidents are entitled to “absolute immunity” from criminal prosecution for official acts, then contended that pressuring the vice president and the Department of Justice to overthrow the government was an “official act,” then said that talking to advisers or making public statements are “official acts” as well, and then determined that evidence of what presidents say and do cannot be used against them to establish that their acts are “unofficial.”

The ruling from the Supreme Court was 6-3, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, on a straight party-line vote, with all the Republican-appointed justices joining to give the president the power of a king. While some parts of the federal indictment against Trump will be remanded back down to the district-court trial judge to determine whether any of Trump’s actions were “unofficial” (“unofficial” acts, the court says, are not entitled to immunity), Trump’s victory in front of the Supreme Court is total. Essentially, all he has to do is claim that everything he did to plot a coup was part of his “official” duties, and the Supreme Court provided no clear method or evidentiary standard that can be used to challenge that presumption.

Legally, there are two critical things to understand about the totality of the court’s ruling here:

  • The immunity is absolute
  • There is no legislative way to get rid of what the court has given

On the first point, the immunity granted to Trump in this case far exceeds the immunity granted to, say, police officers or other government officials, when they act in their official capacities. Those officials are granted “qualified” immunity from civil penalties. Because the immunity is “qualified,” it can be taken away (“pierced” is the legal jargon for taking away an official’s qualified immunity). People can bring evidence against officials and argue that they shouldn’t be given immunity because of the gravity or depravity of their acts.

Not so with Trump. Presidents are now entitled to “absolute” immunity, which means that no matter what they do, the immunity cannot be lost. They are always and forever immune, no matter what evidence is brought to bear.

Moreover, unlike other officials, presidents are now entitled to absolute immunity from criminal charges. Even a cop can be charged with, say, murder , even if they argue that killing people is part of their jobs. But not presidents. Presidents can murder, rape, steal, and pretty much do whatever they want, so long as they argue that murdering, raping, or stealing is part of the official job of the president of the United States. There is no crime that pierces the veil of absolute immunity.

And there is essentially nothing we can do to change it. The courts created qualified immunity for public officials, but it can be undone by state or federal legislatures if they pass a law removing that protection. Not so with absolute presidential immunity. The court here says that absolute immunity is required by the separation of powers inherent in the Constitution, meaning that Congress cannot take it away. Congress, according to the Supreme Court, does not have the power to pass legislation saying “the president can be prosecuted for crimes.” Impeachment, and only impeachment, is the only way to punish presidents, and, somewhat obviously, impeachment does nothing to a president who is already no longer in office.

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Under this new standard, a president can go on a four-to-eight-year crime spree, steal all the money and murder all the people they can get their hands on, all under guise of presumptive “official” behavior, and then retire from public life, never to be held accountable for their crimes while in office. That, according to the court, is what the Constitution requires. 

There will be Republicans and legal academics and whatever the hell job Jonathan Turley has who will go into overdrive arguing that the decision isn’t as bad as all that. These bad-faith actors will be quoted or even published in The Washington Post and The New York Times . They will argue that presidents can still be prosecuted for “unofficial acts,” and so they will say that everything is fine.

But they will be wrong, because while the Supreme Court says “unofficial” acts are still prosecutable, the court has left nearly no sphere in which the president can be said to be acting “unofficially.” And more importantly, the court has left virtually no vector of evidence that can be deployed against a president to prove that their acts were “unofficial.” If trying to overthrow the government is “official,” then what isn’t? And if we can’t use the evidence of what the president says or does, because communications with their advisers, other government officials, and the public is “official,” then how can we ever show that an act was taken “unofficially”?

Take the now-classic example of a president ordering Seal Team Six to assassinate a political rival. According to the logic of the Republicans on the Supreme Court, that would likely be an official act. According to their logic, there is also no way to prove it’s “unofficial,” because any conversation the president has with their military advisers (where, for instance, the president tells them why they want a particular person assassinated) is official and cannot be used against them.

There will doubtless be people still wondering if Trump can somehow be prosecuted: The answer is “no.” Special counsel Jack Smith will surely argue that presenting fake electors in connection with his cadre of campaign sycophants was not an “official act.” Lower-court judges may well agree. But when that appeal gets back to the Supreme Court next year, the same justices who just ruled that Trump is entitled to absolute immunity will surely rule that submitting fake electors was also part of Trump’s “official” responsibilities.

The Debate Won Biden Some New Supporters: Republicans The Debate Won Biden Some New Supporters: Republicans

Chris Lehmann

Why Aren’t We Talking About Trump’s Fascism? Why Aren’t We Talking About Trump’s Fascism?

Donald trump’s secret weapon to dismantle american education donald trump’s secret weapon to dismantle american education.

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The President Can Now Assassinate You, Officially The President Can Now Assassinate You, Officially

Elie mystal.

There is no way to change that outcome in the short term. In the long term, the only way to undo the authoritarianism the court has just ushered in is to expand the Supreme Court . Democrats would have to win the upcoming presidential election and the House and the Senate. Then Congress would have to pass a law expanding the number of justices on the Supreme Court; then the Senate would have to pass that law as well, which, at a minimum, would likely have to include getting rid of the filibuster. Then the president would have to sign such a bill, and appoint additional Supreme Court justices who do not think that presidents should be kings—and then those justices would have to be confirmed. And all of that would have to happen before the current Supreme Court hears whatever Trump appeal from his January 6 charges comes up next, because if court expansion happens after the current Supreme Court dismisses the charges against him, double jeopardy will attach and Trump can never be prosecuted again under a less-fascist court.

So, since that’s not going to happen, Trump won. He won completely. He tried to overthrow the government, and he got away with it. I cannot even imagine what he’ll try if he is actually given power again, knowing full well that he will never be held accountable for literal crimes.

If you ever wondered what you’d have done in ancient Rome, when the Roman Republic was shuttered and Augustus Caesar declared himself the “first” citizen of Rome, the answer is: whatever you’re doing right now. It’s what you would have done during the Restoration of King Charles II in England, and what you would have done when Napoleon declared himself emperor of France. This, right here, is how republics die.

And the answer that cries out from the abyss of history is that most people, in real time, don’t care. Republics fall because most citizens are willing to give it away. Most people think that it won’t be that bad to lose the rule of law, and the people who stand to benefit from the ending of republican self-government tell everybody that it will be OK. When the Imperium came to be, the Romans didn’t realize that they were seeing the last form of European self-government for 2,000 years, and the ones who did were largely happy about it.

For my part, I assume that like Mark Antony’s wife, Fulvia, defiling the decapitated head of Cicero, Martha-Ann Alito will be jabbing her golden hairpin into my tongue for criticizing the powerful soon enough. But I’m just a writer. I wonder what the rest of you will do as the last vestiges of democracy are taken away by the Imperial Supreme Court and the untouchable executive officer they’ve just created.

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Elie Mystal is  The Nation ’s justice correspondent and the host of its legal podcast, Contempt of Court . He is also an Alfred Knobler Fellow at the Type Media Center. His first book is the New York Times bestseller Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy’s Guide to the Constitution, published by The New Press. Elie can be followed @ElieNYC .

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Beach Reads

We spent a sweltering summer saturday at jacob riis park to get some bookshelf inspiration..

Portrait of Katja Vujić

It was one of the first really hot days of the year in New York, and I found myself on a mission. With photographer Yael Malka, I boarded the ferry all the way out to the Rockaways in search of the city’s hottest (outdoor) club: Jacob Riis Park . The beach, already in full summer mode, was packed. Music ranging from EDM beats to disco tunes to J.Lo hits could be heard across the expanse of hot sand and beautiful bodies. Near the shore, someone set up a table labeled “Free Date” in an effort to encourage a hopeful romantic to sit down and wait until another beachgoer joined them. Some people were dancing, some were drinking, many were swimming or sleeping — and several had their noses buried in a book.

On the ferry and at the beach , I spied the book that inspired Killing Eve (Luke Jennings’s Codename Villanelle ), a classic Tolkien trilogy ( Lord of the Rings , anyone?), BookTok sensation Sarah J. Maas ’s Queen of Shadows , a law textbook, A.S. Byatt’s The Little Black Book of Stories , and, of course, the book of the summer: All Fours, by Miranda July . The recommendations we gathered didn’t remotely resemble any summer reading list I’ve seen. Which is exactly why together, they form the Ultimate Summer Reading List, with representation from a range of genres, authors, and even decades. The lesson? Read whatever you want this summer, and don’t worry about having the hottest titles on your shelf. I know I won’t.

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Omar, 33, administrative aide in a philosophy department, reading Estravagario , by Pablo Neruda (bilingual edition)

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“It’s a gift I recently received from a friend,” says Omar. “He said, ‘This will fit you. You’re dark.’ Such a love letter to receive a book. I read Neruda in Arabic, but it was a very bad translation. So now rereading it again, to hear the poet, changes everything. I love him, but he’s a bit mean sometimes. I’m reading very harsh poems, but it is such a beautiful day, so I’m also enjoying this. I understand I’m sitting here in my safety, and at the same time thinking that he was in political exile. I came from political exile; I came from Syria, so I connect with him.”

Leda, 18, reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest , by Stieg Larsson

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“I like the author. The way he writes is very interesting — it’s more of an investigation done from several frames,” says Leda. “It’s my third time reading it. It has some more serious topics, so there’s viewer discretion and advisory involved, but I really like it. It definitely keeps you on the edge. And then there’s a twist at the end.”

Hope, 20, researcher for movies, reading Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting , by Robert McKee

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“I am an aspiring screenwriter. This is the widely accepted textbook of screenwriting. He’s very curmudgeonly, but definitely an expert of his craft,” Hope says. “I usually read it right before bed. It’s pretty boring, so it puts me right to sleep. It’s funny that I’m reading it in the daylight. I keep going to nap and then waking up again. The foundations of the book are the essential foundations of the theory of story, which is Aristotle, and the act structures, and building and releasing tension. It’s cool.”

Clay, 26, special-education teacher, reading There There , by Tommy Orange

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“It’s cool so far. I just started today. Every chapter is a perspective from a different character, so I’m still very much getting to know the people,” says Clay. “It was on our bookshelf at home. My roommates have read it. The common thread is that they’re all Indigenous people living in Oakland. It seems emotional but interesting. I love an emotional read. It feels very personal, sort of like a diary. It’s not been hard to focus while also listening to the music and noise in the background.”

“They’re really, really beautiful. Some sonnets are of heartbreak, some are of love, and some are empowerment. She’s a great author,” says Katherine. “Each poem is different, so I take a picture of my favorite ones. I definitely recommend page 12. They’re not titled. I read it on the train sometimes. For the moment, for what I’m going through in my personal life, I need it now. I dealt with a little heartbreak recently, so it gives you a little love too, and a little hope that everything’s gonna be okay.”

“My dad actually gave it to me. He read it in Spanish,” says Kevin. “Because it’s in English and Andrés only speaks Spanish, I was translating it as I was reading it to tell him a little bit about what it’s about. It’s good. We only got two pages in because it got too hard. Andrés says that the book sounds really interesting so far. It’s about ways to live a better life, a more peaceful life. You’re at the beach, you’re relaxing; it’s a good way to connect.”

“It’s all about a woman who’s coming out of a traumatic relationship experience and figuring out how to date again. Seems like it’s gonna be an emotional roller coaster,” says Jess. “The writing is really beautiful. It feels very real. I feel like I know these characters in real life. It’s got a lot of the energy of summer, where you’re running around the city and getting into trouble with your friends. It’s New York’s Brooklyn dating scene wrapped up concisely, but also in a real way.”

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Alex, caseworker at a senior center, reading Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist , by Sunil Yapa

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“I’m about halfway done. It’s about the protests against the World Trade Organization in, I think, 2000. It’s fictional,” says Alex. “It’s lots of different people’s stories who are drawn into the protests, converging together. It’s a coming-of-age story. It’s very fast-paced and an easy, interesting, at times emotional read. I would recommend it. It’s a little intense, but it’s good.”

Genevieve, 25, events and public programs at a nonprofit, reading All Fours , by Miranda July

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“It’s been a really compelling beach read. I have, like, 50 pages left, which is exciting. It’s a fun book for summer, and I love Miranda. She’s always writing fascinating stories,” says Genevieve. “It’s been engrossing. I bought it two days after it came out. It reminds me a little bit of some books that I’ve read by Elena Ferrante, and those are often set on the beach, in the summer, but it’s a woman sort of going through it, or going through a crisis in those books, and I really like reading those books in the summer. It’s been strange and delightful.”

Amy Buchanan, 37, strategy director at Ogilvy, reading Lucky Red , by Claudia Cravens

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“It is a lesbian Western. My job is relatively new, and I’m putting myself out there and participating in things. There’s a thriving queer community at my workplace, and it’s all hyperfemme, which is really fun. This is our book club book,” says Claudia. “I’m from Oklahoma, and my dad is a beef-cattle geneticist, so I grew up around horses and cows and livestock. All his students were literal cowboys and cowgirls. Country-western things make me homesick in a good way. Even just a few pages in, I feel very nostalgic. I’m early on, but I think it’s going to be smutty. Summer reads are great when they’re a little smutty. When I was growing up, anyone with a femme presence was such a throwaway character, and it is very wonderful to read, even in the very start of this book, something where the femme presence is the most complicated and interesting character. It makes me reframe my childhood and what I was able to expect of myself in the stories that I was told.”

“This is actually a reread for me. This book is fantastic. It’s a fantasy — really a roman tasy. It follows a female main character named Oraya,” says Michelle. “She’s going through this world of vampires that are fighting each other, and she’s the human in the middle of it all. She ends up meeting someone, a rival, and there’s a lot of tension. Also, the whole empire is kind of falling apart. I’ve been eating the book up really fast.”

“Now that I’ve finished the Killing Eve TV series, I’m reading the books. So far it’s pretty similar, but I’ve heard that they got pretty different as the books go on,” says Katie. “Which is good, because the TV series was heartbreaking in the end. It’s a little trashy. It’s, like, gay women written by a man, which is always a little suspect. But it’s sexy. It’s fast paced. It’s pretty brainless, so you can pick it up anywhere and be entertained. I usually read the book first, but Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh brought me to the show more than the plot.”

“I found it on an Instagram Reel. It’s by a Palestinian author who is based in Brooklyn. It’s a generational story. The grandparents immigrated to Brooklyn, and the younger-generation girls are figuring out how to live with the cultural differences. I wanted to try to be a little bit more involved in any way I could, and reading was such a good outlet for me. It’s not a fun, ‘let me just ignore all my problems’ book, but it does get you out of your world and your problems, into a totally different world.”

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Laurel, 38, photographer, reading Parable of the Sower , by Octavia Butler

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“I just read Kindred and I really enjoyed it, and a friend of mine was like, ‘If you like that, you’ll like this even better.’ So now I’m onto this one,” says Laurel. “The first few pages of Kindred caught me faster, but when hyperempathy got dropped in there, I was like, fascinating . It piqued my interest. Let me pick out some words from the back: anarchy, debilitating sensitivity to others’ emotions, survival. Maybe some tough themes, but I guess tough themes are okay for the beach.”

Grace, 25, diplomat, reading What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours , by Helen Oyeyemi

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“It’s a collection of short stories; the one that I just started reading began with a baby being abandoned at a monastery and monks raising this baby, and then when the baby turns 30, she starts working as a washerwoman for this woman, Señora Lucy,” says Grace. “Now it’s going into Señora Lucy’s life, and she’s seemingly a con artist who is in a relationship with another con artist. It’s, like, lesbian con artists enjoying conning people, and that’s where I’ve got to in the book. Her girlfriend has just been accused of murdering her employer. So let’s see where it goes from there. It was on my bookshelf, I was looking for a new book to read, and I hadn’t read this one yet. Short stories are perfect for going to the beach. It’s got intrigue, mystery, romance, crime, everything.”

Justin J. Wee, 32, photographer, reading Faltas: Letters to Everyone in My Hometown Who Isn’t My Rapist , by Cecilia Gentili, and Tarot for Change , by Jessica Dore

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“Cecilia Gentili is an icon of the Brooklyn trans community who passed away earlier this year. She was an amazing mother. This book is this amazing insight into a really young version of herself who was already embodied in her transness. Someone was clocking something in her that she didn’t even know was there, which is such a part of queerness. And then I’m reading Tarot for Change , by Jessica Dore. Whenever I do tarot, I use this book. She interprets it through a modality of behavioral psychology. Tarot is just a portal through which you can receive information from the universe. This is an amazing book that encourages you to view the tarot through a prism of self-love and compassion. These books feel complementary to the context that we’re in. We’re on the beach, surrounded by so many people, so many top-surgery scars. Being here is a powerful vortex.”

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I observed a A striking resemblance   has been seen between the success rate s of the Netherlands and that of the US. In the study by Martynova and Renneboog (2010) it already became clear found that shareholder protection was almost equal between the US and the Netherlands in both countries . This corresponded corresponds to the fact that the y both have a success rate  is   of approximately the 40%.

At least one More than 1 hedge fund acquired a share in 14 the company in fourteen of the 36 listed companies in my database. Of these, 10 of those were working together to achieve certain goals. The hedge funds held a share in the company for an average length of  hedge funds holding a share in the company is 531 days. Although Brav et al. (2008) considered may find this long-term period , I consider 531 days is still to be seen as to be short-term.

The average percentage of voting power is initial  ranges between 8.06% and the maximum voting power is 10.10%. From   By looking at this data , it can be concluded that hedge funds are not generally involved in acquiring controlling blocks of stock.

Due to the fact that Because shareholders have an opportunity to go to the OK , they have a fair reasonable chance of getting having their demands fulfilled. The OK likes prefers to solve disputes between shareholders and management by taking enacting provisional measures that improve the dialogue between the two parties. As a consequence , the parties often find compromises. Defensive measures that  are taken by  the management takes only to oppress shareholders are prohibited , and minority shareholders can change how they are treated by if a majority files an appeal.

Conducting Doing an extensive ly study of the shareholder activism undertaken by hedge funds in the Netherlands over a   for the past decade required a great deal of precise work. But although Even though I did n’t not use any private information , this study pretty nice gives a provides insight in to hedge fund activism in the country.

Proofreading & Editing

Example comment for Proofreading & Editing service:

“Since you indicated that you’re allowed to use first-person pronouns, consider using the active voice here. This is a simple way to make your writing clearer and more compelling.  Read more about the active voice: https://www.scribbr.com/academic-writing/passive-voice/ .”

Clarity Check

Example comment for Clarity Check:

“The extent to which this is an obvious consequence of the information you’ve provided is not entirely clear. Try to make this relationship more apparent. Reviewing your linking word choices may help you here.”

“ This is an example of an inflated phrase. Learn how to recognize such phrases and tighten your writing here: https://www.scribbr.com/academic-writing/write-shorter-sentences-clarify-dissertation/ . “

Structure Check

Example comment for Structure Check:

“Make sure to include all the important elements of a discussion section. In particular, this section could be strengthened by discussing the limitations of the study in more detail. Read more about structuring your discussion here: https://www.scribbr.com/dissertation-structure/discussion/ .”

Personal note

Along with the edited document, you’ll receive a personal note in which the editor answers your questions and explains how your text has been improved.

proofreading for essays

Dear Casper,

Thanks for sending your thesis to Scribbr! Sustainability is an important issue these days, and you’ve done a good job of making a complex topic accessible and engaging.

Overall, your writing is clear, so I’ve focused on bringing the style and tone in line with academic standards. Many small inconsistencies have been corrected, and I’ve made your sentences more concise where appropriate. In the Most common mistakes overview, I’ve shared some academic writing tips to help you address these issues in the future.

To answer your question, I’m confident that your literature review chapter could be understood by a reader with little knowledge on the topic. That said, there are a few areas where additional context could be helpful. See my specific suggestions in the comments and checklists.

I hope that this feedback is helpful to you as you revise your thesis. Best of luck finishing up the project!

Incorrect capitalization of theories and models

Language / Grammar / Capitalization

The names of theories, models, disciplines and ideas should generally not take capital letters.

Despite what the Utility Maximization Model utility maximization model suggests, people do not always act in their own self-interest—a significant finding in Behavioral Economics behavioral economics .

Unnecessary apostrophe to form the plural

Language / Punctuation / Apostrophes

Apostrophes should not be used to make plurals. This also applies to abbreviations, acronyms and decades.

The six NGO’s NGOs were especially active in the 1970’s 1970s .

Informal language

Academic style / Word choice / Tone

Academic writing is generally more formal than other kinds of writing—avoid casual, everyday language and slang.

A lot of Many studies have tried to find out determine why we remember certain photos photographs but not others.

Inflated/redundant language

Academic style / Word choice / Repetition and redundancy

Good academic writing is concise—it doesn’t use more words than necessary to make a point. If one or two words can take the place of several, choose the shorter option.

In the year of 2018, the researchers interviewed a total of 75 individuals in order to better understand the concept of platform-based work.

Acronyms as sentence starts

Academic style / Conventions / Abbreviations

An acronym should not start a sentence, as this is typically considered too informal. Either revise the sentence so that the acronym no longer comes first, or spell out the full term.

NGOs Non-governmental organizations provided their input during the planning phase.

Most common mistakes

You’ll also receive an overview of errors to watch out for, with personalized tips to improve your language and academic style.

The goal is to help you recognize your mistakes and become a better writer.

With the  Structure Check , your editor provides feedback on structural issues such as repetition and redundancy, transitions between sentences and paragraphs, and the use of headings.

You’ll also receive a Structure Check Report focused on the organization of chapters and sections. The report identifies where you should focus your efforts as you revise the paper.

Tailored to your document type, it gives an overview of elements that are missing or out of place, along with links to in-depth articles that will help improve your structure.

Consider writing an abstract to give readers a concise summary of your research and to help potential readers to decide whether to read the full paper.

Make sure the abstract clearly outlines why your research is necessary and/or what gap in the literature you’re seeking to address. Since you’re an expert on this topic, its relevance might seem obvious to you, but remember that it’s important to spell things out explicitly for readers so that they can follow along.

Consider introducing transitions to bridge the individual paragraphs of your document. This approach will make it easier for the reader to grasp how each new paragraph fits into your discussion, which will make your writing more cohesive (and therefore more compelling) overall.

After a brief introduction to the chapter, it’s best to jump right into presenting the results themselves. In most cases, there is no need to re-review the methods or other elements of the research in the results chapter.

The discussion is the place to interpret the results. In this section, you might consider whether and how the results support the literature, address the implications of the results, and generally explore the contribution of the research in more detail.

A conclusion section is usually relatively short and to the point. It seems like you may have included some unnecessary details in this section. I’d therefore recommend revising this section with an eye on making sure you’re providing information that is relevant and important.

If you select the  Clarity Check , the editor will complete two checklists to check your paper for logic and clarity. The editor will also provide clarity-related advice in the in-text comments.

Clarity: Checklist Text Logic

The text has a logical beginning, middle, and end.

Feedback editor: Your paper has a clear trajectory with a beginning, middle, and end. You’ve done an excellent job of exploring your thesis that democracy always leads to demagogy. Nice work!

The argumentation makes sense.

Feedback editor: You talk about 50 people who disagree with the current political situation, but you do not specify the sources that substantiate this claim. I also recommend that you look at your statement that democracy is the best form of government. The question here is “According to whom?” If this is your own opinion, you need to make that clearer.

The information is presented in a logical order.

Feedback editor: Remember that your readers haven't studied this topic as much as you have. Be sure to give them the information they need to understand your arguments. For example, at the end of the introduction, explain the terms "macropartisanship" and “deterritorialization” to ensure your readers understand these concepts. In addition, I recommend elaborating on the related studies, so your readers have a proper framework for understanding your research.

The information seems valid and reliable based on the argumentation.

The text does not contain any unintentionally contradictory information or arguments.

Feedback editor: In Section 4.1, you state that no respondents were satisfied with the current situation. However, in your conclusion, you say that three respondents had no opinion. Be sure to reconcile these points or make corrections if necessary.

No information that is relevant for further understanding of the text seems to be missing.

The examples used are relevant.

Feedback editor: Yes, absolutely. However, you have included more than enough examples to make your point. In the comments, I've highlighted examples that you might consider deleting to keep your paper focused and concise.

You take into account that the reader might not know everything about this topic.

Feedback editor: You might consider adding more historical background information in Section 3.2 when you discuss democracy in the Middle East. At present, that discussion implies a high level of background information on the part of readers. It’s okay to assume that your readers have some familiarity with the events you’re talking about, but adding a few reminders for readers would be helpful. For example, the first time you refer to Mubarak, you might add an aside telling readers that he was Egypt’s president from 1981 to 2011.

Clarity: Checklist Text Clarity

The subject of the document is clear.

The purpose of the document is clear.

Feedback editor: Your goal is clear in principle, but only after reading the entire text. I recommend making this clearer earlier on. You can do so by explaining the factors that led you to form your hypothesis that democracy always leads to demagogy in the Introduction chapter.

The most important question to be answered in the document is clear.

Feedback editor: Although I understand what you want to say, you have not specifically stated what the final conclusion of your text is. You should therefore take a careful look at my comment on page 54.

The answer to the above question, namely the conclusion, is clear.

The methods used to arrive at this answer are clear.

Terms are explained in a clear and precise manner.

Feedback editor: Yes. However, note that “macropartisanship" and “deterritorialization” need to be explained earlier, as I mentioned in the text logic checklist.

Further important information, such as the study’s limitations and recommendations, is described clearly.

Ready to perfect your paper?

Ask our team.

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Frequently asked questions

Scribbr specializes in editing study-related documents . We proofread:

  • PhD dissertations
  • Research proposals
  • Personal statements
  • Admission essays
  • Motivation letters
  • Reflection papers
  • Journal articles
  • Capstone projects

The fastest turnaround time is 12 hours.

You can upload your document at any time and choose between four deadlines:

At Scribbr, we promise to make every customer 100% happy with the service we offer. Our philosophy: Your complaint is always justified – no denial, no doubts.

Our customer support team is here to find the solution that helps you the most, whether that’s a free new edit or a refund for the service.

Yes, if your document is longer than 20,000 words, you will get a sample of approximately 2,000 words. This sample edit gives you a first impression of the editor’s editing style and a chance to ask questions and give feedback.

How does the sample edit work?

You will receive the sample edit within 12 hours after placing your order. You then have 24 hours to let us know if you’re happy with the sample or if there’s something you would like the editor to do differently.

Read more about how the sample edit works

Yes, in the order process you can indicate your preference for American, British, or Australian English .

If you don’t choose one, your editor will follow the style of English you currently use. If your editor has any questions about this, we will contact you.

Yes, regardless of the deadline you choose, our editors can proofread your document during weekends and holidays.

Example: If you select the 12-hour service on Saturday, you will receive your edited document back within 12 hours on Sunday.

Our APA experts default to APA 7 for editing and formatting. For the Citation Editing Service you are able to choose between APA 6 and 7.

Every Scribbr order comes with our award-winning Proofreading & Editing service , which combines two important stages of the revision process.

For a more comprehensive edit, you can add a Structure Check or Clarity Check to your order. With these building blocks, you can customize the kind of feedback you receive.

You might be familiar with a different set of editing terms. To help you understand what you can expect at Scribbr, we created this table:

Types of editing Available at Scribbr?


This is the “proofreading” in Scribbr’s standard service. It can only be selected in combination with editing.


This is the “editing” in Scribbr’s standard service. It can only be selected in combination with proofreading.


Select the Structure Check and Clarity Check to receive a comprehensive edit equivalent to a line edit.


This kind of editing involves heavy rewriting and restructuring. Our editors cannot help with this.

View an example

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COMMENTS

  1. Free Online Proofreader

    The proofreading process is your last chance to catch any errors in your writing before you submit it. A proofreader makes sure your spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors are reviewed and fixed. This can be done automatically by an AI-powered tool like the one at the top of this page or by a real human.

  2. Free Online Proofreader

    Free proofreading tool. With QuillBot, you have the best free proofreading tool in your pocket, on your browser, or in Word whenever you need it.. Writing is a lot of work, and doing it well means revising and revising again. For writers with high standards in every genre and field, online proofreading is an invaluable resource—a must-have.

  3. AI Proofreader

    Your writing stays private — Your document gets deleted right after it's checked. Trustpilot. Powerful features Made for academic writing ... Word's autocorrect feature usually operates on a word level, whereas our AI Proofreader can proofread on the sentence and, to an extent, even the paragraph level. Because it's more accurate and ...

  4. Free online proofreading and essay editor

    Relax, focus, write your next masterpiece... Writing presumes more than simply laying out words on a paper. Typely helps you get in the mood and keeps you focused, immersed and ready to write your story. Whether you need a distraction-free environment, some chill relaxing sounds or a pomodoro timer to manage your time we got you covered.

  5. Proofread your writing with PaperRater's free online grammar and

    PaperRater proofreads and rates your essays & papers. It picks out grammar & spelling errors, detects plagiarism and grades your writing. It includes resources on grammar, writing, spelling & more. ... Proofread your writing with PaperRater's free online grammar and plagiarism checkers.

  6. Academic Proofreading & Editing Services

    AcademicProofreading And Editing. Whether you're writing a thesis, research paper, or PhD proposal, Proofed's academic proofreading and editing services will help ensure your writing reads smoothly and your ideas are communicated effectively. Try For Free.

  7. Free Essay and Paper Checker

    Scribbr is committed to protecting academic integrity. Our plagiarism checker, AI Detector, Citation Generator, proofreading services, paraphrasing tool, grammar checker, summarizer, and free Knowledge Base content are designed to help students produce quality academic papers. We make every effort to prevent our software from being used for ...

  8. Quick Guide to Proofreading

    The four stages of editing and proofreading. Type of editing. What it involves. Step 1: Content editing. Revising an early draft of a text, often making significant changes to the content and moving, adding or deleting entire sections (also known as developmental or substantive editing). Step 2: Line editing.

  9. Free Online Proofreader

    Perfect your writing with ProWritingAid's proofreading tool. Try it now for polished, error-free text. Start typing, paste, or use. Sample Text. 0. Suggestions found. Your suggestions will show once you've entered some text. Get Started. — it's free.

  10. How to Proofread Your Writing: 5 Tips for Effective Proofreading

    How to Proofread Your Writing: 5 Tips for Effective Proofreading. Written by MasterClass. Last updated: Aug 23, 2021 • 3 min read. A top-notch proofreading job can separate a fantastic story from one that is merely okay. Learn the art of proofreading to elevate your own writing. A top-notch proofreading job can separate a fantastic story from ...

  11. Proofreading for Errors

    Finding Common Errors. Here are some common proofreading issues that come up for many writers. For grammatical or spelling errors, try underlining or highlighting words that often trip you up. On a sentence level, take note of which errors you make frequently. Also make note of common sentence errors you have such as run-on sentences, comma ...

  12. Beginning Proofreading

    Make sure that you leave plenty of time after you have finished your paper to walk away for a day or two, a week, or even 20 minutes. This will allow you to approach proofreading with fresh eyes. Print out a hard copy. Reading from a computer screen is not the most effective way to proofread. Having a hardcopy of your paper and a pen will help you.

  13. Proofreading

    Introduction. Proofreading involves reading your document to correct the smaller typographical, grammatical, and spelling errors. Proofreading is usually the very last step you take before sending off the final draft of your work for evaluation or publication. It comes after you have addressed larger matters such as style, content, citations ...

  14. Publish confidently by proofreading to perfection

    Publish confidently byproofreading to perfection. Publish confidently by. proofreading to perfection. "Writing without revising is the literary equivalent of waltzing gaily out of the house in your underwear.". — Patricia Fuller. We're pretty open-minded, but we generally recommend that writing be at least partially dressed before ...

  15. Free online proofreading and essay editor

    0 Typely score. Unknown Reading ease. Unknown Grade level. Unknown Vocabulary. Unknown Sentiment analysis. Manage documents. Will display a list of your stored documents from where you can load or delete any of them. Generate PDF report. A complete report will be generated in PDF that contains both the written text and Typely's results.

  16. Editing and Proofreading

    Some tips that apply to both editing and proofreading. Get some distance from the text! It's hard to edit or proofread a paper that you've just finished writing—it's still to familiar, and you tend to skip over a lot of errors. Put the paper aside for a few hours, days, or weeks. Go for a run. Take a trip to the beach.

  17. Academic Proofreading & Editing Services

    Overuse of passive voice. Subjective or inflated language. For a more comprehensive edit, you can add one or multiple add-on editing services that fit your needs. ⏰ Deadline. Same day delivery. 📄 Texts. Papers, essays, dissertations, manuscripts. ⭐️ Rating. 4.6 based on 13,309 reviews.

  18. Tips For Effective Proofreading

    Tips For Effective Proofreading. Proofread backwards. Begin at the end and work back through the paper paragraph by paragraph or even line by line. This will force you to look at the surface elements rather than the meaning of the paper. Place a ruler under each line as you read it. This will give your eyes a manageable amount of text to read.

  19. The 10-Step Guide to Proofreading Essays Quickly (Infographic)

    100 Quick Writing Tips (Infographic) 10 Writing Errors Even Native Speakers Make (Infographic) In this triple 10-step guide we'll show you how to efficiently proofread an essay, highlight 10 common mistakes and explain how to fix them. It also includes 10 valuable writing tips on how to make your next college or high school essay more effective ...

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  24. Quick Guide to Proofreading

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