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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. 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?

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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.

Have you chosen the proper words to express your ideas? Have you used an appropriate tone formal, informal, persuasive, etc. Have you varied the length and structure of your sentences? Do you tends to use the passive voice too often? Do you repeat a strong word for example, a vivid main verb unnecessarily? For tips, see our handouts on style and gender-inclusive language.

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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.


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Don't use comparatives like more, most, less, or least with comparative adjectives. Example: This is more bigger than I thought would be corrected to This is bigger than I thought. Example: Our five year old son is learning to read would be corrected to Our five-year-old son is learning to read.

This rule also covers numerals "twenty-one" through "ninety-nine". Make sure that the auxiliary you use is the correct one for the following verb. Example: We are not taken them to the movies before. Some gerunds should be followed by past participles or infinitive verbs, instead.

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Example: Having misunderstanding the directions, she failed the test. Also targets expressions that require the use of "to" as an infinitive marker and a specific verb form. Example: I would like to accepting the invitation. Use the correct verb form after an auxiliary verb verbs that describe a person, number, mood, tense, etc.

Example: They had ate by the time she arrived would be corrected to They had eaten by the time she arrived. Example: We waited for at least a hour would be corrected to We waited for at least an hour. Possessive nouns require an apostrophe. Example: As long as its doing it's job, we're happy would be corrected to As long as it's doing its job, we're happy. Write a question mark at the end of any sentence that asks a question interrogative sentence.

Example: How many cats does he have. The subject and verb should agree in number. They should either both be singular, or both be plural. Example: The teacher want to see him would be corrected to The teacher wants to see him. Example: I gave her a the carrot w ould be corrected to I gave her a carrot. Example: I would like invite you. Example: I do not mind rename the dog. As a noun, it is usually followed by the preposition "of" e. As a verb, "lack" should not be followed by any preposition.

Example: The country was lacking of qualified medical staff is corrected to The country was lacking qualified medical staff. Future tense sentences usually employ an auxiliary verb, except when referring to an imagined or desired situation subjunctive phrase. Example: I request that you will join me is corrected to I request that you join me. Example: The magnitude of the problem is far beyond the scope of humanitarian aid.

Magnitude would be corrected to size. The use of two negative words may be interpreted as indicating a positive. To avoid confusion, do not use double negation.

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Example: I did not see nothing. It is corrected to I did not see anything. Consider using more common language that is likely to be understood by everyone. Example: The company hired a well-known headhunting firm. Headhunting is corrected to recruiting. Consider using a single verb instead of nouns, where possible. Example: The trade union is holding negotiations with the employers.

Here holding negotiations is corrected to negotiating. Use active voice whenever possible to be more concise and avoid possible confusion. Example: The dog was seen by the man.

Express Review Guides: Spelling - LearningExpress

This will be corrected to The man saw the dog. Example: The house was built on a hill. This will show [No Suggestion available]. Eliminating redundant or unnecessary words often improves readability. Large in size is corrected to large.