When you’re ready to send off that college or graduate school application, make sure you’ve done everything to ensure that the writing in your application package is in pristine condition. An error-free application will give you the edge over your competition—and it may just be the difference between acceptance and rejection. Here’s a checklist of five proofreading techniques to help get your college and graduate school applications in perfect shape:
- Read your application aloud. Print out a hard copy of your application and read it aloud. People tend to scan what they see on screen, but they slow down when reading on paper. Also, read out loud as you proofread.
- Read the application from the bottom up. Reading each sentence independently makes it new to you and forces you to slow down and carefully look at each word individually.
- Pay attention to contractions and apostrophes. Little mistakes, such as using its instead of it’s, may not seem like a big deal, but these types of grammatical errors make your writing look sloppy to the person in charge of reviewing your application.
- Punctuate correctly. Once you have the words under control, make sure you haven’t used a comma where you need a semicolon or a period.
- Let someone else proofread your essay. A second set of eyes will always catch a mistake here or there.