College essay help: looking for careless errors
“Miskates happn”. They are even more likely to happen after pouring your heart and soul into a piece of writing that is probably due in seconds. To prevent that moment of horror that comes right after submission when the obvious mistakes finally decide to reveal themselves to you, here are a couple of tips.
- Use Spell Check
- Take a break
- Ask for help
- Take notes and use them
Those jagged red lines under your text can prevent you from making some of the more obvious errors so that you can devote more time to other aspects of your text. Unfortunately, contextual errors will slip right through. The spell check told me the following sentence was just fine: “The reign in Spain stays manly in the planes.”
Constant exposure to your screen coupled with sleep deprivation will leave you too exhausted to see the the errors in your work. Wide awake, you would never duplicate the word “the” in a sentence but not only will you do it, you won’t notice because your brain will try to make you feel better and show you what you think you should be seeing rather than what is actually there. Walk away, take a shower, eat something and then come back to your task with fresh eyes. The errors will stand out just a bit more and allow you to correct them in peace.
If taking a break is not an option there is no shame in asking someone to look over your work and tell you what went wrong or what you have missed. Sometimes, no amount of walking, showering or eating will restore you to peak intellect because of the level of sleep deprivation you have subjected yourself to so you need to know when it is time to call for back up.
After writing for a while you get a sense of where your weak points are. If you know spelling is your weakness with certain words being particularly difficult, make note of that and search those words out in future essays. If punctuation troubles you, make a list of the proper uses of each mark and refer to it frequently as part of your writing process. You can use the predictability of your errors to your advantage.
Using these methods you can eliminate all but the most stubborn errors from your essays and submit them with pride.