As promised, here is a second exercise for you to practice your proofreading skills. Only this time, the stakes are a little higher because there are three kinds of errors rather than just one. So put on your magic glasses and proofread the following essay for a total of 15 errors: 6 errors in missing words or word endings, 5 errors in apostrophe use, and 4 errors in sentence punctuation (placement of periods). Check back next week for the answers. 4/11 – Note: Answers are now posted!
Writing an Essay
After much experimenting, Sam finally learn (learned) the best way to write an essay for the school magazine there (magazine. There) were several steps, and each step was essential in achieving the goal of good (of a good) essay.
The first step involved making a list of possible topic’s (topics) that he thought would be interesting to his audience and then narrowing his choices until he found the one he liked best. After he decide (decided) what his thesis was going to be. Sam (be, Sam) made a rough outline of main points that would support the thesis and wrote his first draft in one sitting. Sams (Sam’s) tutor had advised him not to worry at this point about punctuation, spelling, or other mechanics but just to concentrate on getting the idea’s (ideas) down on paper.
The second step involved reading the first draft for it’s (its) content and organization. Sam improved the paper by adding more explanation where was (where it was) needed, taking out irrelevant material, and strengthening his introduction and conclusion, he (conclusion. He) also proofread this draft for errors in sentence punctuation, word choice, subject-verb agreement, and comma use. Experience with other assignments had taught him that he made those errors most often, so he took time look (time to look) especially for those.
The last and most important step was to put the paper away for a few hour’s, that (hours. That) enabled him to look at it again with fresh eyes. He read it once more for content. Then he took his finger and pointed at each word while reading it out loud in order to find any errors he might have overlook (overlooked) before.
The day he sent the finished essay to his editor, Sam was confident that he had done his best. It was a good feeling to know that he had made progress in producing a well-written and error-free document.
The 15 errors are underlined, and the correct forms are in parentheses. Note that the answer for hour’s, that actually contains 2 errors.