Tag Archives: punctuation

How to proofread your thesis or other document

The final stage of the writing process before submitting an assignment or thesis is often neglected – proofreading! And, if it’s done well, it can significantly lift your grades (see Testimonials for examples of this).

Set aside time to check your assignment or thesis. As a guideline, allow 5 to 10 minutes per page (about 250 words per page if double spaced lines).

Try to complete your assignment or thesis well ahead of the due date. This will give you a chance to ‘recover’ from the writing process, and so be able to look at the document more objectively.

Check for the following (these are just some of the features to include when proofreading!):

• grammar – noun verb agreement, correct and consistent verb tense
• spelling – use the software spellchecker, but be careful of words often confused, and homophones (see Homophones).
• punctuation – apostrophes, dashes, commas, colons, semicolons, capitals
• vocabulary – consider your choice of words and see whether they are technical words, subject-specific language, slang, or idioms, and change them if necessary; also check abbreviations (Have you defined them when you first used them?).
• readability – when you read it through, do you have to read the same sentence through more than once to get its meaning? If so, then shorten, or change it.
• cohesion – how well do sentences and paragraphs link with those before and after? Make use of appropriate linking words, for example, see Linking Words, to ensure it flows smoothly.
• references – make sure that authors’ names are spelled correctly, within the body of the assignment or thesis, and in the list of references at the end.

Lastly check that your assignment or thesis meets the requirements of your university. This means checking font style and size, line spacing, and the type of referencing (Vancouver, APA 6th, …).

If you still need help after doing all this, then do get in touch – Enquiry – and I will do my best for you.

Punctuation Matters


In today’s post, and subsequent ones, I will be referring to aspects of writing which really do matter. Today, it’s Punctuation (that) Matters!


How would you punctuate the following sentence?

A woman without her man is nothing

Punctuation marks can be added in two ways:

A woman, without her man, is nothing.


A woman: without her, man is nothing.

They each have quite a different meaning!

Why do we punctuate?

One answer to this question is that punctuation marks are added to remove ambiguity. Whether in legal documents or university assignments wrong punctuation can cost money or marks.

Another approach suggests that as few punctuation marks as possible should be used. According to this approach adding punctuation marks adds to ambiguity.

Whatever approach you use it is important that the meaning is clear. Punctuation should also make the text easy to read.

Where do we put punctuation marks?

  • At the end of sentences.

There are four punctuation marks which are used at the end of sentences:

    • the full stop (period)

For example:

It was lovely to see you the other day.

    • the thrice repeated full stop (…) indicating ellipsis has occurred

For example:

Near the end of his new product presentations, Steve Jobs of Apple Mac fame used to say “And one more thing…”.

    • the question mark (?)

For example:

What is the maximum load on the beam?

    • the exclamation mark (!)

For example:

Wow! That’s amazing!

  • Within sentences.

Most other punctuation marks are used within sentences. For example, commas, colons, semicolons, apostrophes, and brackets.

In future posts I will go into more detail about the use of punctuation marks.

Make sure the meaning of your document is clear. Why not get your document edited: (CLICK HERE for details). Be sure you are using correct punctuation.

How to edit your own paper or essay

Want to edit your own essay?

Not sure where to begin?

Here is an excellent article to point you in the right direction:


If you need further help, do get in touch with me: Professional Document Editing