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My First College Paper (MLA) - South Bend-Elkhart: Revision

This guide is for anyone, whether this is your first college paper or you just need a refresher course!


Proofreading is one of the best tools you can use to help work out your paper.  Here are some effective ways of proofreading.

   Get an Editor: Having another person read your paper can really help to point out if your paper is clear, cohesive, and gets your main ideas across.

    Read Backwards: Reading your paper backwards can help you identify any spelling or grammar errors you may have made.

   Read Out Loud: Go somewhere where you won't be disturbing others and read your paper out load to yourself.  This will help you see if your paper is cohesive and makes sense.  It can also help you catch any grammar errors.


How to Say What You Want To Say

It is important to remember that academic papers require a certain style of writing. Unlike fiction stories and essays that have long, eloquent phrases and sentences, academic papers require short and clear statements.  There are several tools listed below to help you get your point across with academic efficiency.

  • Write in the present tense rather than past or future
  • Don't use 4 words when 1 will do (Ex. on a daily basis = daily)
  • Eliminate synonyms (use rich instead of extravagently wealthy)
  • Take out clutter words (very, definitely, quite, extremely, rather, somewhat, really, actually, etc.)


Taken from The Writing Process: A Concise Rhetoric, Reader, and Handbook by John M. Lannon