A Blog of Writing Resources from The University of Scranton's Writing Center

Tag: Proofreading Tips

The Proof is in the Writing

By Danielle DePasquale

After finally finishing a written assignment, one may be quick to submit their work immediately. Not having to look at that assignment ever again brings about a sense of great relief. However, receiving that assignment back covered in commentary about minute spelling and grammar errors dampens that sense of accomplishment. Even though writing the final sentence of a concluding paragraph may seem to signify the end of the writing process, proofreading your work is just as essential. Reviewing your work ensures that you’re submitting an assignment that is logically sound and addresses the task at hand. Hence, I highly recommend reading written assignments aloud, which allows you to actually hear what your writing sounds like. We are all human and mistakes happen when typing up assignments. This way, you can make any edits or adjustments needed to express your ideas clearly and concisely. If you find reading your own writing aloud tedious or don’t want to disturb your roommates, you can plug in some headphones and access the “Immersive Reader” function available in Microsoft Word; this tool has the computer read your paper back to you. It’s a great tool to check for typos, grammar errors, redundancy, and verbose phrasing.  This is how you access it.

Check out this video demo here: Immersive Reader Video Demo.mp4



And proofreading your paper doesn’t have to happen right away. In fact, stepping away from your writing and revisiting with a clear head will enhance your ability to conduct a comprehensive and meaningful review of your work. In the future, I implore you to try either strategy before you submit your next assignment.



Do you have “alot” of spelling errors or “a lot” of spelling errors?

“A lot” is the correct spelling, but there are several words and phrases that are frequently confused in the English language. For example,   is the family going to the pumpkin patch “All together” or the adverb form “Altogether”?  Is it “already” or “all ready” five o’clock  on a Friday?  Did you find the movie “Climactic” or “climatic”?  Was there an “allusion” or “Illusion” to the Bible  in short story you just read? Are you attending “college” or “collage”?  Is it difficult to “chose” or “choose” the correct word? If this reflects some of  “your” or “you’re” spelling woes, this is a fantastic resource for you.

The website below has brief glossary of the most common spelling errors and word confusions in the English language. It’s organized alphabetically in a massive three-column table so you can scroll quickly to find what you are searching for or you can click on the letters at the top to jump to specific part of the page. The explanations are very concise with just a sentence or  two to dedicated to each item. It also links out to other webpages within the site for further explanation for grammatical rules, like pronouns or tense.  Understanding the difference between the confused words can prevent you from confusing them in the future. Likewise, looking up the spelling of certain words by using this site can be a good reminder that “alot” isn’t a real word but “a lot” is and “with in” should always be “within.”

It’s fast. It’s accurate. It’s user-friendly.  It’s great resource to double-check commonly confused or misspelled words as you begin to revise your essays.


Click on the link below, and then select “Go to List of Errors”

Common Errors in English Usage


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