How to Proofread Your College Application Essay

Like this pen and notes, proofreading your college essay can be messy but rewarding.

Flickr user Nic McPhee

Proofreading is a vital part of the college application process. On your admission forms, your transcripts, essays, and scholarship apps. Submitting your scholarship application without first proofreading can cost you big time, as the smallest typos can make a big impact. So when it comes to your college application essay, here’s how to proofread.

Proofread for Spelling and Grammar Issues

Even the greatest writers slip up and make some typos. That’s why you re-read and scan for mistakes. Spell Check is heaven sent when it comes to both grammar and spelling, but make sure to double check as it’s not infallible.

Proofread for Flow and Sense

First drafts can be rough in many ways. Sometimes thoughts can change halfway through a sentence, resulting in a bizarrely worded idea that doesn’t make sense. Reread and ensure that everything flows well, paragraph to paragraph, and sentence to sentence.

Proofread Out Loud

One thing that can really help smooth an essay and improve your writing skills is by reading it aloud. It’s an easy trick that can really pay off. Read your essay out loud and listen for anything that sounds off, then edit the paper to something that sounds a little more reasonable.

Let Someone Else Proofread

Have a parent, teacher, fellow student, or guidance counselor read your essay. A fresh pair of eyes can always catch something, and help you revise through offer constructive feedback for edits. Again, even the best writers can slip up, so having a proofreader can save your essay an embarrassing error.

Use College Raptor to discover personalized college matches, cost estimates, acceptance odds, and potential financial aid for schools around the US—for FREE!