Hone Your Proofreading and Editing Skills

If you procrastinate on writing because you don’t like to re-read what you have written, the good news is this: you can learn specific proofreading, revising, and editing strategies. 

If you finish your paper ahead of time, and you re-read it, and you don’t like it, you have options. 

Writing a first draft that you don’t like doesn’t mean you’re a terrible writer. Many writers—in fact, I would venture to say most—hate their first drafts. Neither Leo Tolstoy nor Toni Morrison produce(d) brilliant prose the first time around. In fact, Morrison (a big fan of revision) said recently, “You don’t have to love it just because you wrote it!” 

If you practice some revision and editing strategies, you may feel more comfortable with the idea of re-reading your papers. You’ll know that if you find weaknesses in the draft (and you will), you can do something to improve those areas.