The Value of a Hard Copy When Editing or Proofreading Academic Writing
The question of whether comprehension and memory are better served by reading text in a traditional way on paper or via electronic media on screen remains open. Early trials suggested that reading on paper was the more effective choice when accurate and in-depth understanding of a document was desired or required. More recent trials in a climate where increasing numbers of people are choosing electronic reading have yielded less decisive results, suggesting that reader preferences and intentions may play a larger role in determining comprehension and memory than the medium of the text does. Therefore, if you have a decided preference for reading on paper or on screen, that preferred medium may be most effective for the purposes of editing. However, there are certain undeniable benefits involved in editing sophisticated academic and scientific writing in a hard copy, so unless you are staunchly opposed to consuming paper, you may want to print out your scholarly article for a final edit before submitting it for publication. Here are a few reasons why:
• Although there may be little scientific evidence to explain it, the fact is that it is often much easier to detect errors, from simple typing mistakes to incorrect grammar to inaccurate data, when reading a document on paper. Since academic and scientific articles must be written in formal prose that is clear and correct while presenting complicated information with precision and consistency, this is a strong argument for editing your writing via a hard copy.
• Today’s scholars tend to read on screen so much information that contains typing, spelling, punctuation, grammatical and content errors that it becomes necessary and habitual to ignore all those mistakes in order to obtain the information required. Moving away from the screen can help prevent this pattern from continuing as you proofread and edit your own writing.
• Not all readers may read more quickly and with greater comprehension while reading a text on paper, but some certainly do, and there is little doubt that reading text presented on a surface that reflects light such as a paper page produces less eye strain and mental fatigue than reading text on a surface that emits light. Sharp eyes and an alert mind are essential for effective proofreading and editing, so everything you can do ensure these conditions is helpful.
• Most screens are multipurpose, meaning that the screen(s) you use to proofread your scholarly article may well be the same screen(s) you use to read and write email, surf the internet, watch videos and connect with family, friends, students and colleagues on social media. All of these tasks and many others are simply distractions when you are trying to focus on editing your writing, so printing out your article, turning off the screens around you and directing your attention solely to your work will be far more conducive to thorough and accurate proofreading than will editing in snippets as you multitask.
• Although there are now a variety of ways to highlight and annotate text on screen, there is no real substitute for reading your own text with a pen or pencil in hand, writing corrections and adjustments between the lines and scribbling your thoughts down the margins. When you return to your digital file to make the changes you have marked on paper, you will essentially tackle each problematic passage a second time, which can be extremely beneficial.
• Finally, one of the most conclusive results of studies into the benefits of reading on paper versus reading on screen is that screens that emit light tend to disrupt sleeping patterns, and most busy scholars need to sleep well for the too few hours they have available for inactivity. Giving yourself a break from screens while polishing your writing can therefore also help you get a good night’s sleep.
Why Our Editing and Proofreading Services?
At proofreading services we pride ourselves on the exceptionally dedicated team of academic and scientific professionals who provide our English editing and proofreading services. Our editors and proofreaders are highly educated native speakers of English who have undergone rigorous training in expert editing practices, and their fields of study and specialisation range so widely that we are able to help our clients improve and polish research manuscripts of all kinds for successful publication. Many members of our research paper editing and proofreading team focus on journal editing, manuscript editing, scientific manuscript editing, academic proofreading, academic editing, dissertation proofreading services, professional proofreading, thesis editing services and scientific proofreading, assisting authors with articles that will be submitted to scientific and academic journals by ensuring that the formatting and references in their manuscripts conform to the relevant guidelines with precision and by correcting grammar, punctuation, spelling and typing errors to enable the clear and accurate communication of original research that acquisitions editors expect in publishable papers.
Our scientific editing, medical editing, bioscience editing, life science editing, environmental science editing, pharmaceutical science editing, physical science editing, agricultural science editing, LaTeX paper editing, social science editing, political science editing, engineering paper editing, psychology editing, research paper editing, manuscript editing, humanities editing, journal article editing, biomedical science editing, planetary science editing, plant science editing, material science editing, veterinary science editing, behavioural science editing and neurosurgery editing services for authors of scientific papers and reports are especially popular, but we also excel at book editing and have the experience and expertise to proofread and edit books and papers of all kinds across every scholarly discipline. Some of our carefully trained editors and proofreaders work exclusively on PhD thesis editing, master’s dissertation proofreading, bachelor’s dissertation proofreading, thesis editing, dissertation editing, thesis proofreading and dissertation proofreading, applying their education and instructional skills in providing thesis editing and dissertation proofreading services that help advanced students to improve the formatting and language of their theses and dissertations and thereby increase their chances of degree success. Whether you are preparing a conference or class presentation, putting the final touches to a professional report for colleagues or tackling the challenging task of editing any kind of academic or scientific document for publication, a qualified member of our outstanding proofreading and editing team will be delighted to provide proofreading and editing services and boost your confidence in your written work.
If you are in the process of preparing an article for an academic or scientific journal, or planning one for the near future, you may well be interested in a new book, Guide to Journal Publication, which is available on our Tips and Advice on Publishing Research in Journals website.
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