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, 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 Proof-Reading-Service.com we offer the highest quality journal article editing, phd thesis editing and proofreading services via our large and extremely dedicated team of academic and scientific professionals. All of our proofreaders are native speakers of English who have earned their own postgraduate degrees, and their areas of specialisation cover such a wide range of disciplines that we are able to help our international clientele with research editing to improve and perfect all kinds of academic manuscripts for successful publication. Many of the carefully trained members of our expert editing and proofreading team work predominantly on articles intended for publication in scholarly journals, applying painstaking journal editing standards to ensure that the references and formatting used in each paper are in conformity with the journal’s instructions for authors and to correct any grammar, spelling, punctuation or simple typing errors. In this way, we enable our clients to report their research in the clear and accurate ways required to impress acquisitions proofreaders and achieve publication.
Our scientific proofreading services for the authors of a wide variety of scientific journal papers are especially popular, but we also offer manuscript proofreading services and have the experience and expertise to proofread and edit manuscripts in all scholarly disciplines, as well as beyond them. We have team members who specialise in medical proofreading services, and some of our experts dedicate their time exclusively to PhD proofreading and master’s proofreading, offering research students the opportunity to improve their use of formatting and language through the most exacting PhD thesis editing and dissertation proofreading practices. Whether you are preparing a conference paper for presentation, polishing a progress report to share with colleagues, or facing the daunting task of editing and perfecting any kind of scholarly document for publication, a qualified member of our professional team can provide invaluable assistance and give you greater 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.