Answered By: Elaine M. Patton
Last Updated: Sep 24, 2018     Views: 10

The coaches in the Writing Lab are available to help you improve your paper in big, structural ways. They're editors and tutors, not proofreaders. 

What's the difference?

Proofreading goes after the little superficial errors in a paper, like typos, misspellings, punctuation errors, and grammar mistakes. Some of this Microsoft Word or other word processing software will catch for you, like misspelled words. Others you will have to catch by re-reading your work to catch, for instance, typos that are correctly-spelled words in and of themselves but make no sense in your sentence.

Editing looks at content. Is your thesis specific enough and can it be argued? Do you have too many main ideas in a paragraph? Is this paragraph completely redundant? Do you have citations where you need them? These things aren't easily detected by a quick read-through, nor can a word processor recognize when there's a problem to point out to you.

These are the big problems our writing coaches will be looking for in your paper. They will teach you how to avoid those mistakes in the future and assist you in correcting them (but all work is your own, and it's up to you to produce the re-writes).