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Writing Centre

Get help with writing, APA & more

Editing, Revising and Polishing your work

Editing Checklist - Spelling & Grammar

Have you ever read an assignment that is good, but filled with grammar and spelling mistakes? Lots of errors make reading difficulty to digest. Due to the use of slang, abbreviations, and lack of punctuation in texting and social media, grammar has taken a hit. The following tips may also help you spot specific (and common) grammar mistakes that every writer should be aware of. Always read your work aloud to help catch your mistakes and avoid over-relying on spell-check.


Editing Tips

Top Tips for Editing

1. Allow time to check work and make changes

The number one mistake students make is not allowing enough time to read through and correct errors in written work.

2. Keep it simple and concise

Using “big words” does not necessarily make it a more scholarly paper. If you need to add words to make the paper long enough, that’s a sign that more content is needed.

3. Read the paper out loud and have someone else read it over

Sometimes hearing the words can help with identifying errors. After a while, it’s hard to see mistakes because the words are so familiar. If it sounds awkward when read aloud, it probably needs to be re-worded.

4. Go to the Writing Centre

Writing Centre staff are able to advise on most aspects of grammar, style and APA documentation. Faculty and peer tutors are available during each shift for 30 minute sessions. You can book a 30 minute appointment online or drop-in.

*Online or phone appointments are available for students who live far from campus, or attend a campus with no Writing Centre.

5. Review assignment instructions

It may be necessary to check with the course instructor when unsure of the requirements for the assignment. Use the instructions, or a rubric if provided, to ensure you have completed and included all of the necessary components.


Revision Checklist




Grammar and Spelling

Craft of Editing

Check your work

  • Use a spell checker to catch any spelling errors or typos
  • Use a grammar checker, and correct any errors that you understand
  • Print out a hard copy of your work and read through it
  • Ensure you are using Canadian spellings instead of American (e.g., colour versus color, honour versus honor, favourite versus favorite)

Read your work

  • Read your work aloud, not silently in your head
  • Listen to your own voice to hear any mistakes
  • If you stumble while reading a sentence, there is probably an error
  • Print it out! Reading a printed copy can help
  • Have someone else read your work aloud to you

Pay attention to the small details

  • Re-read your work aloud using a pen or pencil as a guide
  • Point to each word on your page with the pen or pencil
  • Make any corrections, then print out another hard copy and read again

Ask a friend

  • Ask a friend to read your work, looking for any editing changes
  • Make any corrections and print another hard copy
  • Re-read your work again

Allow enough time to review previously written work

  • Review other written assignments you have completed to see previous mistakes
  • Read your present work to determine if you are repeating mistakes, and make any corrections to your final document

Make your best effort to edit your paper, then visit the Writing Centre for help!