In the Functional Skills English Level 2 writing assessment, you gain marks for ensuring that your spelling, punctuation and grammar is accurate. Proofreading your work is therefore an important part of the writing assessment.
Proofreading means checking for mistakes. The aim of proofreading is to ensure that what you have written is what you mean to say.
Proofreading is the careful reading of your final draft. You should allow as much time as possible between finishing your final draft and proofreading it. It is very important to bring a fresh eye to your work at this stage. If you try to proofread too soon after finishing writing, you are likely to see only what you think you have written and you may miss mistakes.
Activity 6 What to look for when proofreading
What should you look for when proofreading? Note down your ideas.
You may have thought of some of the following:
- choice of words
- readable handwriting/accurate word processing.
You will be looking at spelling and some aspects of punctuation and grammar in the next section.
When you have proofread your final draft, try using the spell check on your word processor to help you. Remember to check suggested spellings before you press accept as they may not be the most appropriate for your context!
Activity 7 Spot the errors
Have a look at the text below. There are three spelling mistakes and three punctuation mistakes.
Highlight the incorrect words and punctuation errors and then correct them in the text box.
The words that are spelt incorrectly are:
- critism (criticism)
- obversations (observations)
- carefulley (carefully).
The words that were punctuated incorrectly are:
… but you did ask for feedback, the best policy is …
(Needs a full stop rather than a comma.)
… and say ‘thank you’ (They have taken the time …
(Needs a lower-case ‘t’ in ‘They’.)
… normally it is worth looking carefulley at anything they had a problem with?
(Needs a full stop rather than a question mark.)
Here’s the corrected text:
If you ask someone to read what you have written and point out any problems, be prepared for criticism. You may not like being told that your writing doesn’t make sense (or is poorly punctuated or full of spelling errors), but you did ask for feedback. The best policy is just to accept the other person’s observations and say ‘thank you’ (they have taken the time to read your work, after all). You can ignore everything they said, of course, but normally it is worth looking carefully at anything they had a problem with.
In this section you have looked at:
- how to prepare for and plan your writing and write a first draft
- how to redraft and proofread your work so that it is accurate and says what you mean.