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15 Facts Every Student Should Know About Paraphrasing / Proofreading

When you are a writer, you become obsessed with paraphrasing and proofreading. The rule of thumb is that you have to make sure everything on paper is perfect. There are of course times when even the best writers fail and that is perfectly fine. Sometimes it is the imperfect writing that connects with the readers. This is because we are all human and we connect with other humans. Then of course there are times when your writing needs to be immaculate. There are some mistakes that can cost you dearly.

Writing for a website that is your own is great because you can express yourself just the way you want. Then there are those professional documents you type that needs to adhere to a few rules. Paraphrasing has come into play a long time ago because we are not allowed to copy any other writers work. You can however write it in a different way without changing the message. This is definitely a skill but you can find a paraphraser online without much searching. The amount of resources we have available these days are incredible.

Proofreading is one of the most important steps to a writer because nothing is ever good the first time around. Some writers even believe that you should always throw your first draft out and start again. This is because a lot more focus needs to go into creating a piece that adds value to the lives of those who read it. We can get so consumed in doing this that we forget about where it all started. Paraphrasing and proofreading did not start the minute the internet was invented. It started way before than because the same rules still applied. Here are some interesting facts you might not have heard about related to paraphrasing and proofreading.

  1. 15th century

Let’s start with the most shocking one. Proofreading started way back in the 15th century, so it shows that we could learn something new every day. Even if we believe that we understand how proofreading works, I am sure they did not apply the exact rules as we do today. With such a time difference, it would be interesting to know how it was applied.

  1. As old as print

Seeing as it all started back in the 15th century, this proves that it started as far back as printing. The first printers that were invented back then was a new found discovery, but also brought on a lot of extra work. Now, you cannot just write something down on a piece of paper and scratch it out.

  1. Contracts

It was realised that proofreading is important to writing contracts. One wrong word can offset a lot of hard work and this is why emphasis was placed on checking. Before this it was just written contracts, but once it started being printed, the necessity for perfect grammar started.

  1. Two readers

Back in the day proofreading was a job for two people. The one would go ahead and read the content loud and the other would listen. The listener would then make the changes as they see fit. These days, we just try and do it all ourselves, but perhaps their method was more effective.

  1. No spell checkers

We are so fortunate to have access to spellcheckers online that we don’t even go through the trouble to do it ourselves. There were no spellcheckers or even computers back then and it was done humanly. You could not simply enter information into a machine and receive an end result. It was a lot more complicated than what we are used to.

  1. Accuracy

The accuracy levels of good grammar was way better back then. We trust everything a computer or online program can do and sometimes to our detriment. There are some elements to writing that only the human eye can see and pick up. It’s great that we can do this online, but it is not always as accurate as the methods used in the 15th century.

  1. Dictionaries

As time passed, the dictionary was one of the better choices to help with paraphrasing. There is not much we can trust in this world, but at least the dictionary is correct. Can you imagine a world where words in the dictionary needed more proofreading? This was a great tool for people to use then.

  1. Copyright

Then came the time of copywriting, which is still major today. One cannot take the work of someone and present it as your own. You can find a paraphraser online free and save yourself a lot of trouble. When copyrighting became popular, the need for paraphrasing rose.

  1. Independent thinking

Students right now understand that they need to be able to read a text and put it into their own words. This was one of the motivating factors for paraphrasing. Coming up with your own words to say the same thing can be a challenge. The skill it takes to dissect information would become important to all students from thereon forward.

  1. Online writing

Once the internet became popular and blog started popping up, there was more paraphrasing to take place. Original writers would be devastated when someone else received credit for their hard work. This is understandable, but it was not always identified as a huge problem back then. These days, you can be sued for doing the same thing.

  1. Plagiarism

Then we started using the word plagiarism more in schools and online. This is when you intentionally or mistakenly copy someone else’s work. Not everyone goes out to steal someone else’s work. Some people just write one sentence and it can be picked up as plagiarism. Plagiarism gives a lot of writers, students and professionals nightmares because of the seriousness thereof.

  1. Quoting

Now we can use the work of someone else as long as we quote and give them credit. You can do this in your essays, theses and even blog posts. The idea is based on wanting to use relevant information without plagiarising. Once you use quotes and name the writer, you are no longer in the wrong.

  1. Paraphrasing and Proofreading

We are in the age now where paraphrasing and proofreading goes hand in hand. Having the ability to combine the two is going to give the writer the desired results. One cannot be complete without the other because of the distinct link.

  1. Online tools

If you were to go online right now and look for a paraphraser or a proofreading tool, you can find many. We are no longer sitting with our written work and try to figure it out ourselves. Technology has come a long way, but there are still some improvements to be made. More and more grammar tools are coming up with better features as the years go by and it is exciting times.

  1. The future

Who knows what will come to be our reality in the next ten years. The kids then would probably look at our methods as ineffective. This is why advancement is so good for us to move forward. Perhaps the future generations will come up with better methods or go back to the ones used years before. At the end of the day, it is all about effectiveness in what we do.


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