Proofreading and Editing Your Drafts

Last updated 10/17/14

Listed below are a number of free options to automatically proofread your drafts for mechanics. The first two are in your word processor and in WordPress. The others are available online. In terms of accuracy and usefulness, I’d rate them a D+. Still, they do give you some useful feedback on typos or careless errors if you’re careful to remember that they’re also unreliable, i.e., they often ignore some errors and flag some that are actually correct.

Your best bet for reliable editing may be Online Tutoring: UH Manoa Online Learning Academy, which is available to students on all UH campuses, including community colleges. I’m not sure how they work, but their one-on-one, in-person editing has to be superior to the ones listed below. If you need help with mechanics, let them know and ask them to give you an inventory or list of problems. Next, use the inventory to review all your drafts. To better understand the errors and how to correct them, ask the tutor for help.

If they can’t help or if the help is limited, go to mechanics in our course resources page. If you don’t find the help you need, then go to Rhetoric and Composition/Grammar and Mechanics or Purdue’s OWL: mechanics, grammar, punctuation. If you still can’t find answers, email me at

In my report to you on your first paper, final draft #1 (FD1), I will include an inventory of problems that you need to address in all your drafts. I’ll include links to explanations and solutions. Return to this inventory to review all your drafts before posting them for evaluation. I’ll be referring to this inventory when I evaluate all your FDs. If you need additional help in understanding the items in the inventory, don’t hesitate to email me or see a tutor for help.

Free Options to Automatically Proofread Your Draft

MS Word has a built-in proofreader. After writing your draft, click on the Review tab, then click on the editing icon on the far left.

MS Word 2010 built-in proofreader is under the Review tab.

The MS Word 2010 built-in proofreader is under the Review tab.

Use WordPress’s built-in proofreader. After you’ve posted your draft, click on the editing icon.

WordPress has a built-in proofreader.

WordPress has a built-in proofreader.

The following are available online. They usually offer a free preview to entice you to pay for a more comprehensive review. Don’t fall for the scam. The results aren’t worth the cost. The reports are superficial, usually inaccurate, and miss many errors. To use the free versions, copy your draft into the editing box on their site and click on review. After a few moments, you receive a report. The results can be useful if used with caution.


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