Search for Your Personal Demons

Everyone has errors they habitually make, even when they know better. Our students find it most efficient to keep handy a list of their personal demons when they proofread and to use their word processing program's search function to find errors.

  • Alex mixes up the verb affect with the noun effect. So he searches both words and then makes sure he used the right one. 

    "How will the evidence affect the team's decision?"

    "The survey's results will have a significant effect."

  • Mika constantly used the adverbs actually and obviously for emphasis instead of giving concrete examples that made her point better.  So now she puts "ly" in the search bar and reviews all her adverbs.  She changed: 

    "Obviously the plaintiff fell because of the defendant's negligence clearing the snow."


    "At 11 a.m., twelve hours after it stopped snowing, the plaintiff slipped on a snow-covered patch of ice on the first step of the defendant's apartment building." 

Common Errors Spell Check Misses

Here are the top errors our students were glad they found before sending off their work.

Which go on your checklist?