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Improve Your College Application With An Online Essay Proofreader

For students applying to college, one of the most important steps is writing the college admissions essay. For graduate and PhD students, knowing how to write or format the statement of purpose is crucial.

Both college and graduate school applicants know that using an online essay proofreader or AI proofreading tool is a quick and easy way to speed up your college application process. However, many students remain confused with questions such as:

  • Are AI essay proofreader tools reliable? Are free versions effective?
  • How does an online essay proofreader compare to a human proofreader or editor?
  • How can I use human and AI essay proofreaders together most effectively?

This article will explore how to use an online essay proofreader to improve the college or graduate school application process.  

Why Students Need an Essay Proofreader

Even though application materials such as the letter of recommendation are important, the admissions essay in 2021 has become (and will continue to be) the most important factor determining admissions into top colleges and universities. The University of California system has even removed the ACT/SAT as a requirement.

Admissions essays or personal statements are how admissions committees judge you as a student, professional, and ultimately, a person. That means you must avoid common admissions essay mistakes like simply listing your achievements–like a resume/CV–or revealing too much personal information.

Why Students Should Use A Human Essay Proofreader

Students commonly turn to professional application essay editing services in which academic and admission experts edit and proofread essays simultaneously for a fee. 

This has many benefits, including the following.  

Maintains personal narrative and voice

A human essay proofreader understands the writer’s context, intent and impact. A human editor can understand the reasons why the student is applying to a particular university or program.

Based on real experience, an experienced editor can more or less weigh certain aspects of the essay, or it can eliminate them entirely. A human proofreader can also more easily filter out certain word choices to maintain consistency.

Human proofreaders have a track record of success

Most of the popular admissions essay services are staffed by actual professors, graduate students, and former admissions professionals who have not only been through the application process themselves at both the undergraduate and graduate levels but may have actually participated in the decision-making process.

In short, a human essay proofreader is intimately experienced with the important outcome for the student: successful admission. 

Different programs and universities, not to mention undergraduate versus graduate essays, have different contextual requirements. A statement of purpose for graduate school will require more professional emphasis, whereas a college admissions essay will naturally focus on a high school’s personal growth and experiences.

On the other hand, an AI proofreader tool weighs all inputs the same and cannot make content-driven recommendations. They assume that the scope of the writing is already optimized and appropriate.

Professional essay proofreaders save time

While an online essay proofreader tool can certainly check your grammar, spelling, and punctuation in real-time, the actual time cost is less with a human essay proofreader. 

It’s pretty common to find express delivery for admissions essay editing (as low as 9 hours). Given a sufficient budget, you can order and forget about the essay until you receive it back. One of the reasons students pay for a human essay proofreader is because the act of payment guarantees on-time delivery.

On the other hand, an AI-powered proofreader tool does not make editorial decisions, which means classic techniques like reaching out to a mentor, parent, or friend for a second set of eyes and suggestions will be necessary. Unfortunately, anything done for free or as a favor has no guarantee of being done quickly or perfectly.

Why Students Use Online Automated Proofreaders

There are many online AI proofreaders on the market, including Wordvice.ai. These popular, powerful, and easy-to-use tools are here to stay, and young students are relying upon them to check plagiarism, grammar, and more. 

In fact, students’ essay writing skills are improving overall due to these tools, with benefits such as:

Real-time feedback

AI proofreaders have the benefit of checking grammar, punctuation, spelling, and word choice as well as making suggestions in real time. There is one major impact: editing in real time can potentially affect the tone or content of the writing.

This real-time feedback can lead the writer to alter sentence structure, word choice, and even the entire scope of the essay. A young high school student applying to college who is weak in certain writing techniques could be helped or hurt by this feedback. On one hand, an applicant won’t get into too much trouble wading into complex areas or plagiarizing a section.

On the other hand, college applicants run the risk of sounding the same as everyone else. This risk of losing one’s personal narrative and voice is not trivial. Admissions officers specifically look for a personal touch and sense of uniqueness in applicants.

Free to use

As a piece of software, many AI-driven proofreaders and grammar checkers are free to use, and when used in combination with other tools they can provide nearly perfect proofreading. Software is free to distribute and isn’t limited by a human essay proofreader doing work in real-time. Fortunately, there are many 100% free AI proofreaders available.

However, many AI proofreading tools are limited by the fact that premium versions are locked behind a paywall. This is true for popular grammar checkers like Grammarly and Hemingway

The problem is that skilled writing, and certainly writing with a major goal like a college admissions essay, requires a complete editing and revision process. Unfortunately, free versions of software are by design incomplete. For this reason, many students remain unsatisfied with only relying upon AI proofreader software.

So which method of essay proofreading is the best?

Improve your College Essay by Combining AI and Human Proofreaders 

The best way to improve your college application essays is to create a workflow that uses an AI online proofreader for the actual writing process, followed by a human essay proofreader for extensive content, style, and tone revisions.

1) Write your essay with an AI proofreader

The first and most straightforward step is to write your essay while using an AI online grammar proofreader such as Wordvice.ai.

There are many resources and tips about the college admissions process, including tips on how to address various Common application essay prompts

Keep in mind that AI proofreaders excel at finding grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes, but it’s up to the applicant to make sure they are under the essay word limit as well as avoiding common application essay mistakes.

To get started, be sure to check out how to use the Wordvice AI proofreader.

2) Dos and Don’ts for how to write using an AI proofreader

How to use an automated proofreader
  • Write as you normally do. This helps you stay conscious of your writing style and informs you of bad writing habits.
  • Consider suggestions. Many AI proofreaders make grammatical or syntax suggestions on the side. Don’t blindly accept them.
  • Passive vs Active voice. AI proofreading tools generally don’t like passive voice. However, it’s always a debate on whether one should use passive or active voice in a college essay; it may depend on the intention or timeline of your essay.
  • Cite properly and don’t plagiarize. AI tools treat all text and writing equally, whether it’s an anecdote, fact, or opinion. Check for plagiarism or if specified, use a citation generator tool to generate citations, especially if you are referencing an academic work or experience.
How NOT to use an AI proofreader
  • Do NOT copy-paste a finished essay. Writing this way by using the AI proofreader only at the end is similar to using MS Word spell grammar checker. It only gives you a checklist of things to accept or reject. Often, these changes can alter the voice or tone of your writing. 
  • Do NOT simply accept all suggestions. AI essay proofreaders prompt you with red lines or notifications that something is “wrong” or could be “improved”. Ultimately, it’s up to your judgment to assess if that suggestion adds value or is inline with your writing intention and style. 
  • Do NOT follow every error or suggested improvement. While AI essay proofreaders do excel at mistakes, they often leave a lot on the board when it comes to improving your essay. This is because bots have no ability to understand context. With contextual understanding comes the ability to recall experiences and extrapolate. As of now, AI text editors cannot do this.

3) Use an admission essay editing service

College admissions essays should communicate a sense of humanity. In other words, these essays are not just lists of facts, a ledger of information, or encyclopedic articles for which an AI proofreader would be effective. They provide a small window into one’s background, goals, and personal character.

This is why admissions professionals usually recommend getting a human essay proofreader after the initial revision process – friends, family, mentor, and now AI proofreader

Your friends and family know you, your personality, and how to best communicate that. Mentors such as teachers, tutors, or experts know how to best put your academic and professional goals into writing. And we have covered how AI proofreaders can help your writing process and correct grammatical errors.

How to use a human essay proofreader
  • Start early and give yourself enough time. The downside to essay editing services is their cost. This can be mitigated by avoiding express delivery options. Further, allowing for longer editing times gives editors more time to edit your work. 
  • Write individualized essays. Every university or program views itself as special. This means you need an individualized well-written admission essay for every place you apply. 
  • Write notes and submit them to an editor. One small trick you can use is to include notations, annotations, or personal comments in the margins of your essay to give your editor more context and insight into why you wrote something the way you did. Wordvice essay editing has a personalized messaging system between editors and clients for this purpose.
How NOT to use a human essay proofreader
blue and pink infographic, how to use ai and human essay proofreaders for college admissions essays