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Reading aloud (or listening to your writing being read) takes some getting used to, but give it a try.
You don’t have to be in the same room to do this—you could email a copy of your paper to your friend and ask him/her to call you and read to you over the phone.
You don’t necessarily need to recruit a friend to read to you.
When you hear your paper read out loud, you may recognize that you need to re-order the information in it or realize that there are gaps in your explanation.
Listeners also need transitions to help us get from one main idea to the next.
When you hear your paper, you may recognize places where you have moved from one topic to another too abruptly. Sometimes we leave out a word, mess things up as we copy and paste text, or make a grammatical mistake.
These kinds of errors can be hard to see on the page, but sentences that contain them are very likely to sound wrong.
As listeners, we need the order of ideas in a paper to make sense.
We can’t flip back and forth from page to page to try to figure out what is going on or find information we need.
Reading your paper out loud has a lot of benefits, but it presents a few challenges, too. It is very easy to read too quickly or to let your brain automatically “smooth over” mistakes, fill in missing words, and make little corrections without you ever becoming consciously aware that it’s happening.
If you don’t read exactly what is on the printed page, you won’t get an accurate sense of what is in your paper.