Five Things to Avoid When Using AI for Proofreading


10th November 2023

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In a previous blog, we suggested that AI can be used to support and supplement your proofreading. However, even though AI can be used as a useful tool, this does not mean all AI use is beneficial and flawless. Read on to find out five things to avoid when using AI for proofreading to limit the chances of a reduced quality of your produced work.

1. Avoid oversimplified sentences

While proofreading, AI may inadvertently oversimplify your writing. For instance, a complex sentence that elegantly conveys your thoughts could be shortened by AI, potentially diminishing its impact. You need to avoid AI simplifying your text too drastically as this may result in your essay losing its special style and important details.

2. Avoid loss of intended meaning

AI proofreading tools, while helpful, can inadvertently modify the intended meaning of your text. For instance, the sentence ‘She saw a man with a telescope’ could be revised by AI to ‘She saw a man through a telescope,’ fundamentally changing the context. For this reason, you need to be cautious when accepting AI’s suggestions, as they may not always preserve your original intent.

3. Avoid AI’s American English

AI always uses American English. If you need your essay in British English, you should pay attention that AI does not change your spelling to American English. If you’ve always written in British English, suddenly switching to American English might lead to inconsistencies and a noticeable shift in language style, which may adversely affect your grade.

4. Avoid neglecting a thorough review

Another pitfall to avoid when using AI for proofreading is to neglect the importance of a thorough human review. Remember that AI tools are not always reliable and can make mistakes, such as missing complex grammar rules or misunderstanding technical terms. Always carefully review AI-generated proofreads to make sure they enhance the quality of your paper without introducing errors.

5. Avoid citation and referencing errors

If your academic work includes references or citations, AI may not always format them correctly. For example, AI may misplace or mislabel your sources or change the intended referencing style, leading to citation inaccuracies. This is why you always need to double-check the accuracy of proofread citations and references to make sure they are correct.

A key message

The main takeaway from this blog is that not all AI use is beneficial or trustworthy. Over-reliance on AI during proofreading can lead to oversimplified sentences, loss of meaning, a shift from British to American English, as well as grammar and citation errors. These pitfalls have the potential to diminish the quality of your academic work and should thus be avoided at all costs.