Thank you for contacting ‘Ask an Advocate’. This is a great question.
Proofreading is one of the last things a student does before submitting their assignment. It usually involves a final check for any punctuation, spelling or grammatical errors.
It is best to proofread your individual assignment yourself rather than ask someone else to proofread it for you. There are a few reasons for this.
As proofreading is part of the writing process and part of the work of completing an assignment, students are generally required to proofread their own assignments prior to submission. Part of being a student is learning how to proofread effectively and a good way to learn this is through proofreading your own work repeatedly over time. It is best to allow time to do this prior to submitting an assignment.
For tips on how to do your own proofreading, see: https://www.deakin.edu.au/students/studying/study-support/academic-skills/drafting-your-assignment
If you were to give your assignment to someone else to proofread, there is a risk they could do more than marking up any punctuation/spelling/grammatical errors for you to fix yourself. If they were to edit your assignment or provide you with other significant help with your assignment, this may lead to an allegation of academic integrity breach (e.g. collusion or contract cheating).
You need to ensure the security of your own work. We strongly advise you against providing anyone with your assignment work, particularly in electronic form.
It is very important that you do not ask another student to read or to proofread your individual assignment. This would be a breach of Deakin’s academic integrity rules unless your unit chair has specifically given you permission to do this.
Consider booking a free one-to-one appointment with a Language and Learning Advisor to learn how to proofread your assignment: https://www.deakin.edu.au/students/studying/study-support/appointments
There are a couple of exceptions to the advice we’ve given above:
If you are working on a group assignment, you could ask your group members to proofread your section of the group assignment (and vice versa).
If you are an HDR (Higher Degree by Research) student, it may be acceptable for you to get your thesis professionally proofread prior to submission. There are certain rules to follow in terms of what is allowable and how to acknowledge this in your thesis. To find out these details, please talk to your HDR Supervisor or your School HDR Coordinator.
If after reading all of this you still feel strongly that you want someone else to proofread your assignment, we encourage you to ask your unit chair whether they would allow this. You may also want to review Deakin’s academic integrity webpages: https://www.deakin.edu.au/students/studying/academic-integrity/responsibilities
We hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like to discuss this with an Advocate, please book an appointment. We can support you to understand academic integrity and to access appropriate, useful resources. You can contact us via this link: https://dusa.org.au/our-services/advocacy-welfare/