this is my motto for proofreading.
this is my favorite process for proofreading, as i'm starting to notice: poke as many holes as possible into an essay so that when its done, if you poured water through the piece of writing, if it were a bucket, you could water plants.
and what i expect from the reader/writer is to go through these holes i have poked to pick the ones that are worth plugging, because in my mind the end goal is to actually water the plants, but not from holes all over the tool. from holes at the right parts where when you pour the water, it flows in a meaningful and desirable and planned manner.
so once you pick these holes i have poked, you go through the writing in a more cohesive manner, making edits to those specific parts. the other reason you have to pick is because once you make an edit to part 1 of the essay, the comments in part 2 may not be very valid at all. in fact they may not make any sense. so you really need to review the poked areas to pick and choose what makes sense.
at this point, as already discussed earlier, you then plug the right holes in a manner that is convincing and flows with who you are and what message you are trying to get across, whether its discussing the religious philosophies of kant, applying to business school, your first cover letter, or an email to a colleague (which actually does take a fair amount of editing when you first start working)...
and boom bada bing, i believe you have a better piece of work! and mind you - i'm not just saying i like to do this. i like it when people take the same approach with what i do. i appreciate the time & effort they put into it (maybe because i equate that with what i would've done and therefore feel a) that i should pay attn to their comments and b) that they have paid attn to my words).
and while we're on the topic... i find that for some reason i end up reading/reviewing a lot of essays, applications, and the like for friends and family. i will be honest about this - i love doing it. i constantly offer my help/guidance in areas where i may bring some sort of expertise. and i am very careful about this. if i dont know the subject then i'll be very honest and only proofread the english/grammar.
and to b honest... whether its knowing that your opinion matters (which is a very selfish feeling of satisfaction) or actually being happy when the applicant makes it through the round (which is a much less seemingly selfish satisfaction), it feels really good to help people. i have no qualms in admitting that i love helping others and that altruism in general is not so selfless. it gives me a high. and most of us do it because it drives a basic need. if we can accept that, then we're more honest with ourselves and will therefore invest even more energy in doing for others - so in turn we end up striving to help others and also, in the process, become better people. i would love to engage anyone on this topic (if you agree or disagree with me) because i really do believe that altruism is not as selfless as people make it sound. that is not to say its bad... no such dichotomy of good vs bad here. at least not insofar as i have experienced it.
So get in touch with me if you're interested in getting your application Poked… Picked at… And then Plugged into your overall story :)