Proofreading Tips – Four Effective Proofreading Tips!

Proofreading Tips – Four Effective Proofreading Tips!

When writing anything for publication, proofreading should never be skipped or skimped. Thorough proofreading and editing should be an integral part of the writing process. Here are four tips for effective proofreading.

1. Check Your Spelling.

Always check your spelling. If you are writing an article for publication or copy for a web page, spelling errors will give your work an unprofessional appearance. People reading your article or visiting your website will not take you seriously if they think you are unable to spell simple words or are too slapdash to care about spelling mistakes.

2. Take A Break

When you are happy with your spelling, punctuation and grammar, take a break (preferably overnight) before returning to do further editing. This break means you can go back to your article with fresh eyes which will enable you to spot any errors that need correcting and to add any information you might have missed during the initial writing and editing process. Then print off a hard copy and read it again. Reading from a hard copy is easier than reading from a screen and you will see errors that you missed when reading from your computer screen.

3. Read It Aloud

Before publishing what you have written, read it aloud. Reading aloud forces you to read more slowly and to read every word individually without skipping over words. By reading aloud, you will pick up any duplicated or missing words and any typos the spell check might not have highlighted. Always bear in mind that spell check software looks for incorrect spelling, it won’t pick up a typo or misused word even if it makes no sense in context. For instance if you write about the top way to cut up a log for firewood and accidentally type dog instead of log, the spell check software will not flag this error because dog is a real word.

Reading aloud means you can use your ears as well as your eyes to spot errors. When reading aloud, you will be more likely to spot errors in punctuation and style because you will hear when a sentence or phrase is too long or simply does not sound right even though it might have looked fine on paper.

4. Have Somebody Else Read It

One you are happy with your editing, pass a copy to a trusted friend who has a good understanding of spelling, grammar and punctuation. Even after checking and double checking, it is still easy to miss an error in your own work that would be completely obvious to another person reading it for the first time. It is also a good idea to get an independent critical review of your work to check that the information you intended to convey in your article is clear to the reader. This is particularly useful if you are writing about a subject you know very well. It is easy to miss out a piece of information because it seems like stating the obvious. Remember, it is only obvious because you are so familiar with the subject, readers who are not familiar with the topic, will need you to help them to learn about it.

Proper proofreading and editing must not be overlooked if you need to screen out elementary typing errors and avoidable spelling mistakes before allowing the public access to your writing. Readers will simply not bother to try to make sense out of poorly finished writing.

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