Reading gives us the unconscious language knowledge that we need. Proofread Better in 5 Steps Check the most common mistakes first.. You must have good vision. Disclaimer: This site generates income via advertising, paid links, affiliate links, sponsored articles and book promotion. Your mind concentrates on the text, either single word by word or sentence by sentence. Over the years, I have discovered so many great side hustle ideas such as transcribing audio files, data entry, freelance writing, bookkeeping, and blogging.But, perhaps one of the lesser-known ways to make money from home is by proofreading. If you are trying to proofread late at night when you are exhausted, you might want to give up and go to bed. Then check that you have cited these statements correctly. But these 10 tips should help you see (or hear) your errors before anybody else does. To throw it off balance and make it work better for proofreading, try reading through the text backwards. I convert the doc to a pdf using DoPDF-7 a free app that creates a virtual printer option in Word. ProWritingAid – My favorite editing tool for long works. The Premium version is even better. Proofreading you check for grammatical errors, typos, and consistency. Will try out the reading backwards tip as I can see how that would work. Definitely agree with editing a paper copy – you wouldn’t think it would make a difference but it certainly does. It’s a classic lesson why you need to proofread every word you write. If you are trying to proofread a long article in one go, you’re certainly going to miss some errors. These 10 tips will have you proofreading like a pro in seconds. She wrote about it here if you want to learn more. Great tips thank you. Revising the use of language to communicate your story, ideas, or … Only then print a copy of it and go through your work line … This breaks up the anticipated rhythm and flow of the writing, allowing the mind to focus on the letters and words found on the page. Grammarly proofreads for subject-verb agreement, article use, modifier placement, and more! Phon Baillie, Art of Proofreading 10 Questions To Ask A Publisher, 10 Best Free Book Publishing Software For Self-Publishers. Meticulous editing and good proofreading techniques can save you a lot of embarrassment. Editing comes first, and can involve major changes to content, structure and language. The longer you can wait the better, but even a short break or a good night’s sleep can help you proofread more effectively. Read your work out loud . Thanks for the article. Read your papers out loud. The free version is great. It’s also the slowest step. Give your mind the necessary time to split the two tasks. The quote, "The difference between the almost right word and the right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug," for example, is one of Twain's most well-known observations. You are often citing or stating facts in your writing. In part, because using a computer shines a light in … Give yourself plenty of time to work through every line so you can check for common grammar and/or spelling mistakes. Study medical terminology by taking an online class or a course from a community college. Proofreading ensures the final content is free of linguistic and formatting errors. Once you have finished your document, set it … Here are some tips. I know that proofreading is much easier and always more accurate if I work on checking texts before midday. Free self-publishing advice, how to guides and tips. A fresh pair of eyes will always be looking at the text from a different and detached perspective. Do a preliminary read Does It Mean You Will Fail Worse? You can apply the same method when you proofread. Proofreading, on the other hand, is the final stage of writing. One of the best proofreading techniques is to take one type of error at a time and correct it. Christine. This is especially true when it comes to writing essays. Proofreading is about more than good manners. Give it the double take: Writers should never rely on … But you should always make sure that your facts are accurate. Your email address will not be published. Here’s some more reasons why proofreading is important: 1. Theresa, Great tips! EditFast lets you proofread a variety of different projects. The technology is new, I get that, but that doesn’t make it bad or wrong. 9. Watch for misspellings, grammatical errors and typos. As once an old newspaper reporter himself, Twain knew full well how hard it is to proofread your own work, but he also knew that proofreaders can't always catch all of your mistakes. Proofreading and editing your essay can seem tedious, but it is actually a simple task if you tackle it in an organized manner. When you finish writing, never try to proofread your text straight away. ), page numbers, proper names, and incorrect phrasing. Proofread Anywhere is not on the Better Business Bureau because she doesn’t want to pay them. Proofreading corrects surface writing errors like grammatical, spelling punctuation and other language errors. Anyone wanting to be a better writer, editor, or proofreader needs to read. Please select your preference. Each of you should underline the potential errors before returning the paper. It should say “at what they pick up’. Check and double-check your sources to make sure. 2. I know that whenever a tiny typo or mistake slips through my checking process for my blog posts, there is always a kind member of the grammar police on hand to let me know. If at all possible step away from your article and leave it overnight or at least for a couple of hours. Sometimes it’s useful to check for spelling mistakes and punctuation errors separately. Just a tip. If you are tired, it’s a long slog, and you will miss a lot of mistakes. The first category, habits, includes general actions you should do regularly for effective editing and proofreading of any kind of writing. Submit your comment only once, please. You have shared such a knowledgeable tips. When you edit something you write, you inevitably make it better. If necessary, cite a reliable source. Read it aloud. Dr. Richard Nordquist is professor emeritus of rhetoric and English at Georgia Southern University and the author of several university-level grammar and composition textbooks. It also works equally well if you read it on an e-reader. 9 Proofreading Techniques And Tips and Tricks 1. Click here to read our disclosure statement in full. Your writing skills might be first class, but any small error in your writing will stand out to readers. It’s always much better and faster to tackle proofreading when you are fresh and relaxed. This forces you to read each word individually and increases the odds that you'll find a typo. The episode has always stayed in my mind. Below are optional additional resources that can help you start a proofreading side hustle from home and become more efficient with your time. This way you will often notice when a word or sentence doesn’t sound right. Many years ago, when I was working in printing and publishing, we had to print 1,000 posters promoting a new concert hall. You might not have to suffer the expense to reprint 1,000 posters, but your writing reputation is valuable. How to Become a Freelance Proofreader Online. It’s always best to step away from it to clear your mind before you proofread. Proofreading is not an easy task, so you should never take it lightly. Simply check off each item on the list once you have completed it. Our online proofreader is fast, accurate, and accessible anywhere. Then you could start your check for spelling errors. Your mind then has a fixed idea about the plot, story, or flow of your words. My days are spent teaching English and writing, as well as testing and taming new technology. Commonly, proofreading involves checking over the grammar, punctuation, technical mistakes, inconsistencies, unneeded words, fonts, styles (italics, bolding, etc. Just Publishing Advice For Writers and Authors, 10 Writing Tips And Tricks To Improve Your Accuracy, Confusing Words We Get Wrong All The Time. Don’t overload your brain by trying to find every type of problem the first time you read... 2. 1. Proofreading & Editing Tools. Revising an early draft of a text, often making significant changes to the content and moving, adding or deleting entire sections (also known as developmental or substantive editing). A degree in English can be helpful, but is not required. If you are going to take the time and effort to proofread your work, you need to know how to proofread properly. You can use them, too: (1) Allow some time to pass after you finish writing/editing and before you start proofreading. Proofread your paper. You could ask a friend or family member if you don’t have an editor. You aren’t concerned at all about the story, so you aren’t distracted by any elements of the plot. You can find so many spelling and grammar mistakes when you aren’t focused on the flow of the text or story. 9 Proofreading Techniques And Tips and Tricks. I use them on every thing I write! Unless you are proofreading a 500-page novel, you should always try and work on a printed copy to help spot mistakes. If you want to avoid the embarrassment of typos, grammar errors, and spelling mistakes, here are nine tips and techniques to help you proofread more accurately. A printed copy is easier to read and also more practical to add notes or comments. In proofreading, also pay close attention to sentence structure, punctuation and word choice. Take your time, and as long as you need to do the job right, the first time. As he said in a letter to Sir Walter Bessant in February 1898: So how does one proofread one's own work effectively, catching all of the mistakes without having to rely on someone else to do so? Organize your proofreading efforts by writing down all the areas you will need to cover. If time allows, set your text aside for a few hours (or days) after you've finished composing it, then... Look for one type of problem at a time. *. Eliminate distracting errors Try proofreading from the bottom up. When you write a text, you agonize over it and read it over and over again. Required fields are marked *, By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website. This will force you to focus on individual words rather than on meaning. It’s very easy to switch between using – and — for a dash (it should be — if it’s in a sentence), or between writing Restless Minds’ or Restless Minds’s (both are correct) without realising. Use Tools to Help You Become a Better Proofreader. Proofreading means examining your text carefully to find and correct typographical errors and mistakes in grammar, style, and spelling. Take a trip to the beach. When you hear the sentences flowing into each other, you are more likely to identify potential grammatical errors. Compose a list of what you want to check within the paper. Get some distance from the text! Always proofread a printed version of your work. Every punctuation mark, word, and sentence stands on its own. Your email address will not be published. I did appreciate your article, though. Faster Technology = Faster Proofreading. In doing so, they will be more likely to find errors or areas that you can improve. I can guarantee spotting mistakes I have read about 10 times on the computer screen. You'll also need to be able to focus for long periods of time, and be attentive to details. Learn how your comment data is processed. If you dislike my first tip and prefer to proofread on a computer, try using your computer's voice command feature. Step 2: Line editing. I can’t tell you how many forests I have spared! Better yet, give the paper to a friend—you can’t get much more distance than that. Proofreading Tips Read your work backward, starting with the last sentence and working your way in reverse order to the beginning. When you were at college or university, did you have a friend who often read aloud to help absorb... 3. Proofreading is one of the final steps in writing. It works, obviously — I’ve got lots of happy clients who love my PDF corrections. Use Grammarly proof-reader. It takes a lot of concentration when you are trying to identify tiny errors in a long document. Great little app although there are probably lots more available. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience when you visit our website. It’s often so much easier to identify a sentence as incorrect by reading it out loud. It’s always much better if you can ask someone else to proofread for you. 20 Common Grammar Mistakes You Need To Avoid, Amazon Downloads Charge Eats At Your Ebook Royalties, Should I Use A Publisher? With regard to printing it out… Rereading it away from the computer screen is a must! Here are ten strategies for doing just that. Ironically, however, it is often misquoted and lightning is misspelled twice as lightening. Clear your head of what you’ve written so you can take a fresh look at the paper and see what is really on the page. Grammarly’s online proofreading tool scans your text for more than 400 advanced grammar rules. Like editing, it is important to take your time during the proofreading process. You could also try reading it to someone else and see if they can pick up any errors. Twain himself had little patience for such errors and vehemently advocated for proofreading. A computer screen can be tiring on your eyes. Before You Proofread Be sure you’ve revised the larger aspects of your text. There were only four words on the poster—Concert Hall Grand Opening. From there, you can enter custom keystrokes that make your computer read highlighted text. When you rush to do anything, the result is often less than perfect. If you are the author and the proofreader, then take a long time between the two stages. There's no foolproof formula for perfect proofreading every time—as Twain realized, it's just too tempting to see what we meant to write rather than the words that actually appear on the page or screen. It’s/its, affect/effect,... Read out loud.. I’ve suggested this before, but it’s surprisingly helpful. One problem at a time. The most effective way to help you proofread a paper that you wrote is to create a significant time gap between the writing stage and the proofreading stage. Caitlin Pyle Proofread Anywhere Better Business Bureau Rating? ‘You might be surprised at what they pick us because they will be unbiased’. A Cambridge CELTA English teacher and author with a passion for writing and all forms of publishing. Your writing is only as good as the accuracy of your proofreading, so never take any shortcuts. The basics are the basics for a reason. As you read more books on writing, editing and proofreading and as you write, edit and proofread, you will … Having experience editing documents translated by non-native speakers or editing experience in specialized subjects such as medical, technical, novels, and patents will also improve … Reading a text backward is one of the oldest proofreading tips. 10. It was only when the posters were being packed for dispatch that the delivery driver asked, “What’s a concept hall?”. A checklist can cover things such as grammar, spelling, sentence structure, and punctuation. Proofreading really is a meticulous and time-consuming process, but the more you put into it, the more you get out. You’ll see possible errors in your friend’s writing, and he or she will see some in yours. You can start with the formatting to check that you numbered your bullet lists correctly or that your paragraph spacing is consistent. Acclaimed author Mark Twain had much to say on the topics of writing and language during his life, and his words are still quoted regularly today. It doesn’t matter if you are writing for pleasure or business; mistakes can be costly. If you make major changes while proofreading, even if it’s just within sentences, you’re still in an artistic, creative mode, not a science mode. Great article – thank you Lisa. The voice selection isn't stellar, but hey. Don’t make corrections at the sentence and word level if you still need to work on the focus, organization,… Shut down email and social media, hide the cell phone, shut off the TV, radio, or music, and close the door. Make sure you have no distractions or potential interruptions. 8. On a Mac, go to System Preferences and click "Dictation & Speech." 17 Proofreading Techniques: The following list presents the strategies we recommend for better proofreading. We all make unconscious... (2) Print out your text and proofread on paper. The easiest way to proofread is to read your writing aloud. Tips for Proofreading Effectively Give it a rest. Yes, everyone involved in the production process missed the clumsy spelling mistake. If you attempt to identify and correct all errors within one sitting, you risk losing focus and you many find that you miss major mistakes. Your brain needs to cool down from the creative side of writing. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. It’s hard to edit or proofread a paper that you’ve just finished writing—it’s still to familiar, and you tend to skip over a lot of errors. The first stages of editing are often done by authors themselves, while a professional editor makes the final improvements to grammar and style (for example, by improving sentence structure and word choice). Caitlin is always getting asked why there is no Proofread Anywhere Better Business Bureau rating. Go for a run. That’s what makes it so difficult for a writer to spot errors. Don’t overload your brain by trying to find every type of problem the first time you read through your text. Copyright © 2021 Just Publishing Advice - All Rights Reserved. Fail Again, Fail Better? Proofreading helps turn a final draft into a perfectly polished, ready-to-go-live draft. It is easier to focus on a specific task, and you are less likely to miss mistakes. How to Proofread. A good understanding of English spelling and grammar is essential to becoming a proofreader. Are you looking for ways to make money from home? Editing and proofreading are different steps in the process of revising a text.. Do You Want A Free Book Cover Maker For Your Book? EditFast. You might find the best time for you is in the morning. Proofreading is a separate step in the writing process, so take a long break. Also, triple-check that the facts are still 100% accurate when you relate to them in your own words. It’s a technique that can work for some people. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. A very helpful article. It requires proper guidance and correct way to apply on paper. It’s when you meticulously go over content with a fine-tooth comb looking for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. When you were at college or university, did you have a friend who often read aloud to help absorb information? For an article or essay writing, leave a day between writing and proofreading if you can. To prevent spam, all comments are moderated and will be published upon approval. Take your time and look at your writing with a fresh pair of eyes. After you’ve written your essay, report, parole petition, or whatever, swap with a friend. By using ThoughtCo, you accept our, Proofreaders' and Teachers' Correction Marks, The Difference Between Revising and Editing, Revision Checklist for a Descriptive Paragraph, The Advantages and Disadvantages of Spell Checkers, Explore and Evaluate Your Writing Process, How to Put Together a Poetry Manuscript for Publication, Examples of Signal Phrases in Grammar and Composition, How to Teach the Compare and Contrast Essay, Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia, M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester, B.A., English, State University of New York. Only once those major edits are complete can the document move to the proofreading stage. The best proofreading comes from a fresh pair of eyes. Try following these five approaches to proofreading: How to proofread in 5 easy steps Wait. :) Put the paper aside for a few hours, days, or weeks. Just remember to take it slow and check … Screen can be tiring on your eyes reading through the text, either single word by word or by! And taming new how to proofread better yet, give the paper aside for a couple of hours reading the. Make unconscious... ( 2 ) Print out your text carefully to find type. In writing tips should help you Become a better proofreader a classic lesson why you need to Avoid, Downloads... And he or how to proofread better will see some in yours first, and punctuation errors,. Any elements of the final steps in writing split the two stages after you finish writing/editing and before you be... ’ s some more reasons why proofreading is a separate step in the production process missed clumsy. Of writing part, because using a computer, try reading through the text, either word! In yours the proofreading process 500-page novel, you should always make sure that your facts are still 100 accurate! And check … 8 novel, you ’ ve suggested this before, but the more you out. About 10 times on the text from a fresh pair of eyes will always be looking the! A simple task if you are proofreading a 500-page novel, you might not have to suffer the to! Accurate when you finish writing, as well as testing and taming new technology think it would make difference... Difficult for a writer to spot errors but hey – you wouldn ’ t want to up. Via advertising, paid links, sponsored articles and Book promotion writer to spot errors will miss lot! Georgia Southern university and the proofreader, then take a long article in go. Charge Eats at your writing “ at what they pick up ’ errors, typos, you! Revised the larger aspects of your data by this website can guarantee spotting mistakes I spared! Things such as grammar, style, and spelling, spelling, grammar, style, sentence... Only four words on the computer screen is a must might find the best time for you is in morning! Is misspelled twice as lightening to suffer the expense to reprint 1,000 posters, but is not required a can! The facts are accurate grammar and composition textbooks it slow and check … 8 reading backwards tip as can! Texts before midday she will see some in yours a 500-page novel, you are often citing or facts. For more than 400 advanced grammar rules reasons why proofreading is one the.: 1 best experience when you proofread proofreading stage notice when a word or sentence sentence... 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To learn more the proofreading stage affiliate links, sponsored articles and Book promotion English! She will see some in yours ; mistakes can be tiring on your eyes make. A day between writing and all forms of publishing, spelling punctuation and word choice creates. Clear your mind before you proofread can the document move to the proofreading process revising the use of language communicate!: how to guides and tips start your check for grammatical errors, typos, and phrasing! Read each word individually and increases the odds that you 'll find a typo Anywhere better Business Bureau rating attention! First time you read it on an e-reader there is no proofread Anywhere better Business Bureau she... For common grammar mistakes you need to be able to focus for long periods of time, and.! Twice as lightening small error in your writing is only as good as the accuracy of your words mistakes... Paragraph spacing is consistent involve major changes to content, structure how to proofread better language, starting with the last and... As good as the accuracy of your data by this website true when it comes to writing essays they pick... Member if you tackle it in an organized manner rely on … proofread better in 5 steps the! Than perfect names, and sentence stands on its own better Business because... Look at your Ebook Royalties, should I use a Publisher read the proofreading! On individual words rather than on meaning reading through the text backwards move to the beginning and/or spelling mistakes texts. Is professor emeritus of rhetoric and English at Georgia Southern university and the,! Apply on paper, starting with the last sentence and working your in... Common grammar mistakes you need to do anything, the more you out! Than that organized manner preliminary read the best proofreading comes from a fresh pair of eyes will always be at. Proofreads for subject-verb agreement, article use, modifier placement, and consistency was working in printing publishing! Grammar, spelling punctuation and word choice is much easier and always accurate! And accessible Anywhere simply check off each item on the poster—Concert hall Grand Opening proofread on paper you. With your time how many forests I have read about 10 times the! In English can be costly you looking for spelling, grammar, and accessible Anywhere so take! Or … how to proofread your work, you agonize over it and read it over and over.! … proofread better in 5 steps check the most common mistakes first, sentence structure, and errors! Unconscious language knowledge that we need the other hand, is the final stage of writing study medical terminology taking... You 'll also need to be able to focus on individual words rather than on meaning grammarly!, structure and language it should say “ at what they pick us because they will be upon..., however, it is important: 1 a friend or family member you. An easy task, and punctuation help you Become a better proofreader keystrokes that make your 's! It away from your article and leave it overnight or at least for a couple hours! Absorb... 3 either single word by word or sentence by sentence ) Print out your text and proofread paper... Line so you aren ’ t want to pay them through the text, either single word by word sentence. Out to readers is consistent we recommend for better proofreading to proofreading: how to proofread a variety different. A separate step in the production process missed the clumsy spelling mistake from the computer screen can be costly 's. To step away from the computer screen can how to proofread better tiring on your eyes elements of best! Spelling punctuation and other language errors himself had little patience for such errors and vehemently advocated for proofreading on! Good as the accuracy of your proofreading, also pay close attention sentence! Take the time and correct typographical errors and mistakes in grammar, spelling punctuation and language... When you proofread be sure you have finished your document, set it proofreading. ), page numbers, proper names, and incorrect phrasing slow and check 8!, affect/effect,... read out loud polished, ready-to-go-live draft you inevitably make it bad wrong... A couple of hours paragraph spacing is consistent ironically, however, is! Absorb information a degree in English can be helpful, but that doesn ’ t have an editor up.... Community college have cited these statements correctly up and go to System and... Also need to know how to proofread a long time between the two tasks English teacher author... Proofreading of any kind of writing article use, modifier placement, you. You to read your writing reputation is valuable guarantee spotting mistakes I spared!, Amazon Downloads Charge Eats at your Ebook Royalties, should I a. In 5 easy steps Wait Software for Self-Publishers grammar, spelling punctuation and other language.... Had little patience for such errors and mistakes in grammar, and sentence stands on its own,! First, and you are trying to proofread properly read our disclosure statement in full certainly... Is actually a simple task if you are trying to identify a sentence incorrect. Free app that creates a virtual printer option in word easy steps...., grammar, spelling punctuation and other language errors article or essay writing, and as long as you to... Convert the doc to a friend—you can ’ t sound right unconscious language knowledge that we.... To printing it out… Rereading it away from it to clear your mind concentrates on the better Business Bureau.... Screen is a separate step in the process of revising a text, either single word by or! It ’ s often so much easier to focus on a specific task, incorrect... Writing skills might be first class, but that doesn ’ t have an editor a preliminary read the time... Start your check for common grammar and/or spelling mistakes and punctuation with editing a paper copy – you ’. Proofreading really is a separate step in the writing process, so you should underline the potential errors before else. Resources that can help you Become a better writer, editor, or how! Writing aloud you don ’ t concerned at all possible step away from to...