10 Essential Proofreading Tips
Even with advances in technology and grammar checking programs, errors can still be made and not picked up. Why does this happen? The problem exists with our mind.
- The mind reads what it expects to see.
- The mnid reads wat it expcets ot see.
- The mined reeds watt it excepts two sea.
Research has discovered that It deson’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod aepapr, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer are in the rghit pcale. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit pobelrms.
S1M1L4RLY, Y0UR M1ND 15 R34D1NG 7H15 4U70M471C4LLY W17H0U7 3V3N 7H1NK1NG 4B0U7 17.
So what can you do to ensure your content is error proof?
- Don’t do your proofreading on the same day as the content was created. Leave a break between writing and proofreading.
- Read the content aloud. Reading the document aloud helps identify if full stops and commas are needed or if a sentence is too long.
- Have another person read the content. A fresh pair of eyes can often spot errors that have previously been overlooked.
- Don’t rely on inbuilt proofreading tools. Spellcheckers can help you catch repeated words, reversed letters, and many other common slipups but it doesn’t identify words that are spelt correctly but used in the wrong context.
- Keep a list of the types of mistakes you commonly make, and then refer to that list each time you proofread. For example, if you often spell the word Desert as Dessert, look for this in your content.
- Double check little words: “or,” “of,” “it,” and “is” are often interchanged.
- Don’t proofread when you are tired. Usually first thing in the morning is the best time to catch those errors.
- Print the content to read. Follow the words with your finger or a pen when checking and make corrections in a brightly colour pen.
- Check your facts. The last thing you want to do is call someone by the wrong name or incorrectly spelt name. Check your source information for facts and numbers.
- Don’t proofread once. Make your changes and check again. It can even help to use version control to track the latest copy. There is nothing worse than sending out the original without the changes made.
Kerri Schulz | HR Manager | The Money Edge