Becoming an Expert Proofreader: Best Tips
Is proofreading necessary? How many times do I have to proofread my work? Is my essay error-free? Writers face these questions a lot while writing their content. The answers to those questions are here in this article. We have gathered research to ensure you never struggle with proofreading again.
What does proofreading mean?
Proofreading is the act of rereading a document to ensure it does not contain any grammatical, typographical, or spelling mistakes. A writer should never skip this step before they submit their work for marking or publishing. It is a step placed last after all the other formatting has been done. That includes citations, organization, and style.
It is tedious and demanding as it requires the writer to be focused, to identify even the slightest mistakes. It is just a simple step that plays a vital role in ensuring the reader does not shift focus, due to small mistakes made in the paper.
Tips to improve your proofreading skills
- Take your time before you proofread
Do not jump into proofreading immediately after you finish writing your document. Leave the paper for a while, one day or two will be enough. Separating yourself from your document makes you see the paper as fresh writing. An essay that seemed to have no mistakes a day before might surprise you
- Find a good time to proofread
Look for that time of the day or even night, when your focus is good and use it to proofread your work. It is a simple trick to help you focus better on your paper.
- Use a print out to proofread
Having the document as a copy that you can go through while highlighting errors helps catch errors more effectively.
- Spelling and grammar checkers do not catch all errors
Sites like Grammarly are useful but sometimes do not identify the error. Hence going through your work manual makes sure you identify all the errors.
- Slowly read the document aloud
Reading aloud makes sure you catch the errors that might have been impossible to identify when reading in a silent manner. If you find a mock audience to read to, use them to help you catch errors.
- Let another person read your paper
Using this technique shifts your focus to listening without the distraction of the written word.
- Read it backward
Reading backward shifts your focus to one word at a time and one sentence at a time.
- Use an opaque paper or ruler
Blocking the surrounding text allows you to focus on the text that you are reading.
- Identical errors
In case you find an error go through your work looking for familiar mistakes.
- One error a time
You can reread your document while looking for one error in an isolated manner. Focus on the error that you are making the most.
- Proofreading assistance
When you are satisfied with your document ask a friend to reread it checking for error, and then give you his or her feedback.
- Do not just focus on the errors!
When proofreading you are not just looking for errors. Try and make your sentences better and make them have a natural flow. Cut lengthy sentences and huge paragraphs. Make sure your work has rhythm and is clear and precise.
A document is perfect if it does not have errors and has flow and rhythm. Proofreading ensure your work is accurate and error-free. Use all the tips given in this article to increase your proofreading skill and start submitting error-free documents.