Whether you are writing a news article, a university essay or an email to a client, it’s important to ensure that your text is error-free. The spell-checker helps, but it is far from foolproof. That is where proofreading comes in. Below you will find tips and techniques from Jackson Wray to make your proofreading sessions more effective.
Top Proofreading Tips
- Ask a friend or work colleague to provide a fresh pair of eyes – ideally someone who doesn’t know your subject
- Give yourself breaks as you work – only re-read your work after you've given your eyes a rest
- Print out your work – this gives you a fresh perspective
- If your company has a style guide, do use it for the sake of consistency
- Keep your working environment clutter-free to help you focus. Turn off that mobile phone!
- As well as punctuation, spelling and grammar, remember to check the accuracy of references, numbers, graphics, etc.
- Read your work aloud or sound out each word in your head – this way mistakes may become more evident, as they would to another reader
- Read each paragraph in reverse order to avoid being distracted by how you think your piece should sound
- Remember: spell-checkers and other technology are not infallible - don't hesitate to consult a good dictionary