Perfect proofreading: part two

Perfect proofreading: part two

Posted: 16th Jun 2014

LAST WEEK I uploaded a post containing my first five tips for perfect proofreading. It really is possible to publish and print great content if you take the time to look for the most common errors. Here are my final five tips for achieving this.

6 – Look for inconsistency. Have you used capital letters throughout your document, not just as the start of sentences? If so, have you used them consistently? Same goes for numbers. Do you use a mixture of numerals and words, ie. Ten or 10. What about bullet points? Have you used a mixture of numbers and blobs? It doesn’t matter what you choose, as long as you only use the one style throughout your document.

7 – Punctuation. Are there full stops where they are needed? What about quotation marks, question marks, commas? The placing of a comma can change the meaning of a sentence, so be careful where you put them. Reading your document aloud can help you to work out where the emphasis of punctuation ought to be.

8 – Have a break. If your document is long, you will tire of looking for mistakes and stop being able to spot them. Do it the next day if you have time.

9 – Read your work backwards. This might seem odd, but reading from the end of the document to the beginning can help some people spot spelling errors more easily, because you’re not anticipating the word order or the flow of a sentence.

10 – Ask someone else to read your document. If only for the sake of a second pair of eyes when you’re tired and on a deadline. We all have different strengths and abilities to spot errors. Someone good at maths might spot an error where you have used numbers. Some people have great awareness of space, and might spot an extra return or indent where there shouldn’t be one. Someone might be good with names, and able to spot an inconsistency, ie. Ann or Anne.

And that’s really all there is to it! Best of all, if you take your time and check all the elements outlined above, you will eventually acquire the confidence you need to get things right every time.