10+ Vital Steps To Proofreading For An Amazing and Stellar Content
Written communication is a critical part of your everyday life. Whether you’re crafting an assignment for school, drafting a formal report for work, or penning down a message or an email online, it’s vital to reread the text innumerable times to ensure it’s written accurately and clearly.
This is where proofreading comes in. The proofreading process tends to be the last line of defense for quality control in print and online publishing. And that usually seems like a pretty easy feat; after all, you simply need to give your writing one more look-over, right?
Well, not quite. To be done well, proofreading requires investing a little more time and adequate effort than just a quick last read-through.
In today’s comprehensive post, I’ve taken the liberty to use my proofreading and editorial expertise to walk you through all the essential aspects you must check for when you proofread your writings. Use it as an effective method checklist next time you go over your content or emails before hitting ‘send’.
11 Vital Steps To Proofreading Like A Pro
Edit A Hard Copy
According to the best minds associated with best assignment proofreading services worldwide, if you’re looking at your computer screen or reading off a cell phone for too long, you’ll miss common errors. Editing from a printed copy is a remarkable proofreading technique that helps spot numerous misspellings and other punctuation errors you couldn’t catch the first time.
Further, a printout is less strenuous on the eyes and can make it incredibly easier to spot typographical errors.
Check Spelling and Grammar
Tiny spelling and grammar mistakes can truly tarnish the impression of whatever you’re sending. Thus, before you even get to the real proofreading process, start by seeing you’ve put periods in their places and used the correct version of commonly used words. Also, it is necessary to make sure you haven’t accidentally misspelled something that the spell checker doesn’t recognize.
Assess The Use Of Proper Nouns
People often tend to forget this when they’re looking over the spelling in their content. Remember to look at the proper nouns to ensure they’re spelled correctly. If a country or executive of your office has a long and complicated name, do a quick search on Google or the employee directory to make sure you’ve spelled the name accurately.
Attend To The Format
It is wise to know that proofreading isn’t simply reviewing the text. Take care to make sure the document design adheres to various specifications and requirements. Check the column alignment, page numbering, relative fonts, sizes, and other features of standard elements like headlines, subheadings, captions, and footnotes. Additionally, inspect each type of feature within the categories, like looking at each headline, then every caption, etc.
Watch For The Verb Tenses
Many a time, verb tenses can be excessively annoying. This is because a huge discrepancy exists between how people write and speak and how proper grammar instructs you to write and speak. Go through your sentences repeatedly to ensure you’re not mixing up the verb tenses or using multiple tenses within the same sentences. To accomplish this, use a verb tense cheat sheet to understand how different verb tenses relate to one another.
Maintain The Sentence Structure
Take a look at the length of the sentences in the content. Do you notice ample commas, semicolons, and conjunctions? Some of your sentences can be run-ons, so check if you can clean them up, making them shorter.
Always know that it’s better to break things up and ensure everything is readable than try hard to sound impressive and end up perplexing the reader. Numerous professionals and students tend to use numerous semicolons. I always get rid of a few of them and create stand-alone sentences to make my content clearer.
Take Care Of The Consistency
Now that you’re done checking the sentence structure, it’s time to evaluate whether your writing is consistent throughout, especially if you’re using numbers, symbols, or contractions. For instance, do you say ‘co-workers’ and ‘coworkers’ in the same paper? Do you tend to use ‘%’ or ‘per cent’ to speak about stats while writing a blog? Neither is wrong, but it is vital to pick one and use it consistently throughout the paper.
If you’re getting decision fatigue from making these tiny choices over consistency, simply ensure to follow the rules of AP style implemented by most journalists.
Evaluate The Use Of Idioms
If I use figures of speech, I tend to make sure that I have used them correctly in the proper context. Like, most of us mix up ‘once in a while’ and ‘once and a while’ as well as ‘could care less’ with ‘couldn’t care less’. In such times, it is important to Google any figures of speech before you submit the paper.
If you prefer going to the Google route, I highly suggest looking at various sources to ensure everyone agrees on the idiom. A few years back, I Googled a figure of speech, and it turned out that the first search on that particular idiom was completely wrong- my bad!
Determine The Overall Flow
Especially after you’ve tweaked and edited the work, it’s easy for it to start sounding disjointed or incoherent. So, once you’ve completed one pass of proofreading, it is essential to make sure it all flows logically, with easy-to-follow transitions.
I will recommend trying reading your work slowly out loud to notice any issues with how your writing sounds. If you feel comfortable doing so, see if you can read it aloud to someone else. Numerous times, other people pick up on small issues that you believe are fine, but that read distinctly to others.
Circle The Punctuation Marks
Aside from misspelled words, special attention must be paid to misplaced apostrophes, commas, and punctuation marks. Circling the punctuation marks may seem somewhat excessive, but it is one of the most remarkable methods used to determine punctuation errors. By circling every one of them, you compel yourself to look at each one to turn in and question if it has been used accurately.
Find and Replace Repetitive Words
Don’t shy away from hitting CTRL+F to systematically search through your paper for common errors and inconsistencies. Using the search function will automatically enable you to highlight sections of your text to efficiently spot repetitive words and phrases. It will also show if you’ve written words and phrases inconsistently. Once you see the highlighted sections, you can select to replace the words to add variety or replace inconsistent words and phrases with consistent ones- just a few clicks.
Proofreading is more than simply finding errors. It’s all about making sure all your ducks are in a row, and the tiny things match up.
Bottom line? Be a details master to proofread your content effectively.
Understand your strengths and weaknesses. Keep style guides and grammar rules at hand as you proofread. Look up any areas of which you are uncertain. Over time, you will develop knowledge and hone your writing skills effectively.
Amily Parker has been writing professionally since 1995. He loves the nuances of the English language and uses it to craft intriguing content for her audience. She is also a proud member of MyAssignmenthelp.com, where she is famous among many for her supreme quality asce citation generator
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