Proofreading your own work can be difficult. When you’ve been looking at the same words for a few hours, it becomes easy to miss a mistake or two. But there’s still no excuse for publishing content with typos. Read on to learn how to properly proofread your own content.
Read it aloud
Read your content out loud. You will be surprised how much a difference simply vocalising your writing makes. You will find mistakes, as well as realising there are parts that need to be phrased differently for a better flow. When you read silently to yourself, your brain can automatically correct the errors, and you don’t pick up on them. When you read out loud, you force your brain to focus on each individual word, and that’s good for catching mistakes.
Use Spellcheck, but don’t trust it
Okay so you definitely don’t want to depend on it, but Spellcheck can still be a useful tool. A lot of people get too used to just ignoring it altogether. Spellcheck’s spelling and grammar markings can be a good starting point for your proofreading. Just be sure it’s not the be all and end all of your proofreading process. This tool will catch some basic errors, but it will miss things like using the wrong ‘their’ or ‘its.’
Start from the bottom
Once you’ve gone over your content (presumably beginning at the top) it’s time to give it another go over, this time starting at the bottom. Read your piece word by word, from end to beginning. When you do this, you force yourself to consider each word individually because the words don’t flow together as they would if you read it normally.
Come back to it
“It’s a good idea to give your content a break after you’ve finished writing it. Leave it for an hour, overnight, or even a few days if you’ve got the luxury of time. Come back to it with a fresh pair of eyes, and you will be much better prepared to edit it properly,” recommends Luke Shoup, content writer at PaperFellows. Give your brain a rest and come back to it. You’ve likely been staring at the same words for hours, so you’re very used to them, and that makes it easy to glance over an error without noticing.
Change things up
When you’re editing you really want to make your work as unfamiliar looking as possible. Change the font or font size. Switch up the margins. Print off your document so you’re looking at a piece of paper rather than your computer screen. Switch the font colour to something other than black. Just make it look different because when you’re reading something unfamiliar your brain will pay closer attention and be more likely to catch errors.
Proofread your content with some tools
Proofreading is an important step in the writing process. It’s very easy to miss a mistake or two, and that doesn’t reflect well on your content. Use these resources to make sure your proofreading is top quality:
ViaWriting and StateofWriting – Use these grammar resources to check that everything you’ve written is grammatically correct. There’s nothing worse than having a grammar error in your otherwise great content.
OxEssays and UKWritings – These proofreading tools are recommended by OXEssays review and are great for ensuring your copy doesn’t have a typo. Proofreading can be tricky, so get some help from the professionals.
WritingPopulist and SimpleGrad – Check out these writing blogs for tips and suggestions on how to improve your proofreading process. Use what others have learned and you’ll become a much better writer.
EssayRoo and BoomEssays – Use these editing tools, reviewed positively by AustralianReviewer, to go over your content for mistakes. Proper editing can make all the difference in how people perceive your work.
Double check all your facts
Take some time to look up any proper nouns you’ve used. Have you correctly spelt all the names, places, etc. correctly? Small things like a company changing the spelling of its name, or getting a Twitter handle wrong can make you look silly. Double check your statistics and URLs. If you’re using a style guide, ensure you’ve followed it correctly.
When you’re proofreading your own content, it’s very common to miss a mistake or two. Fortunately, there are lots of strategies to help you avoid these mistakes. Use these tips to become a pro at proofreading your own content.