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Facts and Tips to Help with Your Proofreading

Here are another 10 tips to help you get your Eagle Eye on and proofread your own work like a pro.

Only Proofread your work when you have finished composing and modifying your text. If you make big alterations while proofreading, even if it's just short phrases, you're still in writing mode, not proofreading mode.

Make sure that you are not disturbed at all. Shut down all distractions and don't even have the door open. If necessary, read from a printed copy of your work.

Don't skim read. Examine each sentence individually, don't read your printed work as though you are reading a book. Pay particular attention to spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Some people find working backwards helps them. Some people read their literature out loud.

Read each sentence several times. Read once for spelling, once for punctuation and once for grammar.

Jot things down. If you observe a style issue whilst checking your spelling or if a reference is required, write it down and then return to it later, so you don't lose your place.

If last minute changes are needed to some of the words, make sure that the entire sentence/paragraph makes sense by reading it repeatedly. Most mistakes are created by changes that are made and the rest of the sentence/paragraph is not checked.

Make sure you examine any facts, dates, quotes, tables, references, text boxes, and repeated words. Focus on one element of your writing at a time.

Stay alert. Sometimes we can be reading something and thinking of something else, if you find yourself doing that, then go back over what you have just read several times. You may find that tapping a rhythm helps you check your sentences or words.

Get to know which mistakes yo

u make the most. Even the most experienced writer gets confused between their, they're and there or too, two and to. When I'm weary or speed writing, I write what I want it to say and don't take care.

Check the presentation of your work at the end. Every document has a certain style, even an email, whether it's spacing in the paragraph, what the text looks like, indentations, the gap above and below bullet lists or between subsections and text, and so on. Leave this until you have finished as things may change while you are writing.


A mistake in spelling, punctuation and grammar, breaks up the speech that the reader is trying to hear as he/she reads your written word.

Writing and/or editing is an art. Proofreading is a Science.

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