What is Proofreading?

Proofreading is important for all types of written texts it can be defined as checking a written text for typographical errors and mistakes in spelling, grammar and style and then correcting them.

Before You Proofread

Prior to proofreading a document, your written document must be well organised, well developed, not forgetting paragraph placement which should also be complete. Only after this has been done can you look towards making the necessary corrections during the proofreading process. It is essential nevertheless that you have finished revising the larger aspects of your text before this.

Proofreading documents often is underestimated, however it needs a certain distance to really see mistakes. Always take your time to take notes of the writing while you proofread. If there are words that are not significant in a sentence be sure to remove them before going on to search for mistakes.

One thing to remember is that you should always pay close attention to what others have to say about your text, their feedback and proofreading services can be invaluable. Tutors, friends and family are a great source of feedback on your writing and in double checking your text.

Highlighted below are ten major key proofreading techniques that you should consider:

First, knowing what should be and also what should not be present in a text is extremely important, from being aware of what punctuation mark to use with the use of good grammar. Ultimately, unless you are confident about what is correct, you will not be in a strong position to spot mistakes.

It is important to have zero distractions when proofreading. Always ensure that you proofread in a quiet environment whilst also avoiding any form of distractions.

Proofreading can also be improved if the text is read aloud verbally. This can be helpful in spotting faulty sentence construction and spotting grammatical errors.

Take your time, when proofreading, patience is a virtue, therefore always set for yourself a fixed time and take breaks at regular intervals.

You should proofread one line at a time. Be methodical in proofreading, a ruler is not a bad idea in helping to guide your eyes from not missing the odd line.

Also consider closely each word at a time, people normally will not pay attention to the use of every word in a sentence, but an accurate proofing requires having to know and understand one word at a time. It is also another unique reading technique that requires patience.

It is important that finishing and proofreading your writing is balanced with time. You will notice more errors if you take breaks and come back to the work, this will almost be like the document is something you have not seen before so it will motivate you.

Proofreading can sometimes be less effective when it is on screen only. Therefore you should consider printing off the text and reading it. A final proofread of the hard copy is always required though as a minimum after every finished job.

Using the proofreading services of a friend or tutor can also be a positive over proofreading yourself. However, it may also be worth considering the services of a proofreading service. Professional proofreading services are able to ensure that your writing is free from grammatical mistakes and is ready for submission or publication.