Aim for accuracy, clarity, and concision when communicating technical information. As with any piece of writing, it’s common for the first draught to require extensive revision before it’s ready for submission. In order to improve the first draught, editing and proofreading are crucial. However, if there isn’t enough time or money to hire an experienced editor or proofreader, the job is usually left to the author. When you’ve written something yourself, it becomes a difficult task to proofread it. Here are a few pointers on how to do your own editing and proofreading. Use this advice and see how many mistakes you can eliminate from your copy.
1. Make it crystal clear what you’re saying
Be mindful of who you’re writing for. Will they be able to read what you’ve written? Get the fundamentals right. Make your points in a comprehensible manner. Eliminate jargon as much as possible to keep things simple. Be careful with your tone.
2. Do not overlook punctuation marks
When you proofread, you need to pay careful attention to the tiniest details so that your audience can easily comprehend what you are trying to communicate. Take a moment to check that you have correctly used each comma, period, apostrophe, and quotation mark, among other punctuation marks.
3. Check for errors in the morning
We acknowledge that some people simply aren’t morning people. No matter how packed your schedule is, you should always make time in the morning to proofread what you’ve written. If you proofread at the beginning of the workday, you will find that you are more alert and wide awake than the rest of the day. If you are fatigued, you should avoid proofreading because you are much more likely to overlook something or make an error. As the morning’s caffeine starts to wear off by afternoon, a lot of people find that they start to feel sleepy in the afternoon.
4.Use your finger or mouse to follow along
Reading slowly is one of the most important aspects of effective proofreading. Many people struggle with this, but there are methods for slowing things down. One method is to use your index finger to point at each word as you read. Another common practise among writers is to highlight the phrases with their cursor as they go. This allows you to concentrate on each word.
5. Re-proofreading in stages
It’s best to proofread in stages rather than trying to catch everything at once in order to avoid errors. Once for spelling errors, then for flow, punctuation, grammar, and so on, and so on and so on. You can improve your accuracy by focusing on a single type of error at a time. To ensure that you don’t miss out on anything, devise a system. Make sure you’ve allotted enough time for this method, as it will obviously take longer.
An aspiring content writer and editor with a blend of YouTuber who loves to turn basic moments into memorable films. Sanjlina is also a Catholic speaker. Apart from that she has a deep interest in the Korean culture.