Tried and Tested Proofreading Tricks

Whether you are working on an academic paper, sending an email to your boss or writing an informal letter for a friend, check what you have written if it contains grammatical, punctuation and spelling errors. Proofreading is very important because the way you write reflects the way you think and understand the things that happen around you. Freeing your work from any errors enables you to communicate effectively with your readers.

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Whenever you proofread, the techniques below can help you in refining your articles:

  • Work in a quiet place. If you want to get your chores done, work where you are free from distractions, such as people who might drop by and make small talk. Turn off all your gadgets except your computer. This allows you to think clearly, gives you peace of mind, and lets you to concentrate on your tasks.
  • Print a copy of the draft. Print a copy of your finished work once you’re done. It will help you easily identify possible errors that you might have overlooked on the screen. The brightness of the monitor can affect your focus if you stare at it for too long.
  • Read it aloud. Read what you have written aloud. Usually, your ears can identify mistakes that your eyes have missed. If some of the sentences don’t sound right, then you might want to consider editing and revising your work.
  • Be careful with apostrophes, contractions and commonly misspelled words. Don’t underestimate the importance of using correct punctuation marks and contractions as they affect the meaning of words.
  • Watch out for homonyms, they sound alike but have different meanings.
  • Check the grammar, style and tone. Watch out for faulty parallelism, split construction and dangling modifiers. Observe proper grammar, such as subject – verb agreement, and tenses. Use a writing style and tone that’s appropriate to your audience. Informal writing is fine if you’re writing to friends and family, and formal, technical writing is more suitable for business correspondence.
  • Ask for somebody to recheck it. This is important because a fresh set of eyes will avoid bias associated with reading your own work. A third party easily spots errors that you might have missed.

Proofreading helps you develop a writing style that lets you convey your thoughts accurately.


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