What is Proofreading?

Proofreading can be said to be checking a written text for typographical errors and mistakes in spelling, grammar and style.

• Before You Proofread

It is important to proofread at the right point. Your written document must be well organised, well developed, with the formatting and paragraph placement complete. After this has been done, then you can look at making corrections where necessary – either in a particular sentence or clause. Be sure however, that you have finished revising the larger aspects of your text prior to this.

It requires some sort of a distance to really see mistakes. Always take time (maybe some minutes, a day, a week depending on the type of text) to take note of your writing and proofread. If there are words that are not important in a sentence, remove them before going on a search for mistakes.

Highlighted below are ten useful proofreading techniques:

  • Knowing what is meant to be or what not to be in a text is highly important, from knowing what punctuation mark to use with the use of good grammar. Unless you know what is correct, you will be in no position to spot mistakes.
  • Proofreading requires zero disturbances or distractions. Always make sure you proofread in a serene environment while also avoiding any form of distractions.
  • Proofreading can also be accurately done when the text is read aloud. This is always useful in spotting faulty sentence construction and identifying grammatical errors.
  • Take your time. Patience is a virtue, always set for yourself a fixed time, take a break and start again until it is finished.
  • You need to take note of all irregularities in the styles and formatting of the text. Watch out for where the punctuations were wrongly used or where the heading has changed size compared to the previous ones and so on.
  • Make it one line at a time. You should always be methodical in proofreading. A ruler won’t be a bad idea in guiding eyes from not missing the odd line.
  • Make it one word at a time. People normally won’t pay attention to the use of every word in a sentence, but accurate proofing requires having to know and understand one word at a time. It is another unique reading technique that requires patience too.
  • Finishing and proofing your writing needs to be balanced with time. You will notice more errors if you take a break and come back to it.
  • Proofreading is not always effective when it is on screen only. You should also consider printing out your document to proofread it directly from the printed copy.
  • A final proofread of the hard copy is always required after every finished job.

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At Express Proofreading we offer a professional proofreading service for students, academics and businesses. We are able to ensure that your written content is not only free from spelling mistakes and grammatical errors but we also check syntax and sentence structure.