I’m hoping I won’t be putting myself out of business here but these are my five top tips when it comes to proofreading.
- Read it aloud – saying it out loud can really help. I find it helps focus on the words and the pace of the sentence, and provides you with a natural feel of the sentence. We often skim over words when reading in our head and the brain just fills in the gaps, but when reading out loud we slow down. I have been reading my 8-year-old some of my favourite books and I’ve spotted typos that I haven’t before. The difference? I’m reading out loud.
- Read it tomorrow – take a break between writing it and reading it. Writing is a creative process. You put your thoughts down on paper. Proofreading is a different skill. In a previous blog, I discussed the differences between a copywriter and a proofreader. Many copywriters don’t like to proofread and vice versa so why would you want to jump from one to the other yourself, perhaps in the same sitting?
- Read it backwards – not like that… but start at the last page and work back. All too often we start at the first page, get tired working through it and so miss stuff at the end. If you always start checking at the start, you’ll always be tired when checking the last bit.
- Take breaks – proofread a few pages at a time. Do a bit, do something else and come back to it.
- Read it again. And then again. And perhaps, read it again.
Of course, you may not want to do all this. You may not have the time. So, that’s where I come in! I can be proofreading your document making use of these top tips while you are off getting other work done or doing whatever you’d rather be doing. Sounds good? Then contact me here.