Proofreading is often not perceived as a mandatory step in content creation. Bloggers think it’s essential to write a text, and it’s just a matter of a couple of minutes or not a minute at all to find errors in it.
But even a stunningly engaging text will lose points if there are errors in it. Therefore, the proofreading is necessary – not necessarily long, but necessarily high quality. Here are 19 tricks for it.
Make Proofreading a Priority
That is if you have several tasks: proofread the old text, write a new one and find information for another one, first proofread. This way you’ll be as focused as possible and are not tired of another job, which will reduce the risk of missing an error.
Don’t hope that coffee will cheer you up. Just proofread it before you get sleepy.
It sounds easy and logical, but always keeping the “read every word” setting in mind is very difficult. Now and then, you try to flip through the text to the end. Here’s a trick to help you: use your finger or mouse pointer to highlight each word you read and concentrate on it. It can be tedious if you check the long text, but believe me, you’ll later thank this trick.
Don’t Try to Do Everything at Once
Because people perceive proofreading as a simple process, it seems to them that they will now sit down and fix everything at once. And in 5 minutes, they will be able to rewrite the speech turns, catch grammar errors, and arrange punctuation marks.
In fact, all these are different tasks, and it is better to perform them in stages. First, read the text with the question, “Is it readable?” Then move on to grammar. And only after that, improve punctuation. And then, lastly, read again what you’ve got.
Determine What Mistakes You Make Most Often
Even people who know grammar perfectly can make a mistake in the text. And very often, it happens that the mistakes are repeated. For example, there is no way you can remember how to spell “language” correctly. Or you constantly lose the articles.
Make conclusions from proofreading and write in a separate list of those errors that you have to correct in each text. Open this list every time you start checking a new post and pay special attention to places where you might have made your typical mistake.
Do not Start Proofreading Right After Writing
Tip from a proofreader:
“Always get rest from the text. It’s very difficult for our brain to switch: you have just been writing, and now you want to make it look for errors. But it doesn’t want to do it, it’s lazy and will just read very quickly automatically because it remembers that you have just written it and thinks it’s written right.”
Try to get the content out of your sight for at least a few hours, do something else, and then open the article as if it were completely new information for you.
Especially important is this trick for very long texts, from 10,000 words and above.
Check not Only Grammar but Also Punctuation
Good punctuation makes reading the text easier: it shows where to stop, where sentences are connected, and where not. But a lot of people put punctuation marks without any sense all the time.
A common mistake is to use inappropriate semicolons. This sign’s essence is to show that sentences are closely related in meaning but are independent grammatically.
If it is difficult to understand whether you need a semicolon or not, it is better not to use it. Your post will not get any worse without it.
Another common problem with bloggers is not knowing how to capitalize on headlines. There are four main header formatting styles: Chicago style, APA style, MLA style, and AP style. It is not particularly important which style you choose, but it is important that you use it everywhere, rather than changing the style all the time.
Change the Font
You cannot be critical of your text because it is yours. You know it in everything: in the subject, in speech, and even in what it looks like. And it’s in your power to change at least the last parameter.
When you change the font, the letters become different, and the brain already perceives this image as something new. If you change the font size and fields of the document, it will be even better. The paragraph formatting will change, and the text as a whole will start to look different.
If this does not help either, go on. Change the color or even the whole program where you printed the post. Open the document from another phone. Make your brain believe that this is something new to it, and it will begin to cope with the search for errors more effectively.
This is another technique from the series “try to look at the text with a fresh look.” You won’t be able to grasp the meaning of the post in this way, but you won’t be distracted by it, and you’ll see if each particular word is spelled correctly. It is very convenient for spelling checking, although it takes a long time. However, this is another reason to leave for proofreading at least a couple of hours, not a couple of minutes.
Read your Text out Loud
An expert shares his experience:
“Reading out loud is a very understated trick. When we read in silence, we don’t hear our text, and we think it’s already good. But only when we say each word of it can we understand if the sentence is well agreed and if it’s even convenient to read. If you don’t have enough air to read it to the end, shorten it.”
When you read aloud, it’s easier to put yourself in your reader’s shoes. Therefore, many of the flaws of the post are seen much brighter.
Do not Get Distracted During the Process.
Editor at the professional writing service https://write-essay-for-me.com/write-my-thesis says:
“It’s best to proofread when you’re not distracted by anything at all. I usually turn off my phone, TV, music and just go to a quiet place where no one will talk to me and ask me something.”
In especially difficult cases, you can even turn off the Internet. How can you edit online documents then? Print them out and edit them on paper.
Sometimes even the most unexpected things are distracting: for example, the need to record edits in the margins of a document in the program. After all, you need to switch the mode, write down a comment, and return to the proofreading mode again.
Pay attention to all these things. For example, if you notice that you have read the section inattentively, go back to it and read it again. Proofreading is not a process where you can indulge your laziness.
Repeating actions can help you focus. Knock on the table with a pen every time you read a word, sentence, or paragraph. And if you realize it’s too hard to read, go out to the balcony and breathe.
And, of course, check the proofreading. Look through the text again to make sure you don’t miss anything.
Use Only Those Materials Whose Author Allows Them to Be Used
Any post only gets better if you use information from different sources, especially verified and authoritative. But that’s how to do it right:
- ask the author if you can use his material;
- give a link to him or her in your post;
- write who the author is;
- in NO case, pass him or her thoughts off as your own.
Plagiarism is bad and even more – illegal.
Ask Someone Else to Proofread your Text
No matter how many techniques you use to look at the content “from a different view,” there can be nothing better than actually asking a person with a really different view. Anyone who has never seen your text will notice inaccuracies in it more quickly. It doesn’t have to be a professional editor; on the contrary, the less this person understands the subject, the better, because this way he will read more slowly to see if everything is correct.
In addition to errors, such an assistant can point to moments in which the topic was not clear to him or her. You can find such helpers onhttps://assignment-partner.com/engineering-assignment-help. This way, you will understand that they need to be written in more detail.
Pay Special Attention to the Prepositions
Prepositions are such particles of speech that are a link between two parts of speech and describe how an object and an action or an object and a place of action, or even two objects, are connected with each other. For example, in the word combination “apple on the table,” “on” is a preposition.
Prepositions can be a complex subject for non-English speakers because their use is not always logical. You can remember that the preposition “on” means that something lies on something, and then it turns out that it is also a proposition for the time in some cases.
For this, you will need methods to concentrate on the process and a simple dictionary.
By the way, regarding spelling and grammar. It is better to check it manually rather than through software tools. More precisely, such software tools as Grammarly will be useful to use at the initial stage, when it is important to see the banal errors. Still, otherwise, you will have to cope with yourself because the program does not always know how to capture the context and fix it correctly.
Check not Only the Text Itself but Also the Headings and Captions
Headings are very important, although they are small. Not even so, they are important because they are small. They attract attention, and the reader sees them first and, based on them, decides whether to read further. So make sure you check them.
Captions are less important, but if there are errors in them, they will spoil the impression of the whole text. So add their verification to a separate stage of the process.
And another important thing is the lists. It is common to forget about them, although the wrong numbering is a common mistake. Make sure that there is no duplication anywhere and the formatting of one list is not different from all the others.
By the way, keep in mind that Grammarly does not check grammar and punctuation in headings.
Most people think that the more you write, the better you write. Partly, it is. But the more you write, the less you pay attention to the form and the more to the content. Your thought flies forward, and you need to write it down, not to focus on where to write it right and where to write it. It is normal at the writing stage, but such things are better to keep track of at the proofreading stage.
Use Professional Resources Where You Can Order Text Proofreading
Not everyone likes to read out the content on their own for a few hours. If you are a person who prefers to describe a thought rather than check if it is described correctly, ask a professional proofreader for help on this website: https://sharpessay.com/do-my-essay. And you can use the finished work as an example to improve your writing skills. This service:
- will help you learn how to write content step by step and organize your work;
- can help you even if you haven’t included editing in the list of stages of writing and now you don’t have time for it at all;
- will help you if the grammar is not your strong point and you don’t always know if you have built a sentence correctly;
- will help you find and remove all the errors in your text to make it easy for your audience to read and understand;
- In this service, you can find a lot of useful information from experts in proofreading and editing.
Do Not be Afraid to Add New Information to the Text but Do Not Forget to Check It Too
Sometimes, while proofreading, you see that some part is poorly explained. Make sure you fix it and add a couple of sentences. But then take the text as new, read it again and check grammar, punctuation, etc. again. And if technical errors, you can check only in new sentences, then look for stylistic errors you need in the whole text. It is possible that new information only made the post more complicated.
Don’t Forget about Fact-checking.
Fact-checking is as important as a proofreading step as any other. But no online tool can help you with this step. All the facts that you use in the text, you should know and understand for yourself. Answer yourself such questions as “where did you get this fact?”, “why are you sure it is true?” “are you using this fact correctly?” And, of course, check the elementary spelling: names, cities, and dates. Dates are very important in general. One wrong symbol and a famous politician will be born suddenly in another century.
At the Very End, Format the Post
The formatting includes such moments as intervals, markers, lists, and paragraphs. It is no longer working with text and its meanings, but its visual representation. Imagine that you open a blog and see a huge canvas of text without a single paragraph. Will you read it? Hardly, even if you are told that it is very interesting. Because at least it will be inconvenient.
Highlight all the headings and subheadings, choose a common style of list design, make the text smooth and beautiful. Then the reader will go to the site, and his gaze will be caught.
The proofreading will be easier if you use the system as you check the text. Allocate this process in stages. Use special techniques if you can’t tune in or concentrate, or if you’re just too lazy to read the text carefully. Determine which tricks work best for you and which errors you make the most.
Never edit right after you’ve written the text. Always leave enough time to rest from the content and to read it carefully.
Learn to read slowly and look at your text like an outsider. And never think that your audience will forgive you for your mistakes if the post is useful. On the contrary, try to improve the text for her – make it clear, readable, beautiful. After all, you write not for yourself but for your readers.