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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

10 Tips to proofread your own work

Writing is one of the most comprehensive features of modern civilization and its marvels are inexplicable. There are many who look at writing as a science and others who think writing is an art. Even then, what many people don’t realize that, to make writing into what it is requires fine tuning, otherwise known as proofreading.

Work that is not proofread has many mistakes which make it hard to get the intended message out. Errors like grammar, bad punctuations, and spellings are bad for all written works. Typos on the other hand remove voice or distort it completely, making it even more unpalatable and less interesting. To keep the essence of the writing process, you need to understand how to effectively proofread. Here are some of the most effective proofreading tips you can find.
  1. As much as possible try to proofread when all writing and editing is done. This is because, when you are still creating, it’s hard to detect the mistakes that could be costly to your works. It’s better to save proofreading for last.
  2. Keep off all distractions when you are proofreading work. Email, social media, cell phones, TV, radio and other forms of distractions are bad when you are in the proofreading mode. If possible, print out your document to keep off the computer.
  3. You need to forget the story and instead, focus on the facets of the article that are error prone-sentence level scrutiny. If possible, read and work backwards and say them loudly. You will find where the problems are because this way, you can concentrate.
  4. Create a system that determines different errors in your works and stick to it. For example, you could start with spelling mistakes on the first pass and do typos in the second, etc. The essence is to catch every common prone mistake you could have made in the paper.
  5. Take notes if you come across something in the paper than needs attention. Don’t touch it as you do the proofing.
  6. When you make changes to sections of a sentence, read the whole sentence or paragraph in its entirety to make sure it does make sense. This is because errors do happen when adjacent words are changed and end up changing entire pieces and message.
  7. Look out and double check on definite facts like dates, quotes and so forth contained in the work you are proofreading. If you can do this check separately, you are more likely to end up with accurate work.
  8. Monitor yourself to detect each time you drift away. If it happens, go over the section again and look out for repeats.
  9. Create a familiarity with your common mistakes. Even the best writers make mistakes they can’t live without in their writing. They have to make deliberate efforts to correct them, because they always make them.
  10. Always check your format last. This is because, after all is said and done and the package is done, the format is what attracts the readers to it. You need to do these using acceptable formatting techniques as demanded by the type of writing.
This is a guest post written by Tracy Lugo. Tracy provides dissertation editing services at uk dissertations writing.

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1 comment:

Will said...

Another proofreader tip that I find really useful is, if you have the text on your computer, make the font larger than you're use to. You'll be amazed at how easily you'll spot mistakes.

 

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