Writing plays a key part in your life. Whether you’re a blogger, teacher, administrator, or someone else … writing (and therefore proofreading) is a critical skill.
Proofreading is a process which entails rereading a piece of writing in order to surface any type of writing errors. The most common errors corrected through proofreading include; spelling mistakes, grammar errors, incorrect punctuations and poor choice of words. The process is considered to be the last step before submitting any form of writing for publication. The art of proofreading is not an innate ability. It is a skill which is acquired through frequent practice and usage. There are different methods of proofreading that an author can employ to check for flaws in his work.
Concentration is the key to producing any quality piece of writing. Concentration in this context means eradicating all disturbances and potential disruptions during writing. This could mean switching off mobile phones, and turning off music systems. This ensures that most of the author’s attention is on writing. Concentration minimizes the margin of typographical errors which can occur when writing.
Reading out loud is a good strategy to correct writing problems. It is an effective tactic that can be used to identify an incorrect run on sentences. A keen author may also find loud reading essential in identifying grammatically incorrect sentences. An excellent author should proofread his writings by rereading them several times. Any mistakes that were missed the first time round are certain to be picked up the more times a piece is read.
Using online grammar checking software is also a remarkable way of proofreading. Improvement of internet connectivity in numerous nations globally has enhanced the ease of writing. Online writing through blogging or freelancing has become commonplace for numerous writers worldwide. In turn, this has led to the development of online proofreading software programs. They are extremely effective in editing writing. They can easily identify plagiarism, typographical errors, and other errors on written materials.
Internalization of instructions is very important when writing. An astute author should take some time to understand all instructions and guidelines of writing a paper. Instructions should be read more than once. This way, an author will be able to totally understand the requirements of a paper. After an author is done with his composition, proofreading can only be performed if he has a clear understanding of the writing instructions. Instructions should act as a guide while editing the paper.
Removal of unnecessary content is an excellent proofreading tactic. A skilled author should give direct information to an audience. Sometimes an author may give the same information twice on a paper using different wordings. Unnecessary information or content fillers should be removed to add precision to the piece of writing.
Using a simple language or style when writing, minimizes the occurrence of editing errors. This is because a writer will be able to write his thoughts effortlessly. An author should make his writing simple and understandable. He should not use hard vocabularies when writing as it can cause confusion to readers. At the same time some vocabularies may be used incorrectly. Upon a thorough proofreading exercise, an author must evaluate the appropriateness of his text.
Does the Copy Make Sense and Read Well?
Just because an author is able to proofread his publication, it does not guarantee its perfection. A reading may appear flawless in the eyes of the original author. However, given to a different editor, it may still have some errors. An author should find an audience with English proficiency to evaluate the quality of his work. The audience can point out the weak points of the written material. They can also voice out sections which appear to be unclear or incomprehensible.
Based on this evaluation, an author should re-edit his work by removing the erroneous sections. He should take into account all suggestions offered by the evaluating team to improve his writing. Unclear sections of the paper should be written using simple and understandable words. This exercise will improve the quality of his writing and make it more pleasing to the readers.
By now, it is clear that proofreading is an extensive exercise. It is a core aspect of writing in an attempt to produce masterpiece publications.
What makes spelling, grammar, and punctuation error the most common mistakes in any form of writing?
Spelling, Grammar, and Punctuation
The speed of writing is the major peril of these writing mistakes. Where writing may be used for fun and education to some, a big proportion of writers make a living through writing. This means that they earn depending on the quantity of content they generate. This makes their writing speed escalate in a bid to reach their desired financial goals. Works written fast are normally subjective to spelling, punctuation or grammatical errors. This explains why the majority of internet publications on blogs and websites are full of errors. Quality content can only be generated with patience and thorough proofreading exercises.
Other Traditional Proofreading Tips
Silence is the key to undivided attention. Authors who work in a noisy environment rarely produce writings free from errors. Because of the disturbances, their works are prone to numerous errors of writing. Such authors may try to find silent locations free from the buzz of an active social environment. They may lock themselves at home when writing. They can even camp in deserted areas free from other persons. Some renowned writers in the world have in the past claimed that desolated environments offer them inspiration when writing.
Professional proofreading is not something that can be learned overnight and some may say that an innate ability is required to reach the top of the proofreading game. It takes a certain kind of person to be able to sit down for hours at a time and read copious amounts of text – being able to understand what has been written whilst performing a functional task such as spell checking. Whilst some writers see taking the time to proofread their own work a necessary evil, to some it comes as a pleasant ‘polishing’ of their work.
This article was written on behalf of Oxbridge writers. Founded in 2003, it has helped students around the world with their essay writing.