Do you find yourself taking the time to re-read an email before hitting the send button? Do you notice spelling errors without the assistance of the red squiggly line? Are you guilty of using the word your, when you really meant to say you’re? Between text messaging, smart phones, and social media, it’s become commonplace to use shorthand, abbreviations, and improper grammar. Whether crafting an email message to be sent internally or writing a letter for a newsletter, we must always remember the importance of proofreading.
Let me preface this post by saying that no one is perfect. Everyone, myself included, makes mistakes. The key is training your eyes and your brain to minimize those mistakes as much as possible. Below are some basic tips to keep in mind when going through the proofing process. While they are simple and obvious, they can serve as a good refresher.
- Think Big Picture. I’m not referring to content, but rather to formatting. Temporarily put the content aside and truly look at your document, scouring for extra spaces, font inconsistencies, and typos.
- Take a Breather. When reviewing a document that I’ve just finished writing, I always like to save my work and come back to it after a few minutes or hours have passed. I find that giving my brain a mental break helps me focus even more when I circle back.
- Don’t be Afraid to Hit Print. If you stare at a computer all day, your eyes will begin to play tricks on you. Printing out a document and reading a hard copy version will make it easier to realize your own mistakes.
You can also check out these blogs below for some more tips and tricks.
8 Proofreading Tips and Techniques
14 Foolproof Proofreading Tips for Bloggers
Preventing Goof-Ups: 10 Proofreading Tips
Remembr, just bc you can reed this sentance, that doesn’t make it rgiht!