12 Top Tips that'll Make You a Better Proof Reader

12 Top Tips that'll Make You a Better Proof Reader

Follow these 13 simple steps and become a better proof reader!

  1. Give it time
    Where possible leave a few hours (even days) between composing and proof reading.  This way you are more likely to be actually reading the content rather than simply remembering it.
  2. Concentrate
    To be effective you really need to concentrate, so get rid of any distractions and try to make sure you are not interrupted.
  3. Create a checklist
    Develop a list of common mistakes, and then refer to that list each time you proof read.
  4. Proof on paper
    People read differently on screen and on paper, so print out a copy to proof read.
  5. Read the text out loud
    Reading the content out loud you are more likely to hear errors which your eye hasn’t spotted.
  6. Read it backwards
    Reading backwards stops your brain automatically correcting wrong words and makes it easier to stop any errors.
  7. Look for one type of problem at a time
    Proof your artwork several times;
    – First check the actual design, checking all the elements are in place and that any images used are displayed correctly
    – Next move on to the copy starting with sentence structures, then word choice, spelling, and finally punctuation.
  8. Watch out for homonyms
    Homonyms are words that share the same pronunciation, but have different meanings.  E.g. accept & except or complement & compliment.
  9. Look for contractions and apostrophes
    Common contractions and apostrophes include their and they’re, its and it’s, your and you’re and so on.   Remember an apostrophe is not used to describe plurals.
  10. Check the punctuation
    Look out for capitalized letters and words, check all commas, apostrophes and full stops.
  11. Check the numbers
    Always check your figures, e.g. there is a big difference between £10,000 and £100,000.
  12. Get someone else to proof read it
    Finally get a co-worker or friend to proof read it for you. You will probably be surprised at the mistakes you’ve missed.  For the most accurate results repeat this process again to get a third person to proof read your document.

 

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