The internet and social media have changed how we meet people and become friends. Long conversations no longer take place on the phone or in person where we can get an idea about who someone is by looking at them or hearing their voice and their intonations. Today, we judge people for how they write and spell. We get an idea about each other by the way they put their sentences together and convey ideas regarding their interests and opinions. When you meet someone online, who misspells words or their sentences do not make sense, you probably move on. That is why today it is more important than ever to proofread what you wrote before you print, mail or hit send. Proofreading something before it leaves your control will ensure that the message makes sense, the piece is well written and there are no spelling errors.
You can be an english teacher with a pulitzer prize and have world fame, but your copy needs to be proofed. Your writing is your voice and you want to speak with pride so you want your published writing to come across as masterful as possible. The spell check program on your phone or computer is a great aide but it also makes lots of mistakes, especially when it thinks you have written something else. Correct spelling, grammar, layout, fonts and image all create an impression of you and your business. Even though you can think it is a burden to proofread you work and takes too much time, think what would happen if your piece was send out with several spelling errors and sentences that are jumbled and the receiver questions what the purpose of the piece was. It can cost much more than money.
Proofreading is the final stage of the editing process. It focuses on surface errors such as misspellings and mistakes in grammar and punctuation. Proofreading should only be done after all other editing revisions have been finished. The following is a list of a few effective ways to proofread all of your writing.
As stated prior, don’t rely on spelling and grammar checkers. They are great for an overall view, but they do tend to change things on their own and suddenly, you have to proof again. They can be used as the first run through on a writing piece, but keep in mind that they are very limited and cannot identify many common grammatical errors.
Sometimes the task of proofreading can be quite daunting. But, if you break up the piece into paragraphs instead of looking at it in the whole, it can be easier to tackle. Focus on identifying and then correcting all errors in one small section. Or, look for just spelling errors throughout the piece first and then come back a second time to look for grammar error, and finally look for punctuation mistakes. That will give you three read throughs of the piece which would guarantee that you have covered it well.
Another trick that works well is reading through your piece very slowly. Annunciate each word clearly and precisely and outloud. This allows your ears to join forces with your eyes and you can hear the meaning of the words and whether the sentence structure works. Reading anything quickly skips the true meaning of what is being said. But “talking it through” slowly can bring about any corrections that need to be made.