Being an excellent proofreader is a great skill to have. For one thing, nearly every writer going will love your ability to spot a mistake at 20 paces.
Becoming a good proofreader though takes practice and even the best in the business can often miss a mistake.
So if you find yourself constantly pouring over reports, writing press releases or even crafting company emails, here are a few ways to make sure your proofreading never lets you down.
First things first, make sure you give yourself time to do the job properly. Proofreading is a very important part of the writing process. Rushing it in at the end is just asking for trouble.
When you’re all set to go, print out the copy if you can. Sometimes the glaring screen of a computer can make things harder to read – especially if you have been staring at one all day.
Arm yourself with a pencil and start scanning the copy right from the top. I sometimes find it helpful to read the copy out loud but depending on the who is in the office and indeed the content, you may want to keep it to yourself!
Leaving a bit of time between actually writing the copy and then proofreading it can also help. If you’re tired or rushed, your writing may suffer and you won’t pick up on it right away. Grabbing a quick cuppa and thinking about something else for ten minutes will help you focus on the task at hand.
Finally, If you can, give a copy to a colleague or friend to look over. Everyone has their own style of writing which may mean you miss obvious mistakes without thinking about it. A fresh pair of eyes will highlight any problems you may have been oblivious to.
If you’ve been given the job of updating the company blog or newsletter even just knowing where to start can feel intimidating. We are all experts at putting things off. When a task looms large in our heads, it can sometimes feel easier to just ignore it and do something easier instead. All writers procrastinate. […]
A quick heads up on why the words at the top matter. Headline writing is a true art form. Armed with just a few well chosen words you can convey a great deal within a matter of seconds. It’s no surprise then that with so much riding on headlines a lot of thought goes into their […]
Writing for a living can be very rewarding. Every day you create something new; bringing new ideas to life. But EVERYONE has little bugbears about their profession and writing is no exception. Now it goes without saying that I love what I do… but every so often I feel the need to count to ten. […]