Proofreading and Editing Tips

  1. Leave some time between your final draft and the edit so you see your work more clearly.
  2. Find a quiet spot where you won’t be disturbed.
  3. Take your time and have frequent breaks.
  4. Ideally, edit and proofread over a couple of days.
  5. Read work through at least four times
    • the first time for meaning
    • the second time to edit
    • the third time for headings and graphics
    • the fourth time for anything you’ve missed (you’ll be surprised what slips through).
  6. When reading it for the second time concentrate on:
    • words — are any unnecessary?
    • grammar
    • consistency of style and punctuation
    • repetitions
    • typos
    • ambiguity
    • layout.
  7. Read the headings separately and don’t forget to check everything on the page including captions, footnotes and navigational links.
  8. If you’re editing on screen, proof on a hard copy as well.
  9. Some people find it helpful to read:
    • with a ruler underneath each line
    • aloud
    • backwards (word by word or sentence by sentence)
    • in pairs with one reading aloud and the other following the text.
  10. Best of all, ask a colleague with an eye for detail to read your work or pay a professional editor.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010 at 11:58 am and is filed under Proofreading. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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