- Leave some time between your final draft and the edit so you see your work more clearly.
- Find a quiet spot where you won’t be disturbed.
- Take your time and have frequent breaks.
- Ideally, edit and proofread over a couple of days.
- 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).
- When reading it for the second time concentrate on:
- words — are any unnecessary?
- consistency of style and punctuation
- Read the headings separately and don’t forget to check everything on the page including captions, footnotes and navigational links.
- If you’re editing on screen, proof on a hard copy as well.
- Some people find it helpful to read:
- with a ruler underneath each line
- backwards (word by word or sentence by sentence)
- in pairs with one reading aloud and the other following the text.
- Best of all, ask a colleague with an eye for detail to read your work or pay a professional editor.