8 Proofreading Tips For Perfect Copy Every Time
Welcome to a week long blog series to kick of #NanoWriMo from Novel Publicity Bloggers!
By Mary Walton / Perfect writing doesn't come out fully formed first time. It takes time and effort to get copy that reads well and flows properly. That's why as a writer, you need to hone your proofreading skills. Here's eight tips that will help you get perfect copy every time you write.
Write the whole piece first, then edit
Many writers know of the ‘inner editor', the voice in your head that criticises your work as you're still writing it. It means you're tempted to start editing your writing before it's even finished. If you want to edit well, ignore that voice until you're done. It'll be much easier to proofread a finished piece than an unfinished one.
Print a physical copy
Before you start proofreading, print off a physical copy of your work. Then, work from that, marking and editing the piece as you go. It's easier to make physical changes on paper, and you're more likely to spot mistakes if you're reading the piece from another medium.
Use proofreading services
Sometimes you aren't able to do the proofreading yourself, thanks to a lack of time or the appropriate skill. In these cases, don't leave your work unchecked. Instead, use a professional proofreading service. They hire top writers to look over your work and let you know where the edits need to be made. If you need them to, they can make the edits themselves. If you need a professional proofreader, try Assignment Help or PhD Writers services.
Learn about what mistakes you make
Everyone has the same errors they make over and over. Maybe you always spell certain words wrong, or struggle with the same grammatical rule. When you start proofreading, you'll soon see what your Achilles heel is when it comes to writing. Once you know what it is, learn how you can fix it, or better yet, stop making the mistakes in the first place.
Brush up on your grammar skills
If you want to cut down on the time it takes you to proofread your work, you'll need to work on your grammar skills. Invest in some good grammar guides and practice your writing. To develop a skill you have to keep working at it, so keep practicing and you'll soon see your writing quality increase.
Take your time
When you proofread your work, don't rush it. Just like writing, if you try to do it in a hurry you're likely to make mistakes. It's easy to miss glaring errors if you try and do it quickly. Instead, leave yourself enough time to go through the piece slowly, and really pay attention to what's in it. This way, you'll do the job properly first time.
Don't make assumptions
As you're proofreading, you may see sections that may well be errors, but you're not sure. If you can't put your finger on what's wrong, don't just ignore it. It may well be fine, but it could equally likely be an error that needs correcting. Take the time to look up a spelling or a grammatical rule. It can make all the difference to your writing.
Read your work backwards
It sounds odd, but read your writing from the end backwards. It forces you to read it with a fresh perspective. That means that you'll see errors that you would have missed had you read it normally.
Try these tips out the next time you need to proofread your writing. It's a skill that every writer should have, so practice at it and you'll soon see results.
About the Author
Mary Walton is a writer and online tutor from Santa Monica. She blogs at Simple Grad – simplegrad.com