Proofreading is one of those tasks we all wish we didn’t have to do. Just imagine, writing a piece of content that is practically perfect in every single way, wouldn’t that be the dream?
Unfortunately, for many of us we make plenty of mistakes when writing a blog post, email or even social media caption and who can blame us, we are only human after all.
So, the marketing team at Intilery have decided to give you our tested tricks for making the proofreading process much smoother.
Before we get started, keep in mind that not every method will work for you. Have a play around, test a few different techniques and see what suits you the most.
1. Ask someone to help:
You don’t always spot your own mistakes but having a fresh pair of eyes read over you work will help you to discover any hiccups. It doesn’t matter whether you have an editor already, or you just ask a colleague to look over your work, having someone else reading it will be of benefit to you.
2. Print it out
Using a coloured pen and a ruler, mark off each word individually. This method may seem a little old fashioned and time consuming, but it is definitely an effective way of proofreading your text. Sometimes it’s worth taking the extra time to meticulously check through your work.
Remember, if you make any written notes whilst proofing ensure that you keep them neat, it’s all well and good highlighting mistakes and suggesting changes, however it will be of no use to you in the editing stage if you can’t read what you’ve written.
3. Check your spelling and grammar separately
By checking these elements individually, it helps you to really focus in on the precision of the piece. It really is as simple as checking each word one by one to guarantee that everything is spelt correctly. As for your grammar, read one sentence at a time and see whether it makes sense.
4. Proofread backwards
Again, this technique seems time consuming, but it really is useful in helping you see your own work with a fresh perspective. Sometimes you don’t have the opportunity to pass your work onto someone else for them to read through, nor do you have 24 hours to leave it and come back to it, as many similar guides would suggest. It will help you to spot any mistakes you have made, any sentences or even paragraphs that are a little unclear, or words that you may use too frequently.
5. Keep a list
In this team, we love a good list. Assigned a new task? Put it on the list. Have a new idea? Put it on the list. Essentially, if it’s not on a list somewhere, it’s not getting done. So, it’s no surprise that this has made it into our top tips.
With so many elements to remember when proofreading, there is no harm in noting them down. That way, you can methodically go through and check each component one at a time, ticking them off as you go along. This means it’s very unlikely for you to miss anything out, but also you get that superb sense of satisfaction when you check everything off.
To finish off, we’ll leave you with a parting gift, top tip number 6, our content executive’s favourite method of proofreading.
6. Read your work out loud
Admittedly, this technique isn’t always possible, you may need a quiet space where you won’t disrupt your co-workers, flatmates or pets (if you’re working from home). Similar to reading it backwards, this method helps you to see your work from a new angle. By reading out loud you are forcing yourself to read what you’ve actually written rather than what you think you’ve written, therefore helping to spot any mistakes you might have made.
There you have it, the Intilery marketing team’s top tips to proofreading. Remember not all of these will suit your style, but hopefully it will help you to discover a technique that works for you.