‘Good to Know’ Guide: Effective Proofreading
You’ve written your copy, it sounds great so you send it to the printer. Then, when your finished product arrives, you spot a major typo!
If this scenario sounds all too familiar, you’ve come to the right place. Typos can happen to the best of us, but if you consistently follow these proofreading tips, major copy mistakes will be a thing of the past.
#1. Set it aside
If possible, try not to write your document and proofread it all in one sitting. By setting the text aside for a while, you’ll be able to proofread it with fresh eyes. This allows you to actually see what you wrote, rather than remember what you think you wrote.
#2. Print a copy
Always be sure you proof a hard copy of your text. Your mind reads text on a computer differently than it reads it in print. Proofing a printed version will help you catch typos you might miss on the screen.
#3. Read it aloud
This is one of the best tips around! Reading text aloud forces you to see every individual word. It will also help you catch any awkward sounding phrases.
#4. Look for one thing at a time
Don’t proofread your text just once. Read through it several times, looking for particular problems each time. Start by looking at sentence structure, then read for word choice. Read through your text a third time looking for spelling, and finish by checking punctuation.
#5. Read it backwards
It sounds strange, but it works! Start your proofing by reading the last sentence first, then work your way through the entire text in reverse order of how it’s written. This exercise will trick your brain into reading every word, instead of already knowing what comes next.
#6. Ask for help
Finally, the most effective way to proofread is to ask for another set of eyes. The above tips can help trick your brain into not knowing what the text says, but they will never make up for an unbiased third-party.
Remember, proofreading is a crucial step in creating great sales and marketing material. These tips will ensure that your copy looks and sounds perfect.
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