Today is National Proofreading Day, and every year on 8th March it highlights the importance of mistake-free writing. Corporate Trainer Judy Beaver created National Proofreading Day in 2011, choosing the date of her mother’s birthday, to honour her mother and her love of correcting people.
It pays to review your letters, documents and website content in order to make a positive and professional impression. We discussed the importance of making sure your content avoids typos and spelling errors in our Blog here.
Proofreading is not to be confused with editing; they are different steps in the process of revising text.
Editing comes first, and can involve major changes to content, structure, language, grammar and style. Proofreading is the final stage of checking a text before it is published or shared and focuses on correcting minor errors and inconsistencies like punctuation and capitalisation.
When proofreading it can help to have a few tips handy to catch mistakes that are often overlooked. Use several of them and mix them up from time to time for the most effective proofreading.
Tips for Effective Proofreading
Let the content sit. If time permits, set aside your work to gain distance. When you come back to your work, you will see it with fresh eyes and renewed attention.
Approach each proofreading and editing task separately. Check spelling. Then sentence structure. Then word choice. Then punctuation etc. If you try to identify and fix too much at once, you risk losing focus and your proofing will be less effective.
Reading aloud forces you to say each word and hear how the words sound. Whereas reading silently allows you to skip over errors or make unconscious corrections. Reading aloud also helps us discern when something does not sound right — even if it’s grammatically correct.
Review headings separately from body copy. By approaching them separately you check both types of text. Reviewing headings alone draws attention to inconsistencies and errors.
National Proofreading Day is a day to have a goal of 100% accuracy for everything you and your business generate. How will you get on?