Tips for proofing your work
Date : November 26, 2015
- Read it out loud and also silently.
- Read it backwards to focus on the spelling of words.
- Read it upside down to focus on typology.
- Use a spell checker and grammar checker as a first screening, but don’t depend on them.
- Have others read it.
- Read it slowly.
- Use a screen (a blank sheet of paper to cover the material not yet proofed).
- Point with your finger to read one word at a time.
- Don’t proof for every type of mistake at once—do one proof for spelling, another for missing/additional spaces, consistency of word usage, font sizes, etc.
- Keep a list of your most common errors (or of the writers you are proofing) and proof for those on separate “trips.”
- If you are editing within Word, use the “track changes” or “mark changes” function to make your comments apparent to other reviewers (additions and deletions can be set to appear in different colours).
- Print it out and read it.
- Read down columns in a table, even if you’re supposed to read across the table to use the information. Columns may be easier to deal with than rows.
- Use editor’s flags. Put #s in the document where reviewers need to pay special attention, or next to items that need to be double-checked before the final proof print. Do a final search for all # flags and remove them.