Proofreading can be a time consuming chore. If you happen to do proofreading to earn an income in order to be great at what you do make certain you are thorough as well as accurate. Even a few errors missed can be a source of embarrassment in addition to hurting your reputation and credentials.
Most writers don’t enjoy proofreading because it cuts into writing or researching time. Proofreading is a need that must be met when you want your writing to shine. Speed and quality is important to great proofreading. These are tips and techniques that can allow you to balance speed and quality with your proofreading;
Do a primary read
Giving your document a preliminary read is a great way to begin the process of proofreading. Physically examining a document can let you know if the layout or format is good before you even begin the in depth reading. Should you add bullet points? Are the paragraphs too short or to long? Is the introduction too brief? A primary read with a quick glance can tell you more than you imagine.
You can make a note of things that stand out or begin to fix them before delving into any other parts of your proofreading. Many times having a quick note or two jotting down can help you to know where you want to focus energy, especially with a longer document, as well as not forgetting an important change you may want to make.
Create a checklist
Checklists are a quick and easy way to complete any task at hand. Write down the areas that you need or want to cover during your editing efforts. Proofreading checklists should include grammar, sentencing structures, punctuation and most importantly spelling. You can check off each item as you complete it.
After using a checklist for a number of editing jobs, you will be able to mentally check off items or multi-task to improve your speed.
Allow yourself breaks
Longer articles or documents are better proofread when you break them into smaller time blocks with small breaks in sandwiched between. If you attempt to complete your proofreading without breaks or work nonstop with a long document you can deplete your energy both mentally and physically. Energy needs to be there to do a good job and to promote speed and quality.
Break every 15 or 30 minutes when proofreading. Short bursts of work will help you stay at our peak for focus and do a much better job.
Always do a final check
After you have completed the proofread of your information, double check yourself with a quick final once over. This is always a great way to end your proofreading and make certain you didn’t miss anything. This is an insurance policy for the editing process.
These are a few quick tips for proofreading that can help make the process better and faster. These are things that can help you make your work shine in a minimal amount of time. Any time saved with proofreading can be spent on your writing and research.
pic is courtesy of computing.artsci.wustl.edu