10 Modern Proofreading Tips to Catch More Avoidable Goofs

10 Modern Proofreading Tips to Catch More Avoidable Goofs

Here are 10 proofreading tips that will help you publish with confidence. In addition to spotting actual errors, you’ll also likely find: Words you overuse Sentences you can clarify Paragraphs you can simplify Give it a try the next time you need to polish a fresh draft before you publish. Stop at every punctuation mark Proofreading is all about paying attention to little details that help your audience effortlessly understand your message. to make sure you’ve used them correctly. My name is spelled “Stefanie,” not “Stephanie.” I’m sure you also appreciate when your name is spelled correctly. Verify spellings of company names When the name of a proper noun is spelled correctly, your audience takes it for granted. Verify spellings of titles Editors commonly see subtle mistakes in the titles of articles or books, such as missing or additional words. I make it a practice to get these right in my own writing by remembering that I would want another author to write the exact titles of my own articles and books. Verify days, dates, and times of events This is a super easy one. A new resource to simplify your content marketing tasks If you like guidelines and best practices, you might like something new we’re cooking up.

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Traditionally, proofreading is a separate task from editing.

And I still treat the two as different activities.

However, the creative benefits of a consistent proofreading process surpass the classic definition of proofreading.

Modern content marketers can take advantage of proofreading to avoid the all-too-common extremes of caring too little or too much about your content.

Caring too little about your content is fairly obvious; it created the current content marketing climate.

But caring too much about your content is also a problem.

It occurs when writers:

Proofreading ensures you’ve thoroughly reviewed your work, so you feel good about releasing it to the world.

Here are 10 proofreading tips that will help you publish with confidence.

1. Proofread backwards

Whenever I mention that proofreading your text from the end of your content to the beginning is my favorite proofreading method, Sonia always quips:

“How about a tip that doesn’t take forever?”

At which point, I like to explain why this technique is actually a time-saver.

We don’t always have a day to let our writing sit before we edit and proof it. That’s great advice in theory, but not realistic in a fast-paced content publishing environment.

Proofreading backwards helps you see your writing with fresh eyes, without first putting it aside for 24 hours.

In addition to spotting actual errors, you’ll also likely find:

  • Words you overuse
  • Sentences you can clarify
  • Paragraphs you can simplify

Give it a try the next time you need to polish a fresh draft before you publish.

2. Stop at every punctuation mark

Proofreading is all about paying attention to little details that help your audience effortlessly understand your message.

Pause at every comma, period, apostrophe, quotation mark, etc. to make sure you’ve used them correctly.

This tip is especially helpful to find “it’s/it” and “they’re/their/there” mistakes.

3. Scan the first word of each paragraph

Varying your word choice elevates your content to a…

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