Although each one of us has a unique proofreading and editing process, but there are always some general proofreading and editing tactics that most writers and editors follow. If you are a writer too, here are 8 requisite tips for proofreading and editing articles for your blog.
9. Avoid Clamorous Surroundings
The first thing you need to do is find yourself a quiet place to proof read. If you want to pick upon any larger errors such as touching on the same point twice, poor flow or contradictions then you really need to avoid interruptions whilst proofreading. You need to turn off your phone, ask your colleagues or roommates to be quiet and close your door. Do not proof read anything with music or a TV on in the background.
8. Do Not Proofread If You Are Fagged
If you notice that your concentration decreases then take a break, drink a glass of water or look out the window. It will help to stop you losing focus, and your eyes will also be re-awake so that you may better detect errors.
7. Divide Up Your Text Into Bite Sized Chunks
Divide the text into manageable, smaller sections, and look for inconsistent formatting. Check for uniform titles that are in the same format, e.g. Bold, underline, italics etc. Make your lists clear and indented slightly. Change any incorrect sentence punctuation. Read the text once again all in one go, and check for bigger errors such as flow and language.
6. Be Careful Of Your Points Of View
It is hard to check your perspective. It is very easy to slip from “I” to “we” to “you”. When you have finished proof reading, it may be necessary for you to check over all of your articles again, but this time you just look for what perspective you are using. If you check the perspective alone then it becomes easier to spot when you have slipped from the first person perspective to second or third person perspective.
5. Try To Avoid Any Prevalent Mistakes
Focus on the individual words and try not to overlook minor spelling errors or typos that spell correctly spelt words. To filter out misspellings and typos then read back the text, and read each word individually. Look for classic errors and words that can be interchanged easily such as “the” and “they”, “not” and “note” or “won” and “win”, etc.
4. Look Out For Any Homonyms
These are expressions that are very similar but are spelled differently and have dissimilar statements and roots, such as “their” and “there” or “are” and “or”. Homophones can also be hazardous to the meaning of your text. They are pronounced the same but spelled differently.
3. Be Discreet With Foreign Words And Technical Terms
If you use foreign words, consider carefully whether they are in the terms that are suitable for outsiders / non-specialists to understand. Explain your technical terms in a short and clear manner.
2. Highlight Any Points You Wish To Make
This is far easier to do when you are proofreading. As you read your text, you will notice that certain points did not have the impact you thought they might. This is because as you are writing you are saying the words in your head, and adding a tone that does not translate well on paper. You can go back and highlight these points physically using the bold function, or you can end a paragraph with it, or create a build up to it.
1. Envisage Thoughts Of Others But Do Not Reckon On Them
By all means, you should give your article to other people to read, but take their advice under advisement. Sometimes other people are wrong or are not your target audience. Even Vincent Van Gogh never sold a painting in his lifetime (except for his supportive brother). He got so sick of hearing other peoples’ criticisms that he cut off his left ear.