Do you want to learn how to be a better proofreader? A proofreader’s job is the last in the editorial process, usually taking place after editing. Responsibilities include double-checking for errors and mistakes like typographical errors, inconsistent styles or layouts, missing punctuation and spelling mistakes, awkward or weird pages, word breaks, and any other issues that could ruin the experience.
Proofreading is a valuable skill for anyone to have in any industry. Finding any mistakes and correcting them before finalizing any document will be crucial for the final product. Whether you’re studying or working as a Virtual Assistant or as a Medical Transcriptionist, or whatever you have chosen to do in life, proofreading is a valuable skill.
The best way to get better at spotting your errors is simple. It’s practice! The saying that goes “practice makes perfect,” is a lie. Practice makes more practice. The more practice you have, the more you’ll be evolving and growing, and that’s arguably the better goal to have. The goal should be growth, not perfection. That goes for everything, not just proofreading.
So, you want to learn how to be a better proofreader? Check out our tips below, where we’ve gathered a few more proofreading tips to help you how to become a better proofreader.
Begin at the end and work up to the beginning, sentence by sentence. This process will help you focus on each sentence rather than getting caught up in the meaning of it.
When you’re proofreading your work, it is helpful to know the mistakes you have made in the past. Try to look at something else you’ve written previously. Make a list of common errors you repeatedly make and start there.
If over-using commas is a persistent error, start there. Comb the document for excess commas, and then move on to another error.
Reading aloud will force you to slow down and hear the difference between what you meant to write and what you wrote.
Using a ruler will help minimize the amount of text your eyes have to read at once and will help you focus better.
Asking someone to read over your work should be your final step. Grab a fresh pair of eyes to read over what you’ve done to catch any possible errors you could have missed.
As mentioned, practice makes more practice. It warrants stating twice. There are tons of proofreading quizzes, tests, and games you can take online! There are even full-fledged proofreading courses you can take!
Becoming a better proofreader isn’t impossible. You don’t need a degree to be good at it—but a keen eye for errors and spelling mistakes will help! Proofreading isn’t just about catching errors; it’s about polishing sentences to make them smooth, interesting, and most importantly, clear.
The biggest thing to remember is to take breaks. After you’ve read through something once or twice, take a break. You could put it down for the rest of the day or just take a twenty-minute break. You’ll lose concentration if you look at it for too long, and your eagle-eye accuracy will also suffer. Give your brain and eyes a break!
How did you find our points on how to become a better proofreader? Have you tried any of them? Follow CanScribe on Facebook to let us know if you have any other tips on how to be a better proofreader and stick around for more useful tips!