10 Quick Tips for Proofreading Your Writing

Source: http://publishingguru.blogspot.com/2010/08/10-quick-tips-for-proofreading-your.html
Written by Todd Rutherford

Proofreading is neglected by many writers. If you value the opinion of your readers, then proofreading is a small price to pay for the success you enjoy because of them.

Knowing What to Look for

Before anything else, proofreading can only be made possible if you know what to look for. This means having a considerable grasp of all the intricacies of proper grammar and punctuation as well as solid knowledge on spelling. If you fail in any of these counts, you need to work on them because they can make a huge difference in the quality of your writing.

Appropriate Environment

Proofreading is a job that requires great concentration.  Find an environment suitable for the job. Get rid of all possible sources of distraction.

On Paper

It’s easier to overlook errors when you are proofreading with your computer.  Print your writing on paper whenever possible. It might be more costly this way, but the income you generate from well-proofread writing can easily offset the expense?

The Right Mindset
The best way to proofread your writing is to have clear expectations of finding errors. If you think of your work as flawless, you’re more likely to overlook errors. A positive outlook – even if it means finding errors in this case – always helps in getting a positive outcome.


Resist the temptation to read in the pace that you’re used to. Instead, read slowly and read it out loud if possible. Reading will help you find errors in the style and cohesion of your writing.

When you’re done reading from the start, try reading it backwards. The brain tries to correct any spotted error in the content, making you read what you think you see instead of what you’re actually seeing. By reading backwards, you prevent your brain from correcting on auto-mode and view your work for what it really is.


Proofreading includes correcting the look of your writing. Pay attention to wrong spacing and margins, irregular font styling, and improperly capitalized words. Indeed, pay greater attention to words in uppercase as it’s more difficult to see errors in that format.


Proofreading includes making sure that everything about your writing is consistent. Uniformity, after all, makes writing more attractive. If you use a certain name for reference, be sure to use that name at all times rather than confuse your readers with various synonyms sprinkled across your text.

Grammar and Spell Check

The options for these mechanisms provided by your processor are not always right. And no, this doesn’t mean that you’re smarter, but they’re probably not configured correctly. In any case, don’t rely on them to do your work for you.


Proofreading is not a one-time process. You need to do it over and over and at properly spaced intervals to make sure your writing is error-free.

Another Point of the View

Last, but not the least, have someone else – preferably one with the necessary knowledge and experience – proofread your work. Although I recommend using a professional, if you know other writers, you can strike a deal and proofread each other’s work.

A fresh pair of eyes, not to mention unbiased as well, can help find the last few errors in your writing.

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2 Responses to “10 Quick Tips for Proofreading Your Writing”

  1. scott Herbert Says:

    Just thought you should know, Sahakara will soon be opening up as a publishing platform for epub e-books.
    It will allow you to publish and sell your own books for free. The price will be determined by the popularity of the book, so more popular books will earn their authors more money.

  2. Self Publishing Says:

    Self publishing is definitely the way to go these days, but it can be difficult trying to proofread your own writing. Each of us has certain phrases or mistakes with our vocabulary that we tend to use over and over again. It’s always helpful to get a fresh eye – a friend or business associate – to help you proofread.

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