Proofreading is your manuscript’s final line of defense. While editing focuses specifically on consistency, style, flow, and organization, proofreading is where your work is checked for grammar, punctuation, word usage, and spelling AFTER it has undergone critique and substantive edits. Here is where you are preparing your manuscript for publication and you want the final copy to be the best that it can be.
Using a spellchecker may help to uncover misspelled words, however, it’s not perfect, as it cannot find correctly spelled words used in the wrong context. Also, it’s difficult to catch your own errors, because many times, you will naturally read into the copy what you expect to see or what you intended to write.
It’s also important to mention that many proposals have been thrown in the garbage, never getting a second chance, due to one misplaced comma that either changed a dollar amount in a document or completely altered the context of what was being expressed.
So, here are five tips for Proofreading your work:
WAIT: Put your work aside for a while, and look at it later. Many times, you’ll catch things you wouldn’t have because you were too immersed in the writing process or tired.
PRINT IT OUT: Seeing the content in a different format can help you see what you’ve missed, as well.
READ IT OUT LOUD: This will help you spot missed or duplicated words. It will also assist you in perfecting sentences that seem to run on or are highly complex.
ASK A FRIEND: Fresh eyes always seem to spot mistakes!
HIRE A PROFESSIONAL: And finally, don’t be hesitant to use a professional Service! There are many businesses out there that can support you with editing and proofreading assistance at an affordable per word/page rate.
Remember, it’s your heart’s work, so… “Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.” ~Author Unknown
DHBonner Virtual Solutions, LLC