Whether you create a little content, a fair amount of content, or huge amounts of content, one of your jobs is most likely to proofread – unless you’re lucky enough to have someone who does it for you.
I know it’s one of my jobs.
And throughout the years, I’ve gotten fairly good at.
It’s not to say that I don’t make mistakes. I do. But most of my content is error-free. And, if I do find a mistake, I go back and correct ASAP (as long as the content is still within my control.)
But proofreading is not easy.
After all, you probably spent a considerable amount of time writing, reading, and re-reading whatever you’ve written. And, after a while…it’s easy to gloss right over any errors – because you begin to read it as you want it to be.
Luckily, there are a few tips and tricks that can help make proofreading easier – and here are a few of the ones I use.
- Use your finger to follow along. If you’re as old as I am, you probably had teachers yell at you if you used your finger to follow along as you read something. But when it comes to proofreading – it’s really helpful! Give it a try.
- Use text-to-speech. A text-to-speech app can read your words aloud to you – and you can hear how they sound – making it easier to catch mistakes.
- Run your text through Grammarly. I love this app! Once again – not full-proof, but man…it does a darn good job!
- Take a break between writing and proofreading. If you have time, move onto another project and proofread later. This gives your brain a well-deserved break.
- Look for your most common errors. We all have them. Those mistakes that we seem to make over and over again. Be on the lookout for them! (I keep a list of my common mistakes next to my computer on a Post-It note.)
- Don’t forget to check headings and subheadings. It’s easy to skip over them as they’re short – but they can still contain errors.
- Read your text in a bigger font. This is a strange trick, but it works. Take your text and increase the font size to 150% or 200% and then read it. You’ll be surprised by what jumps out at you.
- Start at the bottom. Begin reading with your concluding paragraph and work your way up to your opening paragraph. It causes your brain to work differently – and you’ll catch those mistakes.
How about you? What’s your best tip for proofreading and catching those grammar or spelling mistakes?