Proofreading is a daunting task. If you’re lucky, you have a great copy editor who will catch all your errors. But most of you don’t. And even if you do, you want to hand in the cleanest copy of your work possible.
Here are 2 tips to a better proofread:
1. Read aloud — I just did this the other day. Why, you ask? Because the sound of my own voice gives me goosebumps. No, I’m kidding (sorta).
In this particular edit, the author and I did 2 very deep rounds of editing that included content, grammar and punctuation. But when I started proofreading, I was still catching errors at this late stage. Extra words, wrong emphasis on words, screwy comma placement…
The best way to catch mistakes? Read it aloud.
When you you read this reading you might see some errors. *grin*
Yep, our brains skip things. Read it slowly aloud. Bet you see the error!
2. Read backward. Yes, it’s true, folks. Sometimes editors use this method to catch your mistakes! I often will read the last sentence of the paragraph first. When it’s out of context, we will see the work for what it really is. This method is especially helpful if you’re close to the work. Chances are, you can recite the sentence. This will cut that pattern in your brain!
Hope these tips are helpful, and if not, here’s something to drool over.