This guest post, by Randall Davidson, originally appeared on Nick Daws’ Writing Blog on 5/19/11.
Today I’m pleased to bring you another guest post from writer, proofreader and entrepreneur Randall Davidson.
Randall has ten top tips for writers on how they can improve their proofreading skills to create better, more professional-looking documents.
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Correct and efficient proofreading is one of the most crucial elements in producing quality advertisements, business documents and academic papers. Misspellings, poor grammar and/or improper word usage can create a negative impression that may overshadow your desired message. Additionally, these mistakes can reflect poorly on the individual or company responsible for the errors. Here are ten proofreading tips that can produce more professional results.
- Divide and conquer. By looking at the document in sections, proofreaders can often catch mistakes that might otherwise go unnoticed when reading a longer paper. Smaller sections can reduce fatigue and allow the proofreader to process the material more effectively while minimizing the chance that an error will be overlooked.
- Slow down. Many proofreading errors occur due to haste during the process. No list of proofreading tips would be complete without a recommendation to slow down and read carefully as you proofread.
- Sound it out. Reading the document out loud is one of the most beneficial proofreading tips and can help to identify mistakes in word usage and grammar that may not be apparent in the printed form. Additionally, any repeated or missing words are easily identified when the document is read aloud.