Importance of Proofreading
"Accdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.
The above paragraph is full of errors but still you must have read the whole matter with ease and got the essence of
it. This is possible because you often see only the shells of
words - the first and last letters. But if you had slowed down and read word by word, out loud, you might have caught the errors.
In order to proofread accurately, you have to fix your eyes on
almost every word you have written and do it twice in case of
longer words. You have to look at the word, not slide over it.
Remember that the mind works far faster than the pen or typewriter. The following exercises will help you mastering the art of proofreading and at the same time will impress you with how difficult the procedure is.
The steps for Proofreading
- Always have a doubt in mind while proofreading. You have to doubt every word in order to catch every mistake.
If you have always made a typical mistake, you will tend to make it again.
Hence, double check for those types of errors.
- Read what is actually on the page, not what you think is there. (The above quoted paragraph proves this point).
- Read very slowly and if possible, read out loud. Read one word at a time.
Remember you are not just proofreading the words and punctuation. You are also looking for inconsistencies in style and formatting, such as titles or headings that suddenly change font size, or a change in bullet-point style.
- Always Proofread more than once. Professional editors proofread as many as ten times. And still errors occur.
Take nothing for granted in proofreading, because unconscious mistakes are so easy to make. Most errors in written work are made unconsciously.
Research says that there are two sources of unconscious error:
- Faulty information from the kinesthetic memory. If you have always misspelled even a simple word like "accommodate", you will unconsciously misspell it again.
- A split second of inattention.
Tips for Proofreading Online
- Proofread text in all caps
carefully. It's much more difficult to find out typos and
misspellings in all caps.
- Use one particular word when referring to the same
thing, to maintain consistency. Don't use several words for the same thing or concept. Using a word once to mean one thing, and then using it again to mean something else is misleading.
- Donít rely on a simple spellcheck, make sure you re-read and check everything yourself.
A spell checker is just a tool. It does not know the difference between "two" and "too," or between "theyre," "there" and "their." It cannot determine whether a particular spelling is the correct one for the context.
- Print out the pages for one final checking. It's likely that you will catch some errors on paper and others on screen.
- Have somebody else read your material
content before you publish. Often they will catch simple mistakes that can end up causing big problems. It's still better to hire a professional proofreader. A proofreader examines your work with the fresh eyes and impartial knowledge of English; there is a sure way to guarantee the grammatical accuracy of your work.
Remember that it is
harder to detect mistakes in your own work than in someone
A simple typo, misspelling, or improperly phrased sentence can change the whole meaning of your content,
whether it is printed or on screen; and perhaps even convey a message contrary to what you were struggling
for. On the other hand, a properly proofed content not only helps readers understand your meaning, but also makes them engrossed in your
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