Two steps to perfect proofreading
Seems like proofreading has become a bit of an old fashioned game. I can see people’s eyes glaze over when I mention it, like they’re preparing themselves for a lecture on apostrophes.
Like it or not, spelling mistakes, bad grammar and sloppy punctuation are not a good look in a business (ANY!) context. They cheapen your product and distract from your message. And with a little effort, they’re easy to avoid.
We all know that spell check is NOT your friend when it comes to proofreading. So what is? Two methods I find really helpful and use all the time as a professional copywriter are:
- The ‘rest it’ method
This one is pretty self explanatory. Take a break from your work before you send it to a client or post it online. Overnight is best but even a few hours can help. You’ll pick up obvious mistakes or find a better way to say something with a bit of distance between you and your work.
- The ‘test it’ method
Ok, so ‘test it’ just rhymes nicely with ‘rest it’ but it really means to read your work out loud. When we read to ourselves, we read fast. We skim words and fill in the blanks. In other words, we fix our own mistakes, without actually making any real changes. Reading out loud makes you slow down, revealing missed words or where your writing doesn’t flow quite right. It really helps.
Follow these two steps and you might just escape that lecture on apostrophes.