Proofreading is an effective way to make a document free from all errors. However, many students fail to proofread their work efficiently. It is because they don’t use important proofreading techniques essential to detect hidden mistakes and errors. Without using these techniques, they spend much time without finding enough errors.
This article will tell some important proofreading techniques that will make your documents free from errors.
Use Your Full Attention:
Concentration is the key to proofreading. You will not be able to spot errors if you do not focus. For this, you need to avoid all kinds of distractions and interruptions. You should avoid using social media and turn off your mobile phone. Stay away from notifications and any other activities that can impact your focus. Try to proofread in a calm and quiet place.
Read It On Paper:
Another one of the important proofreading techniques is to read your draft on paper. Reading on paper is completely different from reading on screen. Therefore, it would be helpful if you took a print of your document. This way, you can read your draft with more focus. You can read it aloud. By this, your ear might point out some mistakes that your eyes might have missed. While reading, you can place a ruler under the line you would be reading. This will help your eyes focus only on the words you are currently reading. You cannot use this technique by reading your document on screen.
Read Your Work Backwards:
Another technique for proofreading is to read your document backwards. You can start at the end of the document and then go upward by reading each paragraph one by one. The reason behind this way of proofreading is that it would force you to look at the elements on the surface instead of the meanings behind the sentences. You can detect many hidden mistakes this way.
Know Your Mistakes:
Proofreading techniques also involve knowing your typical mistakes. For this, you can look over your previous works to find mistakes that you commonly make. After this, you should write all these mistakes down. Read your draft by looking specifically for these mistakes. For instance, if you make certain spelling errors more often, look for that word in your draft and make sure you write it correctly.
Read For One Type Of Mistake At One Time:
One of the useful proofreading techniques is to read your document for one type of mistake at a time. For example, you should read for punctuation errors only one at a time. Then, the next time you can look for grammatical errors. This way, you will not miss any errors. Checking your paper is one thing, and proofreading is different. In proofreading, you need to read again and again.
Take A Break Between The Writing And Proofreading Stage:
Another technique is to take a break between the writing and proofreading stages. It is not wise to proofread right after writing your document. It is because the ideas and views in your document are still fresh in your mind. You will read your work with new perspectives if you take a break. This way, you can evaluate your work in a better way. Thus, set your paper aside for a while and then read your work when you feel your mind is fresh again.
Choose An Appropriate Time For Proofreading:
One effective proofreading technique is reading your document at an appropriate time. Every person has a time during the day during which he is most productive. It is crucial that you know your productive hours. Reading your draft when you are most productive and alert would be best. This way, you can spot errors in a better way. Timing is very important. It can increase your speed of proofreading. You can understand the difference between when you want to write and what you have written.
Use Online Tools:
Because of the digitisation, there are now many advanced proofreading techniques. There are now many editing tools available on the internet to help you proofread your work. You can use Grammarly to check grammar, punctuation and spelling. There are many other tools that you can use, such as Evernote, one look reverse dictionary, boom essays editing, death to stock, essayroo copywriting, windows live writer and asana. However, it would help if you carefully use these tools. It is because these online tools often make mistakes. They often forget to check serious mistakes or sometimes correct your work in the wrong way. They may recommend you a word that will not work right. This explains that you should not completely rely on these tools and read your work again after using them.
Watch Out For Apostrophes, Contractions And Homonyms:
Another important way to proofread is to look for homonyms, apostrophes, and contractions. Homonyms are those words which have the same pronunciation or spelling but different meanings. For example, using except instead of accept. It is important to focus on these words while reading. People also often mix you’re and your, it’s and its, and they’re and their. These are the things that can impact the credibility of your work. Thus it is important to note these mistakes.
Ask Someone Else:
If you are still unsatisfied after using these proofreading techniques, you can ask someone else to proofread. You can get a friend to proofread for you. He can help you find mistakes which you have missed. It is because another person can better evaluate your work. You can also get professional proofreading services for better results.
Using the above proofreading techniques, you can now easily make your work free from all errors that are otherwise very difficult to find. You must read your paper again and again, looking for a particular type of error each time. Make sure that you read your work at your most productive hours of the day. It would help if you also took a break between the writing and proofreading stage to get better results.