The caption above is enough to indicate why proofreading is indispensable! Let me share an interesting piece of information with you. You will notice that though a paragraph is full of errors, you catch the essence of the paragraph, and can still understand it. In order to understand what I am saying more clearly, have a look at the following sentence – “Proofraeding is extreemly essnetial.” Well, I am sure you understood what the sentence said, despite the order of the letters being wrong. This is possible as the first and last letters are in the right place, and that’s all our brain needs to process the letters correctly!
Humans do not necessarily read every letter separately, but process the word as a whole. This produces quite astounding results! For the sentence above, we processed it correctly because we noted the first and last letter of each word. Had we taken an effort and read each word out aloud, we might have been able to catch the errors more obviously. Proofreading accurately requires you to concentrate on each word that you are reading, and in the case of longer words, you have to look more intently. The motto is – to look at each word and not just glide over it!
Always try to remember that your mind works faster than any pen, typewriter, or computer. The following tips might prove useful to you for mastering the art of proofreading. They will also make you realize that proofreading is not as easy a job as you thought it would be! So, don’t hesitate to take the help of professional proofreaders if the need arises. In the meantime, you can try your hand at it – no harm there! But be careful – if you’re going to walk the long, difficult path of learning proofreading, you’re going to be reading stuff a lot slowly from here on!
While proofreading, it doesn’t hurt to have the attitude of a detective! In other words, it is more than acceptable to have doubts in your mind while you are trying to proofread. You have to doubt each word in order to catch the mistake and rectify it correctly. In fact, checking once is just not enough. Double-check for those types of common errors which you tend to make repeatedly.
Another cue is never to go through the page in a hurry. You’ll never catch all the mistakes that way. If required, read the passage out loud. You’ll be able to catch errors more efficiently this way. Read one word at a time and don’t just check for spelling and punctuation errors – look for possible errors in the writing style and the formatting as well. Take nothing for granted when it comes to proofreading.
Proofreading your own work is much more difficult than someone else’s. So, have someone else proofread your work before you submit it. A proofreader analyzes your work with impartial eyes, and is sure to point out mistakes that you’ve made with much more accuracy than you would!
Supaproofread offers a range of proofreading and editing services to students, businesses and website owners.