Proofreading: 10 Editing Tips That Will Make You a Better Writer

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Proofreading for a writer is a challenging task. First of all, your eyes are already blurred with all the words and phrases you have used in a text. Thus, it’s harder to find mistakes. Second of all, you will always be biased to your creation. There is a thin dividing line between “my article is beyond perfect!” and “I need help writing my essay“. The more you read it, you either find more mistakes or find it even better. However, there are some secret editing tips that can help you become a better writer and avoid spending money on editors or proofreaders. And we are going to share them with you right now. 

Read Out Loud

Text melody is a complicated thing. You can “catch” some imperceptible roughness only with your ears. The text must “pour out”. The sentences should not cut the reading process. If this happens, the format of the material should be changed somehow. Reading aloud uses an additional sensory channel, which increases the chance of noticing an error by at least 50%. In addition, reading aloud will help you pay attention to the way the text is pronounced, where pauses are made, and accents are placed. 

Print It Out

We change the context to change our perception. A text printed on paper is perceived differently than on the screen. People who read only paper books can prove it to you. Use a ruler to focus on particular lines. Look for an error on paper, and correct it in an electronic document.

Do not proofread the text fresh out of the oven

An average author does not have a chance to leave the proofreading the next day or week, as recommended by many “serious” sources. Frequently, deadlines are strict. However, try to make a small break: drink some tea, let the brain forget the template of the text for at least 20-30 minutes. Even with such a short interval, the proofreading the text will go much more effective.

Avoid complex sentences 

Some authors believe that the longer the sentence is, the more powerful it is. That’s not true. Even the most loyal reader is unlikely to be happy to clap his hands if your text consists of sentences the size of a whole paragraph. Read your texts through the eyes of the average person, not the author. If a sentence that is too long makes your eyes stumble or lose the idea, you should simplify it without any hesitation.

Ask Your Friend

Ask someone to reread your creation. All people are different, just like their perception and the level of literacy. An engaged helper can easily notice everything you have missed. And if several correctors read the text, the result will be several times better.

Look for Mistakes

 You should get rid of mistakes in the last few edits of the material. But since we are all people not without flaws, editing and proofreading often merge into one stage. 

We should pay special attention to the endings, repetitions of words, hyphens, eliminating unnecessary gaps between words and after brackets, punctuation.

It is easier to perform one task than several at once. So, to improve the efficiency of proofreading, focus on one type of errors.

For example, first, check only punctuation. Read the whole text, and then switch to spelling. One proofreading is one type of errors. This way, you can work on the whole document better.

Use Special Online Tools

These are specialized tools that help you check your pieces of writing. With their help, you can detect errors in grammar, style, punctuation, logic, as well as misprints, typographical errors, and much more.

Mind the Paragraphs

Or rather, try to make the paragraphs have at least some logical completeness, and not only be broken with mathematical precision.

If you see that a paragraph comes out big, it is better to break it into two parts. 

Keep It Logical

Many authors have a problem when they try to put too much information in one place. 

The text may seem to be organic, monolithic, and quite natural, but when you start reading it, you realize that some pieces are useless at all. And that’s half the trouble. It’s much worse when the logic of the text is broken. 

Usually, violation of the logic of an article occurs when you wanted to develop some idea, but then never managed to expose it to the reader.

Love Your Essay After Proofreading

If you checked the material and pat yourself on the shoulder at the end of the proofreading, then everything is done well.

It has long been noticed that when the author likes his material, the client usually accepts such text with pleasure too.

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