Proofreading is important to any business, no matter how big or small they may be. The communications and documentation you are creating are a reflection on the type of company you are and the service you offer. If you want to be seen as professional who can deliver a high quality service or product, then it is important to get it right. Having a basic typo or grammatical error could be costly for your business.
Yes the majority of people probably won’t even notice a small little spelling mistake, but then there are others that will and may reconsider your proposal.
So why is proofreading so important?
- Proofreading helps to ensure that you have everything you want to say in your communication/documentation
- It gives you the opportunity to review your work and add anything in that you may have missed
- It helps to iron out any little mistakes or unnecessary information from your text
- Proofreading shows that you take pride in your work and gives a good impression
- Mistakes in text can sometimes lead to misinterpretations of what you were trying to say
Top Tips for Effective Proofreading
Take your time!
Don’t rush reading through a piece of text as you can often miss the most simplest of mistakes.
Ensure there are no distractions in the background which will take your concentration away from the task at hand.
Ignore the content
It’s hard to do if it is something you have written yourself, but try to ignore the content and overthink what you are reading. Concentrate purely on the words in front of you.
Microsoft Word will give you a basic spell check, however, DO NOT rely upon this as your only means for checking through a document as it won’t pick up homonyms such as accept and except and will merely do a basic spelling and grammar check.
Finish the text
Don’t start proofreading until you have finished the text. If you proofread as you go along, if you change anything along the way you may miss something. You will also be doubling up your time in proofreading again.
Check a hard copy
If you can, print a copy of the text to makes notes against and mark up any changes that need making. It is sometimes harder to review something on screen.
Facts and figures
Always double check any facts, figures and dates to ensure they are correct. This is something that I’ve known a lot of people slip up on!
Check multiple times
If time allows then check the document through multiple times. First check the spelling, then the grammar, punctuation, style and then format.
Don’t proofread when tired
Your eyes will be tired and you are more likely to skim read and not take the words in.
Four eye approach
If you can, get a second pair of eyes to look over your work. The four eye approach works well as you can often miss the little things if it is something you have typed yourself. A fresh pair of eyes are more likely to notice something you have missed.
If you are interested in my proofreading service, or would like to discuss ways I could help you and your business to free up some of your time, give me a call on 07538 715537 or drop me an email at email@example.com.