How Does Proofreading Work ?
The key to proofreading is to detach yourself from the work or to seem at it under unfamiliar settings.
Why? Well, the brain may be a know-it-all that likes to fill within the blanks for us and make us miss things that are “right there”. With a piece that we are conversant in , the brain knows how subsequent scene goes to play out. Under these circumstances, it becomes easier for us (or our brains) to miss typos that are hiding in plain sight.
Check out this easy exercise to urge a thought of how our brain likes to screw us over all the time.
How to Proofread ?
The easiest thanks to get proofreading done is to urge somebody else to try to to it for you. Fresh eyes devour more mistakes, and almost anyone can do a fast proofreading job. they only got to have an honest enough grasp of the language to select up the typos and irregularities.
If you would like to travel in-depth with proofreading or to try to to your own proofreading, here are some tips and techniques which will help.
1 Read It aloud
You can read the post aloud or to yourself (if you’re during a public setting). If there’s dialog in your writing, provides it voices in order that you’ll attach different personalities to your characters. If it’s a speech, read it such as you are ahead of your audience – dramatize it, strive for perfection, and your mind will become more sensitized towards mistakes and typos.
2 Print It and skim it with a Pen
For lengthier posts, or assignments, i might suggest printing out the post to read. More importantly, hold a pen while you read, and don’t be afraid to use it. once you allow yourself to “mark” your own article, you’ll “accept” the very fact that the post isn’t yet ready, and there’s still work to be done.
You will be amazed at what percentage typos you’ll find with this method. I find bright colored ink works better than black or blue, but that’s just me.
3 Change Elements of the Piece
If you don’t want to read aloud or don’t have a handy printer around, you’ll do proofreading on-screen but you’ll got to change the “in-house environment” of the piece.
(1) Break down your piece into 3 to 4 lines for better clarity. Paragraphs that are too lengthy overburden your STM . Sometimes by the time you get to the top of that paragraph, you would possibly have forgotten what you’ve read near the start . you’ll put everything back to its “original position” when you’re done.
(2) Change the font size or typeface. I even have a selected typeface and font size that i’m easier with; you’ll got to find yours. If it’s possible, publish your pieces during this comfort font. If you don’t want to form typeface changes, you’ll concentrate instead.
(3) Try changing the spacing (as in 1.5 or double spacing) of the piece. If there’s tons to figure with, you’ll split the post into two columns to form it easier on the eyes. Don’t underestimate how big of an influence spaces can wear your reading,
(4) When unsure , leave the piece aside for a short time – maybe 10 days to 2 weeks. Work on something else first and totally distance yourself from the merchandise . By the time you return for a re-evaluation , it’s like reading it for the primary time. If it isn’t, then provides it a few more days.
4 Don’t Trust the Spellchecker. Not Fully.
It is okay to depend upon the spellchecker for many spellchecks but remember that it cannot recognize context, which suggests it’ll block words like “infinitesimal” or “compartmentalization” whenever there’s a typo but allow an error like this too undergo . sort of a traffic signal , spellcheckers shouldn’t be trusted fully – they’re tools, and tools have limits and faults too. Don’t let your trust in them be the rationale for your mistakes.
5 General recommendations on Proofreading
(1) Always use copy paste, don’t rewrite a word that’s already there. Copy-pasting minimizes errors.
(2) When making a correction that spans a couple of words, read it on the spot to see for any mistakes. Then read it again during subsequent cycle. Mistakes that you simply introduce to a post may be a major no-no.
(3) Never proofread until the editing process has been completed, otherwise that proofreading round is essentially pointless.
(4) In determining usage consistency, always confirm which version of the spelling or word is that the right one, before you create the changes.
(5) Right up until it’s time to print or publish, you would possibly still find small mistakes and typos that you’ve missed. It’s alright. In books, these typos are removed in subsequent editions. In online publishing, the error are often rectified soon .
(6) When unsure , consult the dictionary. once you have two dictionaries telling you various things , follow the newer edition, or follow the one that’s considered the authority in your publishing circle – so skip urbandictionary if you write for offline publications. Remember that language is “alive”.
(7) If you’re helping somebody else proofread their work, the author of the post may argue with you on a number of the grammar rules or changes you would like to form . What you ought to do, depends on things , but at the top of the day, it’s the writer’s name on the post, so he or she should have the last say.
(8) to form sure you catch as many of the typos as possible, do repeated readings: proofread by cycles. I call them cycles due to the repetitive nature of this exercise. In each cycle, check only one particular issue, and ignore the rest; you’ll get to them eventually.
Truth be told, a number of the foremost common typos appear within the shortest of words. Here’s a brief list of the standard mistakes we make not only in articles but also when commenting or chatting:
1 handling Contractions
This happens to tons of writers and ever often in comments also .
Tip: If this is often a standard problem for you, promise contractions and write out the complete thing. “it’s” becomes “it is”, “they’re” becomes “they are” then on. this could continue until you’ve got earned the proper to use the apostrophes again.
Don’t judge a book by its cover. Unless it’s (it is) a very , really bad one.
2 Words that Sound Too Close for Comfort
Homophones are words that sound exactly like one another but aren’t spelled an equivalent way, such as:
to vs too
an vs and
made vs maid
for vs four
weather vs whether
Tip: Sometimes you catch them, sometimes you don’t. I even have no remedy to unravel this problem. However, you’ll identify your weak spots and run a special check only for that word and its homophone.
3 our favourite Mistakes
Then, there’s this group which just gets you once you aren’t looking. They don’t sound an equivalent and carry totally different meanings but you see them misused in (too many) places on many occasions.
For an evidence on the way to differentiate a number of the words listed above, inspect this poster by the Oatmeal (if you would like it desperately enough, buy the poster and slap it on your wall; don’t worry, I don’t get paid anything if you are doing or don’t).
4 an excessive amount of of an equivalent Thing
Another easy-to-miss typo hotspot is within the words that have the potential to hold two of an equivalent letters, such as:
accommodation (2 c’s, 2 m’s)
occasionally (2 c’s, 1 s)
millennium (2 l’s, 2 n’s)
possession (total of 4 s’es).
referring (two r‘s before -ing) but furthering and offering (one r‘s before -ing)
5 Separated By a standard Language
You may have noticed the utilization of ‘color’ and ‘colour’ in many publications, online and offline. Which of the 2 is correct? Well, it depends on who you’re writing for. If you’re writing for a U.S. audience, then words like
colour, honour, neighbour, favourite, humour
color, honor, neighbor, favorite, humor
Notice the missing ‘u’? I’m unsure what the rationale is for this personal vendetta against the 21st letter of the alphabet considering that in both British and American spelling:
Curious and viscous are spelled with a ‘u’
Curiosity and viscosity are spelled without a ‘u’.
four (4) and fourth (4th) are spelled with ‘u’s
40 is spelled as forty (no ‘u’)
Pronounce comes with an ou, pronunciation only has just the one ‘u’,
arduous, superfluous, and strenuous have two u’s each
American spelling also snips words like dialogue, catalogue and programme, leaving you with dialog, catalog and program. And let’s not forget the preference for –re in British spelling (centre, litre, fibre) while it’s –er in American spelling (center, liter, fiber).
6 Rules Are Made to Be…
If you listened to your grammar teacher, you would possibly have heard of the “i before e except after c” thing – it’s what you employ to recollect if it’s spelled receive or recieve.
Basically this rule is employed to elucidate why i comes before e in words like
hierarchy, pier, fiery
and e comes before i after a c
conceive, receive, deceive, perceive
(Note to self: maybe we should always change the rule to i after e only before v.)
The problem arises with words like
weight, weird, height, foreign, their, atheist, neighbor
as well as in
relief, mischief, piety, believe
(Note to self: Okay, this throws before-V out the window.)
The frustrating thing with this language is that it gives off the sensation love it is making up rules and breaking them because it evolves.