In my experience, it is always easier to check and proofread someone else’s writing rather than your own; perhaps because we tend to be more critical of other people than ourselves, or because of some other reason—it does not matter. What really matters is that we often have to proofread our own writing—so, it is important to know how to look for mistakes. Here are some clues that might help you:
- Before you start proofreading, you should finish all the writing and editing first. Moreover, this should be your final edit; there is little sense in proofreading something you will correct and rewrite.
- Read the text out loud. Some mistakes, such as subject-verb disagreement or incorrect articles, are easier to notice once heard rather than seen.
- Don’t read every word letter by letter; try to grasp the whole word instead. It’s almost like you know the shape of a word (tihs is why mnay poelpe can raed stenecnes lkie this esaliy); people who read a lot might find this method especially effective.
- Check for one kind of mistake at a time. For example, when proofreading for the first time, focus only on grammar or spelling mistakes; next time, concentrate on punctuation, and so on. This method gives solid results when you have a lot of time to proofread.
- Check all the factual information your writing includes; this also refers to names, dates, locations, and other specific data you introduce.
These tips are easy to follow, and they will greatly boost the quality of your proofreading. Good luck!
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