What is a Typo?
Any skilled writer is familiar with such a typical but pesky flaw as typos. A typo is often an entirely mechanical mistake in writing (grammar, punctuation, a misspelling, or incorrect word usage, and so on), that appears because of the inattentiveness of a writer. Although it sometimes seems impossible to avoid typos, there are numerous ways to minimize their number (or completely expel them) in your final version of a text.
Techniques to Avoid Typos
1. Use the auto-spellcheck function in your word processor, but do not rely on it entirely. Auto-spellcheckers can help you notice a word or phrase you have mechanically used incorrectly (e.g. when you typed quickly and wrote “tihnk” instead of “think” without noticing it); however, a computer cannot know everything, and so this function is not a panacea.
2. Reread what you have written. It is better to reread your writing when it has been completed; otherwise, you are at risk of rushing into editing without finishing your work (check out our guide on proper writing and editing). Reread twice if you suspect you might have missed something. This technique works perfectly for emails and short messages.
3. Learn from your mistakes. You will most likely notice you tend to make the same typos in certain words or situations. For example, writing two CApital letters in a row, or confusing letters “p” and “r,” when “p” rpecedes “r,” are rather popular typos. Pay attention to the writing process itself, and you will definitely discover such flaws in your writing.
4. Learn the rules of spelling, word usage, and prefixes/suffixes. This is perhaps the best way to increase your effectiveness and expel a great number of possible typos connected to a lack of literacy.
5. Minimize all possible distractions. When you are writing, you might feel a temptation to listen to music (even if it plays in the background), or you might be chatting with a friend on Skype or elsewhere, or get distracted in some other way. It only seems such factors do not affect the quality of your writing, but in fact you may make a huge amount of typos because of such distractions. Eliminate them (at least for a while) and you will see your writing improve.
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