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What A Proofreader Can Do For You

16 Jan

These days people are writing more and more , whether it’s for websites or just to update their Social Media status, the masses are creating content at a rate that could not have been imagined even a decade ago. But the quality of this content varies widely. Good writing skills are becoming more and more important as the average quality of online content goes down. If there is a point that you want to get across or a product you want to sell, good writing is essential. A proofreader can help ensure that your writing stands out from the rest.

 

There are as many forms of content writing as there are things to write about, it seems. You can write articles, web pages, eBooks or newsletters to name just a few. But no matter what it is you’re writing or why you are writing it, the eminence of writing will determine how many people read it and what they say.

 

Accurate sentence structure and grammar are crucial when you want to show yourself in a good light. If your writing is not easy to read because of sentence structure or spelling mistakes, it really doesn’t matter what the content is. People will have a harder time taking it seriously. A proofreader can help make sure your writing is grammatically precise.

 

Even if you feel that your writing is adequate, it is always good to have another set of eyes look at your work if you intend to publish it online. A proofreader can check just to make sure you didn’t miss any mistakes, and that the word flow and pacing are good. Even the best writers can use a proofreader sometimes.

 

It is easy to find people who will proofread writing. Many people around the world have businesses run from their own homes on their own schedule. The lack of high overhead costs allows these writers to offer services at an affordable rate, and they are flexible enough to complete the work you send them in a timely manner.

Whether you are an experienced writer or someone who hasn’t done much writing other than on Facebook, you can benefit from the services of a proofreader or editor. No matter what content you are writing, an editor may be exactly what you need to make your writing stand out.

 

How to Avoid Typing Errors

The real key to avoiding typing errors is to have someone else proofread your copy, and this actually also relates to a question that at least one other person asked, which is if I could discuss the poor state of writing on the Internet. 

I believe a significant reason you see so many typos and errors on web pages is that most web copy never gets reviewed by anyone but the writer before it goes live. By contrast, copy that you see in newspapers and magazines (in addition to being written by professional writers) goes through an extensive editing process. After a writer turns in a story, it’s usually reviewed by multiple editors. Of course these editors all have training in grammar and writing than the average person writing a blog.

Use a ruler to read line by line

When you look at copy on a screen or in hard print, your eyes can start to glaze over, making it easy to miss pesky errors. Try using a ruler. Reading line by line helps you focus carefully on the words.

Read aloud

Hearing copy read out loud is totally different to seeing it in print. Whether you read to someone else, record yourself on a dictaphone or set your computer’s text-speak function, do it. Since the best copy is conversational, this also helps you notice any awkward phrases or overlong sentences.

Ask a friend

If you don’t arrange for a professional proofreader or copywriter to bring a fresh perspective to your copy, at the very least ask a friend to read over it. It’s unlikely you’ll spot mistakes you always make. But someone else will!

Read backwards

An unusual approach to reading perhaps… Does work though! Because you are more focused on the actual words rather than the meaning, you are more likely to spot errors. Try it with numbers too.

Sleep on it

I’m a huge fan of giving yourself space from something and returning with fresh eyes. With every copy I write, I always come back to my first draft either hours later or the next day.

Because you’ve detached yourself from it, you bring a new perspective to it when rereading. You’ll probably find you chop sentences out or change words after sleeping on it.

Since the best copy is written from your customer’s perspective, this technique can help you walk in their shoes for a while. Experience what it’s like to read your copy as if you were a customer!

Don’t trust a spell-checker

I do use my spell-checker, but only as part of my proofreading system. To totally rely on it would be foolish! The trouble is, spell-checkers don’t spot homophone errors. And they don’t like you to break grammar rules such as starting a sentences with ‘and’ or finishing with a preposition.

Cut it down

When you go through the proofreading process, you’ll find you want to edit. The best copy is ‘tight’ copy. This is where superfluous words such as that or then are removed to make copy punchy. Don’t use three words when one will do! It’s always best to shorten long words to short ones. Help is better than facilitate.

Always proofread a printed version of your work

I don’t know why, but if I try to proofread on a computer monitor I always miss more errors than if I print out a copy and go over it on paper.
 
Give yourself some time
If possible, let your work sit for a while before you proofread it. I’m just speculating here, but it seems to me that if you are able to clear your mind and approach the writing from a fresh perspective, then your brain is more able to focus on the actual words, rather than seeing the words you think you wrote.
 
So if you would like to stand out and showcase your written data, have someone with proofreading experience help you out.  Virtual One PA
 
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Posted by on January 16, 2012 in Blogs

 

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