Thursday, February 01, 2007

Proof reading

So, I've discovered that "everyone" thinks they can proof read, but very few people can.

Why does it matter? Because copy containing spelling and grammar errors looks very unprofessional. Ever bought a book containing simple mistakes? How did you feel when you found the mistake? not good.

So how can you be better at proof reading? Here's a few tips.

Before you start:
Run it through a spell checker. It's amazing how often this gets forgotten.

Read slowly. You aren't trying to get through the text as quickly as possible.
Read every word. The aim isn't to understand it but to check it.
Read each sentence twice if it is not short and simple. Complex sentences are likely to get you thinking about the meaning

proof reading
- start with a spell check
- start at the end (the more you read the less likely you are to spot each mistake. Let other people start from the beginning, this way everyone checking the text won't be more likley to miss mistakes towards the end of the text)
- different fonts (this can make some spelling mistakes more obvious)
- look for words that may have spaces in them e.g. handheld or hand held- look for consistency
- consistent capitalising of words
- correct use of full stops when abbreviating
- don't rush. If you lose interest and get bored, stop and come back to it later.
- Use Office 2007 so you can get the blue squiggles


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