Why Proofreading is Important

February 28th 2013       Sally Ormond       how to proofread, proofreading tips

Whether you’re a copywriter, manager, secretary, director or anything else for that matter, proofreading is essential.

Although I write for a living I am not claiming to be whiter than white on the typo front. I make mistakes because I am human, but I always do my utmost to make sure errors don’t slip through the net.

But spotting a typo is difficult – if you don’t believe me take a look at this:



















Second opinion

The best way to make sure your writing is error free is to get someone else to read through it for you. But what happens if you work alone?

Proofreading your own work isn’t impossible, it’s just not very easy. The reason being that your brain will play tricks on you because it will make you believe you’re reading what you think you wrote even if you’ve mistyped something or missed a word out completely.

To get round this you could hire in the services of a proofreader, but then that’s adding a cost that you either have to absorb or pass on to your client.

So, if you want to do it yourself, these tips should help:

  1. After writing, put it aside for at least 24 hours whilst you start working on something else
  2. Print it out (it’s very difficult to proof text on a screen)
  3. Read through the whole document out loud, which should draw your attention to errors, repetition and its rhythm.
  4. Mark up any errors and repeat the process again

Another tip is to read the document from back to front (i.e. from the last word and then right to left, word by word). Because it won’t make sense, it will make you concentrate on each word and help you spot any mistakes you’ve made. Then, reading it out loud form start to finish should pick up any other errors.

Yes, it’s long winded and yes, it takes time, but surely your reputation as a copywriter is worth it?

Author- Sally Ormond, Briar Copywriting Ltd

Tags: how to proofread, proofreading tips
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