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Proofreading : 10 Perfectly operative tips and tricks

08, June, 2018

After days, if not months of hardwork, all that is left is the final proofreading session. At one point, it may feel extremely difficult to move forward to check ones own drafted work because it is hard to follow a manuscript just like a creator would. Some professional proofreading tips are here to help you out of this mess.

Top 10 proofreading tips
Tips for accurate proofreading


  1. Relax and take time

  2. Editing stage is over and you are on the way to proof read it? Well! Wait for few weeks and try to stay away from your precious work, Professional proofreading techniques persuade writers to wait a minimum time of 6 weeks for manuscripts to settle before being chosen for final output. The more time you wait, the more mistakes you will discover.

  3. Make a list of the errors you make

  4. Everyone tends to make a series of mistakes that they might make over and over again. It could be grammatical, styling or typing errors. If you have noticed, there is a pattern to your mistakes, keep a list of the mistakes you make as it will help you reduce the instances of such errors. This is one of the best tips for proofreading your own work. Sometimes, it could be simply that you aren’t aware of the correct way of putting it across, or it is that the word is simply difficult for your eyes to catch unless you make real efforts to find the same. When you have the list of words that you commonly type wrongly, you can use the find option in Word and see if you have written it correctly or not.

  5. Print format

  6. A printed version is always suited for error finding. Proofreading a printed version of your manuscript offers a varied and better perspective when compared to electronic version. It allows corrections to be made easily. Make sure that line spacing is 1.5 lines and font size is 12 at least. Some of the professional digital prepress companies that provide page formatting as well as error correction services stick to print media for better evaluation of errors.

  7. Right time, correct proportion

  8. Choose what time of the day suits your mind and wait till it approaches. A quiet, comfortable place that is free of distractions is the best bet for proofreading an article. It is not at all recommended to proofread amidst all the noise and swiftness of daily life.

  9. When you proofread on paper, use a red pen

  10. If you are reading the text from a paper to be corrected and later typed onto the computer, using a red pen or marker to make the corrections will help you find them much easier than you think. Any other color or a pencil has the danger of being missed while looking at the paper. Though simple, this is regarded as one of the more important proofreading tips and techniques.

  11. Ensure that the spelling of names is consistent

  12. If you are considering how to proofread professionally, then making sure spelling is consistent across the piece of writing is really important. This becomes extremely important for names; a name should not be spelt in one way at the beginning and in another at the end. Consistency of spelling is vital to improve the readability of any write-up.

  13. Do not miss quote marks

  14. If you are creating a book, or an eBook for that matter, you will be using a lot of quotes. One of the common mistakes made by writers is that they forget to close the quote. However, it is an essential to keep in mind as an ebook proofreading that you should close the quotes since unclosed quotes can impact the reading experience of the user. Further, most of the styling guides suggest that the period must be placed inside the last quote.

  15. Make use of a ruler while you proofread

  16. Another simple yet effective tip to ensure that your proofreading is effective is to have a ruler while you are carrying out the task. Most of the times, we tend to lose focus and slip from one sentence to another. It can so happen that the missed sentence might actually have a wrong word. This simple slip can render all your proofreading efforts waste. As such, while proofreading, utilize a ruler for better accuracy and effectiveness.

  17. Tracking tools

  18. Since it is hard to follow the plot lines of manuscript, tracking tools are always advisable. There are numerous timeline and plot tracker templates available in the internet. Inconsistencies in timeline, plot and character are the main causes of errors in a fiction.

  19. Facts and misused homophones

  20. Inaccuracy cannot be excuses even if the manuscript is that of a fiction. Checking the facts during drafting stage is important. Geographical facts, distances and place names are very important. Also don’t forget to check for unused homophones. Irregular usage can really cripple your fiction work.

A little bit of care and some extensive research will help to keep most of the errors at bay. Typos and misplaced words also require treatment. Proofreading companies provide such efficient editing and error detection services for amateur fiction writers. Read here for more proofreading tips and tricks.

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