No matter how good your creative writing is, if it’s full of misspellings and errors it’s going to be unreadable. Good proofreading is the key to getting your work read and shared by others. Do you feel like you need to brush up on your skills? No problem. Read on for some of the best techniques you can use in your own proofreading routine.
- Read your work aloud: You may feel a little silly doing this, but this tip is the best way to weed out mistakes that you may have missed before. That’s because you have to pay more attention to what you’ve written, and look at it in a new way. Give it a try and you’ll see how well it works.
- Use grammar guides: Good grammar makes your writing easy to understand, and lets you get your point across. Bad grammar can make it unreadable. If you’re not sure where your grammar skills are, trying using a grammar guide. They break down how it works and lay out the basic rules in an easy to understand way. Try reading the Academized and Australian Help guides for some real in depth info.
- Have someone else read your work: Yes, this is hard if your writing is your baby. However, you’re not going to catch everything wrong with your work, as you’re too close to it. Ask a trusted friend to read it over. They’ll spot errors you missed and point them out before publication.
- Put online tools to use: There’s lots of tools out there online that can make proofreading much easier. If you search around, you can find tools that can help with any aspect of proofreading that you’re having trouble with. Try Easy Word Count for example, to check your length, and Cite It In to check that your citations are correct.
- Know your weaknesses: Every writer has a weakness in their writing. They may use run on sentences, or continually use the wrong ‘you’re/your’ in their writing. Find out what your weakness is, and look out for it. The more you train yourself to look out for it, the more you’ll catch yourself before you even write it in again.
- Try online proofreading services: Sometimes you just can’t commit to proofreading your own writing, and even online tools aren’t cutting it for you. Online proofreading services could be for you. They hire expert writers who can take your work and give it the professional treatment. If you really want your manuscript to be extra polished, try using EssayRoo, Boom Paper, or UK Writings.
- Get some distance from your writing: Proofreading something that you’ve just written is difficult. You’re too close to it, and you won’t see a lot of errors that you’ve made. If you can, try leaving it for a while before coming back to it. A lot of professional writers swear by this method, and it’s not hard to see why. You’ll see that the errors are instantly obvious when you do this.
- Print out your writing: Lots of writers like to proofread on the screen, but it puts a bit of distance between you and your writing. Instead, print the piece out. You can see it in a different light this way, making the job much easier. plus, you can make notes and annotations on this copy, which you can refer to when you start to edit the piece.
Try these techniques and you’ll find proofreading much easier. The pros know the secrets, and now you do too.
Mary Walton writes for assignment help service BigAssignments, loves surfing, and expressing her creative side through painting. She lived in Australia for 10 years and gained her degree in creative writing at the University of Melbourne.
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