- Don’t proofread until you’re finished writing and editing.
Writing and editing require your brain to be in a creative mode, but you need to be in a scientific mode to analyse the nitty-gritty details.
- Give yourself a break.
It’s difficult to proofread a copy when it’s fresh in your mind, as you tend to skip over errors. Instead, allow yourself some distance from the text before jumping back into it.
- Use a spellchecker.
While it’s not flawless, a sweep with your spellchecker will help spot many common errors.
- Use the search function, too.
Run a quick search on the mistakes you’re likely to make. This is also a great way to pick out mistakes that would have slipped through a spellchecker.
- Double-check facts, figures and proper names.
Make sure that all the information in your copy is accurate and up-to-date to boost the credibility of your work.
- Work from a hard copy, especially with lengthy texts.
While the computer is equipped with useful functions, a printout would allow you to mark out errors with less restrictions.
- Trust your dictionary.
If you’re ever in doubt of the spelling or meaning of a word, look it up. A thesaurus is another handy companion to have around.
- Ask for help.
There’s no shame in reaching out. A new set of eyes may immediately spot errors that you have overlooked.