Proofreading: Everything You Need To Know
By Anupam Joseph / July 19, 2016 / Comments: 6
This post has been submitted by our second Pitchfest winner, Anupam. One spot still remains, you can take part here.
Have you ever stumbled upon a post where you had to read twice before you could understand what the writer wanted to say?
Maybe a comma was missing which made the sentence lose its meaning.
Needless to say, unnecessary mistakes in content are annoying and I am sure none of you would like to be that kind of a writer.
This is where proofreading comes into play.
Proofreading is examining your text for any kind of grammatical or typographical error. It is the last step before publishing your document or submitting your article.
Why is it Important?
For most of us blogging is a passion.
We work hard to add fuel to it and want to put forward something that we are proud of. It is a very laborious task to mould our ideas into a super article which appeals to everyone who reads it.
But imagine buying an outfit which has super color, amazing cut and fitting and yet the stitching is very scruffy; there are threads peeking out.
Will you go for such an outfit? Nah!! No one would.
You may glance at it, but you’ll be put off by the shabbiness. This is exactly what happens when you write a post. While you might spend a lot of time and effort deciding the topic and researching, but small things like silly spelling and grammatical errors may spoil the fun for your readers. Remember, these are the stitches that hold your post together.
After you’ve understood how important it is to proofread, your next question should be – How to do it?
I mean we all read before submitting our documents but still the errors persist. What are we poor souls to do???
To make your work easy-peasy, there are many online proofreaders available for free. All you need is -paste your text and it will check errors and highlight it.
A few of the amazing sites available online are:
I find Grammarly one of the best tools to use when you are writing online. Install it in your browser and then forget about errors. This tool will be your sentry.
If you just require checking simple errors, I suggest you go for this one. It is remarkably efficient and elementary which keeps your writing error free.
If you want more than a spellchecker then you can go for this tool. It not only does the basic work, but also gives you suggestions on how you could improve your writing.
A list of better words is provided which can seriously boost your post. Just copy and paste your write-up and relax.
This is one of my favorite tools which I use every once in a while to improvise my language skills. It is like submitting your paper to your professor who will give you tons of suggestions and rate your post.
It is not a very exuberant feeling to see your paper marked in red, but hey, that’s how you learn. In addition, it also looks out for plagiarism, which is an extra advantage.
These are the few sites which are extremely beneficial. Use them and you’ll notice the difference.
Common mistakes and how to avoid them
Proofreading is often tiresome and thus we all tend to make some faux pas. Let’s see what they are:
- Checking the draft immediately after writing is one common mistakes that we all make. Since we are familiar with the text, our mind only processes what we think we have written.
Looking at the document the next day helps you look at it with fresh eyes which have better ability to catch an error.
- Working in midst of distractions is another thing that must be avoided. It hampers your work to a great extent.
- Doing a perfunctory check. In my opinion everyone is infected by this bug. Proofreading just for the sake of it yields no result. So if you don’t feel like doing it, leave it and come back later.
- Forgetting to examine the headings. I always do this. I am so busy scanning the content that I skip the titles and headlines. To avoid it, make a point to go through them first and afterwards analyze the content.
I know you are like, “What!! There is more???”
Don’t worry its nothing much. Actually the truth is even after using all the above tools there are some mistakes which do not get caught. So, follow the following commandments prior to finalizing your document:
Thou shalt not rely entirely on spellchecker and other tools: There are a few mistakes that are not caught by the above mentioned tools and hence you need to do a manual checking too.
Thou shalt read your article loudly: Believe me it helps. Unconsciously you may skip through some errors, but reading it out loud, minimizes the chance of overlooking.
Thou shalt not IGNORE: Many times we are not sure about a word, still we use it and what’s worse if the word is spelt correctly, it will not come under the scanner of your precious proofreader. So if you are not sure about something check it before you put it.
This is all. I told you it wasn’t much, but it certainly helps to write better.
Make moolah by Proofreading
Yes I did!!!
Now I did not make you go through all these excruciating exercises for nothing. If you become a pro at it, you can actually earn a handsome income by doing some freelance proofreading.
Freelancing can be challenging at the beginning, but after you have made a niche you are good to go. Following are a few ideas to earn by proofreading:
If you think that you are a good proofreader; make an account on Upwork (http://writefreelance.in/how-to-make-money-on-upwork/). It is a tried and tested freelance platform which will definitely get you some solid work.
You can also look into various job-boards and surprise yourself with various proofreading jobs available.
The process to get freelance work is more or less same for every platform. You need to make an attractive profile and work hard to get your first gig. With a few satisfied clients your way forward is paved clean. Sounds good? You bet it does!!
In the end it’s all about good writing. Isn’t it? I hope my post will be helpful for you to achieve the same. If it does, drop a comment.
Till next time, keep writing, and keep improving.