Editing and proofreading mean double-checking your academic and professional writings, online articles, and job descriptions for errors before publishing or sending them to your boss or professor. It is the final stage of your writing process where you fix minor errors, including spelling mistakes, typos, grammatical errors, and formatting issues that might exist in your writing.
Depending on your skills and expertise you can choose to proofread your text or you can hire a professional. When you choose to proofread your text, then edit and proofread it when it isn’t fresh in your mind. It will help you to have a focus on grammatical, style, and spelling errors in every single sentence.
If you only depend on online Spelling and Grammar Check, there are high possibilities that you might still have many errors in your paper. Spell Checkers miss all kinds of daily usage errors including (they’re vs. there vs. their) and other minor and major grammatical mistakes. These kinds of simple problems hurt the readability of the paper by distracting your reader, which in turn vandalize the paper’s credibility.
Here are some effective proofreading and editing strategies that you can use to make your document/ paper more implicit and efficacious.
Fluent in the language:
The first step to editing or proofreading your paper is to be fluent in English. Not only in speaking and listening, but you have to be fluent in the basic grammar rules. Only then will you be able to edit or proofread a document.
Read the paper out loud:
Reading a document aloud is one of the common techniques used by both professional and beginner proofreaders. Reading aloud compels you to say each word and listen to how the words sound. It can help you notice missing words, grammatical mistakes, and awkward transitions.
Hearing your text spoken helps you find out when something doesn’t sound right, even if it’s grammatically correct so you can make adjustments. Reading something quickly forces your brain to skip some words and to make unconscious corrections. It will thus help you catch phrases that don’t “sound good” and helps you concentrate on what’s there on the paper, not what you meant to say.
Take regular breaks from editing/proofreading:
Proofreading and editing need breaks since it’s hard to concentrate for longer than 30 minutes. It will increase your productivity and will help your brain highlight major and minor errors in the text.
Find and replace repetitive words or phrases.
Always hit CTRL + F to find repetitive words and phrases in your text. Using the search function will automatically point up sections of your text so you can logically highlight repetitive words and phrases. It will also show you if you’ve written words and phrases illogically. Once you see the highlighting, you can change the words to add variety, or replace inconsistent words and phrases with consistent ones, and hence, make your text well organized and logical.