Getting your text free from mistakes saves you from unnecessary embarrassments. Whether you are working on an academic essay, magazine article or a resume, make sure you proofread it before publishing. Don’t rely on a spell checker alone, because it can fail to spot some minor errors. Proofreading helps to eliminate such small mistakes. Below are some of the ways to facilitate your proofreading session.
First, the only way for you to spot the small mistakes is to ensure you maintain your concentration. Avoid any distractions. Look for a quiet environment and make sure you are relaxed. You can go a step further to switch off both your cell phone and television.
The best way to proofread your work is to use a hardcopy. Reading on screen sometimes strains your eyes. Once on paper, read it aloud. This helps your ears catch some mistakes that the eye could not spot.
The most difficult part is the homonyms. These are words which have different meanings but can share the same pronunciation and spelling. Words like complement/compliment and accept/except are often interchanged. If you don’t pay close attention you may end up passing the wrong message and make whole work a mess.
Another area that requires your attention when proofreading is contractions and the use of apostrophes. The most confusing word is its and it’s. These mistakes, though very small, can affect the credibility of your text. Also, remember that apostrophes are never used in forming plurals.
Also, as you proofread checkout for punctuation. Omitting a comma may change the meaning of the whole sentence. At this point, pay close attention to capitalization, the use of commas and how the periods are used.
Once you are satisfied with your work, get someone else to do the proofreading. Sometimes you can fail to spot a mistake which is just staring at you. Having another person proofread your work can help you some spot such mistakes. In addition to this, they are in a better position to tell if the sentence makes sense or not.