Proofreading is an essential part of the writing process and should never be overlooked. Proofreading includes two words that are “proof” and “read .”This implies that proofreading is the process of making a work error-proof after reading it. It is very crucial since it makes the content liable to be published. Proofreading makes content suitable to convey the correct message and information to the targeted clients, customers, and audiences.
It is the last stage of editing and should be done very carefully. Proofreading can take a lot of time if the content has a considerable word limit. Therefore, to effectively proofread your article in less time, you need to be a pro in this field.
The proofreading process becomes more efficient by establishing a systematic practice strategy. Using specific applications online and following certain tips, you can excel in the art of proofreading. In this article, we will be discussing the 6 tips to proofread an article like a pro.
What Is Proofreading?
Proofreading is the process of going through the final drafts of a paper. It is done to check the accuracy and the consistency of the article. Spellings and grammar are corrected in the process, and the format of the article is checked to whether it matches the given journal or not. Proofreading is the final stage of the writing and editing process.
It is the last chance to correct your errors before it is published. It ensures that the final draft is entirely free from grammar mistakes like wrong words, subject-verb agreement mistakes, wrong punctuations, and incorrect spelling.
You can either proofread your article independently or hire a professional proofreader for your article. It would be best if you had a good vocabulary for proofreading. With today’s evolution of technology, certain apps are also made to check your mistakes and proofread your articles. The app highlights all the spelling and grammar mistakes. It also gives you suggestions on how to make it error-free. Proofreading enhances the quality of the article. After proofreading, there are negligible chances of your article getting rejected.
Why Is Proofreading Necessary?
An article or document is considered complete only after proofreading it. Proofreading is necessary to produce high-quality articles. The documents can be for academics and professional work as well. Proofreading is an essential thing for students also. Proofreading makes an article perfect and reduces the chances of the article being rejected by a journal to zero.
Submitting an error-free work and easy to understand is crucial to getting published. If your writing is checked and polished, you have a perfect piece of writing left with you. More people would like to view you as polished and refined as well. This allows you and your work to make a good impression.
Proofreading can save you from embarrassment. No one wants their mistakes to be disclosed to the public. Therefore always proofread your articles if you want the audience, customers, and clients to appreciate your work. Proofreading reflects your interest in the article. It shows you care about your article, and we put our effort and time into things we care about. Business owners can attract customers and increase their sales through excellent written work. If the work is not proofread and published with errors and misinformation, the customers will assume their products lack quality and service. Therefore proofreading is necessary at every step.
Benefits of Proofreading
- Proofreading helps us identify our areas of mistakes. So that next time we don’t repeat the same thing and helps us in improving our vocabulary.
- Proofreading provides us with a clear and readable content. It gives a pleasant reading experience and information to the people who will read your content.
- It saves your money and time. You can identify your mistakes much earlier and save your money by avoiding costly reprints.
6 Tips For Better Proofreading
1 Proofreading in the Morning
Morning is the best time to proofread. Our mind is refreshed after a powerful night’s sleep; hence the chances of making a mistake while proofreading is minor. Try to complete writing your article by night and leave proofreading for the next day. Your brain is already stressed after writing thousands of words, and you might feel drowsy, and proofreading after it is not a good option.
The morning environment is too good to keep your body calm. You will be charged up in the morning, which will help you focus on your proofreading. Hence you can correct your content without any distractions. You can complete proofreading your article in less time in the morning than at night.
As proofreading can be a hectic, tedious task, it makes people sleepy. Try to listen to music without lyrics. Make sure you are not working under dull lights as it can cause headaches, and you can also skip some errors.
2 Get Rid of Distractions and Stay Focused
Proofreading is not a cup of tea. It requires hundred percent of your attention and focus. It can be a significant problem if you lose a tiny bit of your focus to some distractions. Therefore, while proofreading, avoid all the things that distract you. If your phone is the main reason you cannot focus, keep it aside for a few hours and don’t use it. After completing your task, use it as much as you want. Try to avoid receiving calls as it can break the flow of your concentration.
It is better to keep your phone switched off during proofreading. Choosing a quiet environment is a must. If there are background chatters and noises from another room, it is better to change your spot.
Tell the people around you to give you some time alone. Sit with all the things you need while proofreading, like a dictionary, notebooks, water, etc., at once. Leaving your seat frequently can disrupt your focus, and you might skip some errors in your content.
3 Use Online Tools For Better Accuracy
Many online tools and applications make proofreading easier and more accurate. The online tools scan your document and list all the mistakes. Suggestions are also provided on how to correct the mistakes. The tools highlight or underline all the errors. These tools can be used to point out grammar, spelling, punctuation, and the format of your content, whether it matches the given journal.
The feature of the online tools provides more clarity to your work. The number of mistakes is counted, making it easier to point out. If a sentence sounds dull and uninteresting, it changes the whole sentence to something more pleasing to the audience. Therefore it makes your work easier by eighty percent.
However, you should not depend on these tools with blindfolded eyes as they can skip some errors. They cannot identify most grammatical mistakes. After checking your work in these tools, it is always your responsibility to recheck your work and find any errors to stay on the safer side.
4 Don’t Forget Your Formatting
Formatting your content is an essential part of your article. You should always write your content according to the format you have been advised to do. Proper formatting provides transparent communication between the article and the readers of the article.
It also shows that you care about your work and put your time and effort into doing it. Proper formatting can reflect a lot about your work. It gives a touch of professionalism to your content. Readers are attracted to well-formatted and well-organized content.
Don’t try to give all the points in the same paragraph. It looks clumsy, and the reader might lose interest in reading. Try to divide the ideas into separate sections and read each section carefully. Keep all the sections in the exact alignment as it looks professional and is easy to read.
Take breaks after checking each section and then move to another. This will keep your concentration intact. Therefore carefully proofread the formats for long documents like research papers and thesis.
5 Take a Break and Come Back to it.
Sometimes you will have to proofread large documents of research, thesis, etc. A lot of time is needed to make it error-free. Besides time, a high level of patience and concentration is also required.
Therefore, taking frequent small breaks is essential to ensure a brilliant job. Proofreading such large documents is very hectic and tiresome. As time passes, you will slowly lose your focus on the work and get distracted. If you continue working, you will skip many errors.
During these small breaks, drink water, listen to a piece of soothing music or take a look outside. This will help you relax your brain and eyes. You will soon restore your concentration power and can work when you sit back again at it. Don’t think that taking a break will shorten your period for submission. Instead, it will enhance your proofreading by improving your concentration.
6 Make a List and Check It Twice
As soon as you see any mistake, try to copy it down in a notebook before correcting it. Note down all your mistakes in your side notebook. At last, after you are done correcting all the errors, go through your work again.
Try to match the corrected errors to the ones written in the notebook. This is double-checking. This will ensure that your content is entirely free from all the errors you had previously made. It is time-consuming but very effective to make your content perfect.
After everything is done, don’t strike off your mistakes from the list. Try to understand and acknowledge your mistakes so that you don’t repeat the same errors next time. Therefore we can always learn from our mistakes.
Proofreading vs. Editing
In the case of proofreading,
- Proofreading is the last stage of writing and editing. It is performed on the final draft of the content.
- Proofreading addresses issues of surface level.
- It is done to remove spelling errors, grammatical mistakes, and punctuation misplacement. It is also used to check the accuracy and the format of the article.
- Proofreading does not include the count of the number of words reduced.
- It is used to make overall good writing free from any error.
- It does not need much collaboration with the author.
- The time required to proofread content is relatively short.
In the case of editing,
- Editing is done on the document’s overall draft, starting from the first draft till the final draft.
- It addresses the primary feature of writing.
- Editing is done to enhance the language of the document. It makes changes ensuring good clarity and readability.
- It includes the number of words reduced if needed.
- It improves the overall quality of the writing.
- Editing is collaborative. It requires the editor to communicate with the writer.
- Editing is done on large documents hence the time needed is also longer.
Top Tools That Help You In Proofreading
Grammarly is one of the best-used online apps worldwide for proofreading. This app assists you in checking spelling, grammatical and punctuation errors. It improves the overall clarity and writing style of your content. This tool helps you write your content confidently and find the best words to express what you want to say. It allows you to communicate your ideas with ease.
Grammarly analyzes your overall work and highlights or underlines the word which needs improvement. You can click on Grammarly’s suggestion to replace your word with Grammarly’s suggested word. Grammarly is more than a proofreader. It suggests better-sounding sentences, words, and phrases to make them more appealing to the readers.
The free version of Grammarly provides you with the basic features which will help you with error-free work. It includes :
- Grammar checker
- Spelling checker
- Tone detector
- Punctuation checker
Grammarly’s premium version includes expanded features. It helps to produce high-quality writing.
- Grammar checker
- Spelling checker
- Tone checker
- Punctuation checker
- Clarity focused rewrites
- Vocabulary improvements
- Advanced suggestions
Grammarly can be used in Google docs, Emails, Twitter, and other social media platforms.
ProWritingAid is just another app like Grammarly. It allows you to check grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors. It also checks the style and format and provides in-depth reports to improve your writing. It also checks overuse, repetition of words, and length of sentences. This tool helps you to check the readability of your content. It is accurate for writing fiction.
ProwritingAid also has a feature known as plagiarism. Dull, bland paragraph structures are improved using its suggestions. It also eliminates abstract and complex words from your writings and replaces them with easy words for the readers. The proofreading service, along with editing, is of high quality.
The free version of this tool includes :
- The free version is like a demo. You get access to a web checker that checks only up to 500 words. You also get access to a browser extension that checks spelling and grammar or else if you want to experience the premium version, Pro Writing Aid Offers Free Trail for 2 weeks.
The premium version includes:
- A desktop App
- A substantial web browser extension
- A full web-based app
- Integration of Microsoft, Google Doc.
- A bunch of reports on your writing style.
Ginger is used to check grammar, spelling, and punctuation in content. Ginger offers some valuable functions. They are simple and basic. It has a friendly user interface that allows the user to control it easily. Ginger can work on several platforms like chrome, safari, and edge. It also works on desktop apps for Windows and Mac.
It is available for both iOS and Android devices. It allows the writer to use their keyboard. The ginger keyboard is available for Android users. It is free. However, it does not have a plagiarism checker.
Ginger supports both US and British English. No suggestions are provided. All corrections are made at once, and you need to check them if it is inaccurate. It corrects all grammar mistakes. The errors are underlined in green, and the corrected ones are underlined in green. However, it does not provide suggestions for the mistakes.
It has a sentence rephrase tool, which allows the writer to rephrase a sentence with different antonyms, synonyms, and phrases. It also helps to complete fragmented sentences.
The free version includes :
- Grammar checker
- Spelling checker
- Punctuation checker
The premium version includes:
- Active to passive and vice-versa voice checker
- Translation in 40+ languages
- Provides a personal dictionary
- Feature of personal trainer available to develop grammar skills
How do I Become a Good Proofreader?
To become a good proofreader, firstly, you have to expand and improve your vocabulary. You have to cultivate a love of learning and reading, making your role as a proofreader easier. Practice makes a man perfect—practice proofreading from online sources will help you gain skills.
If you want to be hired as a proofreader, you need to market yourself and engage with the people of the community they are hiring you. Lastly, it would be best if you had confidence in yourself.
How do I Become a Proofreader with No Experience?
If you have no experience in this field, then the first thing you should do is learn and know what proofreading is. After you know it, try to use some standard editing tools in Microsoft Word.
The three tools used for editing are track changes, compare and comment. Know the rules of proofreading. Practicing proofreading from online sources will improve your work and give you a boost in confidence.
Do I need a qualification to be a proofreader?
There is not any special qualification needed for proofreading. However, most should hold a bachelor’s degree in English, journalism, and communication. You can have a degree in another field as well. Candidates are required to undergo a proofreading test to show competency.
Are proofreaders in demand?
The demand for proofreaders is constantly increasing. Thousands of blogs and documents are written every day. Before publishing it, it has to be checked thoroughly. Proofreaders are responsible for this task. Many proofreaders are hired every day. Therefore, we can say that proofreaders are in demand. Their demand will never dropdown.
Is proofreading a good side hustle?
Yes, proofreading is a good side hustle. Its demand is also high, and it constantly requires new candidates. The pay of a proofreader is also decent. It is perfect for students who want a part-time job and earn money. Proofreading does not have considerable recognition, but it is a decent job and a good side hustle.
These were the 6 tips to proofread your article like a pro. If you follow all these tips and strategies, you can master proofreading. It is common to face a challenge in the beginning. With proper time, and practice you can excel in proofreading. If you are new and inexperienced just try to improve your vocabulary.
In your free time, you can learn about it through online videos. You can start practicing editing sample documents in MS word. Not only for official works, but proofreading is also important in a student’s life as well. All students need to check their work or proofread their work to check their mistakes and avoid them next time.
Tools help us in making our work easier but you should always have confidence in yourself and try to be less dependent on various tools and apps. Hope this article helped you to fulfill your dream of becoming a pro proofreader.