10 Content Proofreading Tips to Catch More Avoidable Goofs

10 Content Proofreading Tips to Catch More Avoidable Goofs

Reader Comments (21)

  1. I used to proofread while I write and I was slow as a snail but then I discovered speed writing without using backspace.

    I finished many posts and e-books with this technique and I usually proofread with a cup of coffee.

    I personally tend to repeat words while I am writing writing…

    Thanks Stefanie for all the tips.

  2. Stefanie,

    Several of your tips already lean into fact checking, so why not add that as part of the proofreading process? Fact checking involves making sure that you’re passing along solidly grounded information rather than rumors or urban legends and that you have dates, places and numbers correct, as well as having spelled proper names properly.

    For instance, if you refer to a study purporting to prove that people who write down their goals make more money or are more successful, you need to look that up and confirm that. You’d find out that that point has been thoroughly discredited.

    Respectable content is fact checked as well as proofread!

    Marcia Yudkin
    Fact-checking advocate

  3. As a magazine editor in a previous life, this proofing procedure was invaluable and effective. I still use it to edit/proof my own writing. • Change your entire document’s font from serif to non-serif (or vice versa). Then re-read it carefully. Once you’ve fixed all the edits and typos, change the font back again.

  4. Uh oh! Maybe you didn’t get either #2 or #9 completed as fully as you usually do for this article. After I signed up for the Content Confidence Checklist, I saw this pop up:

    [Head over to your inbox to confirm your subscription so you can get updated on when the “Content Confidence Checklist is available!]

    Is that an extra “ in there? Oops! Just giving you a hard time, but also to let you know that people really do take your suggestions. Thanks for the tips.

    • What, Stephan, you’re unaware of the ironclad writing law that any time you publish an article on proofreading, there will be at least one weird, small, and/or hard to catch error in there?

      Thanks for the heads up. 🙂

  5. I will try out reading backwards. What helped me was to invest in a writing app that supports me in finding mistakes. As it’s software-based, it’s not perfect, of course, but it still catches a lot of errors and helps me to write better especially as English is my second language and proofreading on my own is not cutting it.

    Next step is to invest in a human proofreader.

  6. Reading backwards is a great strategy. Its amazing how many “I’s” & “and’s” along with other common transition words we can miss while in the grove, busting out content.

    If available, I always get a second pair of eyes to review “final” draft. They always seem to catch one or two sentences which could be structured a little better.

  7. Stefanie
    I recently realized the power of a useful list. That was about writing and publishing a blog. I followed the list and wrote a successful blog post in less time than I generally take to write.
    And now, I’ve made it a point to bookmark this page, I mean this one about proofreading hacks. Simply because I can visualize the merits it has. Seems to be an absolutely actionable post. Thanks a million!

  8. I usually use Grammarly but even Grammarly can’t find everything. I usually end up proof reading a few times and for the last proofreading I usually get another pair of eyes.

    When I write fast I tend to skip words, omit punctuation and even repeat words. But after writing a few action/adventure books I have become soooo much better at writing.

    Will try reading backwards – haven’t even thought about that!

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