Are you new to writing content professionally, or just started a blog and want to make sure your copy is tip-top? We’re here to help with some insightful proofreading tips. So, if you’re hoping to avoid rogue commas and missing words from your content, read on.
Discover how to proofread on Word, or whichever platform you are using to write and edit your content. We’ve got some cracking tricks that will really help when you begin proofreading content…
Take time out to refresh
Like with most things, a break is always best; especially when you sit down to proofread any piece of content. Often after writing a piece of content, whether it’s long or short, we become so engrossed in our work that errors naturally occur. It’s perfectly normal; we believe that what we’re reading is what’s been typed out. But unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
It’s normal to make a few slip-ups when writing content, like a misplaced comma here and there or writing “on” instead of “of” in a sentence, for example. We’re only human after all! But, to ensure these errors don’t make it past an internal Word document, it’s a good idea to just take yourself away from the piece you’re writing and come back to it later.
Basically, your brain needs to focus on something else in the meantime, and then you can return to your content with a fresh perspective. I find this helps massively when proofreading. Why? Well, it’s almost like reading the piece of content from scratch. And I notice errors I would likely have missed if I’d have checked over the piece straight after writing it.
Double check it against a spell-checking programme
When you’ve created your masterpiece, it’s time to get your spell-check on. Yep, we know – it’s hard to admit that there could be some grammatical errors in your copy, but mistakes will always occur in some way or another. So, it’s crucial to have some extra tools to help you out. However, you shouldn’t take their edit suggestions as gospel.
Here are a couple of genius grammar tools you can use to help up your proofreading game, to ensure your content is faultless and flawless:
Editor on Microsoft Word
Simply click ‘review’ on the top navigation bar of your Word document and head to ‘editor’. This will bring up the editor tool, which checks for spelling, grammar and even clarity. Some of you reading might be fully aware of this option, but you’d be surprised to know that many people writing content completely forget about this feature entirely.
Download this free app and install it onto the web browser you’re using, as well as Word. This tool helps to see if you’ve missed out a word or written the wrong one without realising, and provides grammar help if you’re a little unsure about something. Although don’t totally rely on Grammarly; if you intended to put your comma in a place Grammarly is telling you to remove – ignore it! Trust your gut.
Get a second opinion
A fresh pair of eyes is always welcome when it comes to proofreading content; teamwork makes the dream work after all! Asking someone to have a quick look at your content is really important, because what you think makes sense may not be as clear to someone else.
Simply hit up someone in your team to take a look, or if you’re working as a freelancer, ask a friend or family member to do a quick once over. Having an alternative perspective will help your content be the best it can be and help solidify that what you’re trying to convey is understood (and grammar free)!
Read your content back to yourself
As silly as it may sound, reading your content aloud is a lifesaver when it comes to proofreading. Doing this is especially helpful for noticing any missed out words, or obvious discrepancies in TOV (tone of voice).
And if you don’t fancy reading your content back to yourself, there are tools out there to do it for you, like the quick, free and easy online TTSReader. This tool reads your content back to you and enables your mind to process errors a lot more easily. Isn’t technology fabulous?
That’s all the proofreading tips under my belt! For more useful tips and tricks on how to write, proofread and optimise content, watch out for our other upcoming articles on the c3 blog. Or, check out c3’s marketing, PR industry insights and more.