Proofreading That Actually Works

By Brian Carey 

Whatever you write, as long as you get rid of all the mistakes all work is set. Even when you use MS Word or another word processor, mistakes are quite hard to deal with. Often these word processors ignore glaring mistakes in written work and this is frustrating, hence the need for proofreading. This article has simple and yet working proofreading tips for you. Read on.


For you to distinguish between authentic and errorful work, you need concentration. Inasmuch it’s hard to weed out all distractions when you are working, try to moderate distractions. For instance, you can choose to work when the kids go to sleep, when your phone is off and the TV is out.

Print your work

The optimum strategy to writing best is getting your work on paper to proof. On-screen work is generally harder to proofread and you need all the concentration you can get to do a good job. Papers also weed out computer screen distractions helping you determine where mistakes exist in your work.

Read out loud

After your work is done, read it out loud to find out all ambiguities. This is because giving voice to the words enables you to see where sense is lacking and hence, integrating meaning. Moreover, reading out work makes more sense and is interesting.

Read text backwards

When you read work backwards from last to first makes it easy to spot mistakes. At first, this may seem to be laborious. However, after you have done it for one paper and then another, it will grow on you. The importance of reading backwards is to avoid the brain auto-correcting its work. Reading backwards makes it hard for the brain. Direct errors will be easy to detect this way.

Enlarge your writing

If you are proofreading your work on a computer, then make the work seem large using software. Word processors make it easy for you to change writing fonts. Try to use these to make the writings bigger as this will make it easy for you to understand the details.

Fresh eyes

Avoid the temptation to proofread immediately after you are done writing. Recognition and familiarity that come with immediacy makes it impossible to see mistakes. Stay away for a day or two then come back to proofread the works before sending. Sometimes, delaying the proofreading is to make you tackle that work with a fresh mind.

Recheck your facts

If you proofread your own written work, sometimes it helps to go over facts. More especially, going over numbers, dates and figures makes it hard to report erroneous details. Double check these facts if possible to ensure that your work is accurate.

Get Proofreading help

It’s generally boring to proofread work. This is especially so if the work is your own. Giving the work to someone else to proofread makes it easy to discover the problems and errors in the work. Therefore, if you can get someone to test your work for accuracy, then do it.

Brian Carey works as a paper editor at Papersconsulting.