Why is proofreading important?
Proofreading is important whether you’re writing an email, essay or any sort of content. It ensures that your work is polished and doesn’t contain spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, or the incorrect use of words. Mistakes like these can imply that your work is of lower quality, which is why proofreading is essential.
Top 9 tips for proofreading
1. Wear the correct eyewear
Wear blue light glasses when proofreading from a computer screen. Our eyes have to work harder when reading from a screen, and the blue light emitted can lead to digital eyestrain. Blue light glasses are designed to block some of this blue light reducing many risks, including macular degeneration.
2. Change the font size
When reading from a screen, playing around with the font size can help with inattentional blindness, (which causes us to fail to spot mistakes) by tricking your brain into thinking that you’re looking at something new and therefore paying more attention.
3. Print it out
Words can look different on paper compared to a screen which is why printing your work out can give you a fresh perspective when proofreading, helping you to spot errors more easily.
4. Look after your eyes
Your eyes are your greatest assets when proofreading, so make sure you look after them. Regular eye tests are essential to ensure that you have healthy vision and can proofread effectively.
5. Keep a sharp eye
Lookout for the homonym. These are words that share the same spelling or pronunciation but have different meanings. For example, accept/except and complement/compliment. Also, keep an eye out for the contraction. This includes they're, it's, you're, don’t etc.
6. Read aloud
Sometimes it helps to read your work out loud because your ears may pick up on errors which your eyes have missed. If you're in an office, you can simply plug your headphones in and use the Word Read Aloud function.
7. Check names, dates and places
This is where Google comes in handy.
8. Be aware of punctuation
Attention to detail is vital. Pay attention to commas, full stops, apostrophes, capitalised words etc. Also make sure they are being used correctly.
9. UK or US
There are many differences between American and British English, especially when it comes to spelling words. For example, color/colour, behavior/behaviour etc.
Proofreading from a screen
Proofreading from a screen can affect your eyesight and cause computer vision syndrome. Staring at digital screens for extended hours can cause eye discomfort and vision problems such as digital eye strain. There are many ways to combat computer vision syndrome and, in doing so, prevent eyestrain, headaches, blurry vision, neck and shoulder pain and dry eye.
Why you should get a second set of eyes to proofread your work
When proofreading our own work, most of us suffer from inattentional blindness or perceptual blindness. This happens because our brains can subconsciously fix spelling mistakes as we read. For example, you’ll be more than likely to understand and make sense of the sentence below:
Profreeading is important in oder to ensrue yur dcumnets mkae snse.