Have you just finished writing a text? Then do not forget the proofreading! Should your text be published, displayed, or sent away, you benefit from giving your document a final review. Even small mistakes can be enough for your pages to be perceived as unprofessional and less credible. Here are my top ten tips on how to proofread a text.
BUT, WHAT IS PROOFREADING?
Proofreading is proofreading that is done during the later stages of the publishing process. Once the book has been read, reread, edited, revised, and re-revised, it is handed over to the graphic production team, who will pour the manuscript into a design document, usually in a specialized application, such as Adobe InDesign or QuarkXPress. At that point, the text leaves the hands of its editor and its author, and the proofreading functions of word processors can no longer be worked on. Each publisher establishes how many proofs are made, but quality control requires two to three as a minimum number. This correction is no longer done on-screen unless done in a PDF file because it is essential that the page formed remains as it is seen in the design program.
In addition, not only the text is reviewed, but other elements, such as spaces, headers, non-textual elements (which are where they belong or are eliminated where they should not be), the division of words, rivers, and streets ( spaces between words and text blocks), rosaries (sequences of characters similar to the beginning or end of lines), all kinds of misprints and a long etcetera. The ins and outs of proofreading require many articles, so I won’t go into them in this short post. Let’s check some effective proofreading tips!
#1. READ THE TEXT SLOWLY
When we read quickly, we see whole word pictures and often correct errors in the text unknowingly. This especially applies to texts we have written ourselves – you know what should be there! When you slow down your reading pace instead, you will discover little things you did not see before.
#2. READ THE TEXT ALOUD
Reading aloud also goes slower, and you hear if any wording or construction does not work smoothly. Where you are staggering or losing yourself, it may be time to change the text.
#3. READ THE TEXT ON PAPER
The best thing is to read the text on paper. There we see much better than on the screen. Feel free to change the environment when you proofread; take your copies with you and sit down elsewhere.
#4. READ THE TEXT IN A NEW FORMAT
Another variant of environmental change is to change the format, for example, from Word to PDF or from Web to Word. You can also change the font and size to discover new things you did not see before.
#5. READ THE TEXT IN DIFFERENT ROUNDS
It is practical to read the text on several occasions because you will then discover more. It is also wise to look for different things when reading. Concentrate on the surface, that is, spelling, words, and constructions, when reading. For another reading, you can instead focus on content and outline.
#6. READ THE TEXT IN SMALL PARTS
If you divide the text into shorter sections, it will be easier to tackle it. If you have a long text jog, you often want to read faster, and then you easily miss minor errors. You can also read the text line by line by holding for something for the rest of the text.
#7. DO NOT FORGET THE DETAILS
We often focus on the body text and forget other important details: headings, captions, page numbering, or fact boxes. Also, pay attention to these pieces of text and make sure they are consistent and written the same way everywhere.
#8. READ YOUR CORRECTIONS CORRECTLY
When we make last-minute changes, we often forget to check them. It can quickly go wrong where we replace something; for example, a word lingers from the old wording. So check your changes one more time.
#9. HAVE SOMEONE ELSE READ THROUGH
No matter how carefully we read our own text, we become blind to it after a while. Therefore, feel free to let someone else read through. You do not always need a professional, just a pair of new eyes.
#10. CHECK OUT WHAT YOU ARE UNSURE OF
If you are not quite sure how to spell words, check them out in grammar check tools that are readily available online. Use basic writing rules if you are unsure how to use a semicolon or when words should have an uppercase or lowercase letter.