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Tips for Proofreading (in illustrated storybook form)

By Nicole Heymer | Aug 6 2014
The Adventures of Antra Prinua is a monthly series of tips for entrepreneurs in storybook form. This month’s guest expert on proofreading is copy editor Teri Smart.

1. Read your work out loud.

Tips for Proofreading | The Adventures of Antra Prinua
While proofing for mistakes, reading your work out loud helps you to hear what you’ve written and catch any words or sentences that just don’t flow smoothly. It also helps to catch the missing words you thought were there but really aren’t.

2. Print your work out. Then read it backwards.

Tips for Proofreading | The Adventures of Antra Prinua
Proofreading a printed version of what you’ve written is like reading someone else’s work because it looks and feels different. Grab a pen and read what you’ve written in printed form. You’ll likely catch mistakes you didn’t know were there.

Start with the last sentence and read it from beginning to end. Then move to the sentence before that until you have completely read your document. Doing this takes your writing out of context and stops the part of your brain that’s memorized how you’d like your writing to flow from taking over and missing mistakes.

About This Month’s Expert:

Teri Smart is a copy editor who believes that words are powerful tools that free entrepreneurs to touch the world with their life changing message, reigniting the fire that inspired their business from the start. C​heck out her brand new Go Pro Blog Kit.
(12) Comments
  • Desiree
    | 7 August 2014

    These are such great tips! I struggle with proofreading and will definitely be bookmarking this post for the next blog post I write. Thanks!

    • curioelectro
      | 7 August 2014

      Thank you for reading! Teri’s tips are so good.

  • Nicole
    | 7 August 2014

    I always forget to proofread and usually just scan (which means I miss a bunch of typos!) — I will definitely try these out!

    • curioelectro
      | 7 August 2014

      I know! It’s the least glamorous part of writing:) I’ll be trying these out myself.

  • Siedah Mitchum Designs
    | 7 August 2014

    I suck at proof reading, but I’ve learned to give myself time to read it over and over again. I read it out loud, but I will print out and try it that way. πŸ™‚ Good tip!

    • curioelectro
      | 7 August 2014

      I actually got another tip from Teri, but chose to just illustrate these. I do think it’s worth sharing here since you mentioned the idea of giving yourself time:

      Give yourself some time and space between writing the material and proofreading.

      She’s so right.

  • Devon
    | 7 August 2014

    Loving the illustrated format – makes the tips so accessible!

    My favourite proofreading exercise is to use the search function and double check specific words that a spell check won’t ping for me, but that I’ve been caught on more than once – ones like:
    its v. it’s
    there v. their
    form v. from

    • curioelectro
      | 7 August 2014

      Devon, that’s a great little tip. There are few worse things (as far as grammatical errors go, anyway) than a their/there mishap.

  • Laura G. Jones
    | 7 August 2014

    Wow, this is awesome! And I LOVE the storybook form. SO fascinating! Definitely sharing this.
    I have to say I had never heard of reading your work backwards before. It makes perfect sense, even though it also sounds like a major pain in the butt. I think I’ll reserve that one for very important writing work πŸ™‚

    • curioelectro
      | 8 August 2014

      Haha! Love your honesty. I guess that’s the one thing that we’re all not saying…This stuff takes a bunch of time. But, as Beth pointed out, it’s worth it because errors undermine credibility.

      Thank you so much for sharing it!

  • Beth
    | 7 August 2014

    Great tips! I use these at work but I have to admit I’m not so good at taking the extra time on my own blog posts. I need to work this step into the process. Little errors can undermine credibility.

    • curioelectro
      | 8 August 2014

      Perfectly, perfectly put. Little errors DO undermine credibility.

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