Tips for effective proofreading of your essay

Spanish freelance proofreader
creative commons licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Freddy The Boy

Proofreading, or searching for both grammatical and typographical errors in writing, seems to be quite a challenging strategic process to handle. That is mainly because no matter how carefully we devote to examining a text, each time we read it, we discover a new piece to improve. Still, there are some ways in which we could make the proofreading process more effective.

When Proofreading Time adds to efficiency

If you have written the text that you want to later proofread, it is highly advisable to make a gap between those two processes and leave the text for a couple of days before coming back to it for the purpose of proofreading. That will give you some distance from what you have written and go back to it with a fresh mind and eye. If you have not written that text, then take time to initially understand its meaning, as only when you do would you be able to effectively correct its structure.

Grouping makes it more organized

After you have read the text several times, grouping aspects of proofreading not only makes you read it another thousand times, but also read it differently. For example, reading it first for word choice, then second time for spelling, thirst time for punctuation etc will surely make you see mistakes more obviously and frequently. After you have found out which are your common mistakes, you can use the search function of the computer to see whether a particular mistake is present more than once. For example, search for “your” if you confuse it for “you’re” etc.

Reading it backwards is a nice tip for spelling

An old book editors trick that I use when doing a final proofread for spelling of an article is to read the article backwards. This forces the me to look at each word and be sure that the spelling is correct and there are no typos. If you read this article backwards, you will find that all the words are spelled correctly and ready for print.

Reading aloud by yourself and others brings the text closer to your ears

If you want to make the process more fun for the purpose of you being more attentive, try reading out loud starting from the right to the left, going backwards. That makes you pause on each word unintentionally and dedicate more in terms of spelling and word choice. As this may give you a headache after some time, get others involved. Listening to another read your text may make you realize not only what the potential difficulties of the readers are, but also how the text sounds from the audience’s point of view.

Using computer devices as spellcheckers and dictionaries puts the cherry on top of the cake

Nowadays there are many online spellcheckers as well as dictionaries or sites that offer help with commonly confusing words or homonyms, homophones, homographs etc that make your work effective. Even though some might argue proofreading is more efficient when done in hardcopy, we cannot escape from the fact that computers make it much easier for us as well.

Help is always welcome

Giving your text for someone else to proofread may show you some errors that you have unintentionally escaped from. That does not question your quality though, it is just a sign that you might make another break following the first tip.

Proofreading, as it seems, is a never-ending process. There is always space for corrections, or better say, new suggestions. That is why it is needless to say that for a piece of writing to be proofread properly and effectively, one needs time, patience and constant going back to it until satisfied.

When it comes to proofreading a foreing language, all is more difficult. So if you want to proofread your Spanish essay, why don’t write me a message? I will give you a cheap price and nice feedback so you can keep improving your Spanish skills.

*This article was updated 07/08/2016.

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