Best Proofreading and Editing Tips for Newbie Writers
Have you recently stepped into the ever-growing writing industry? Are you finding proofreading and editing troublesome and hectic? Does your writing still contain mistakes and errors even after you have spent many hours editing and proofreading? Do you desperately want to improve your proofreading skills? Don’t worry! bp4usolutions have got you covered in this article.
Proofreading and editing is an essential part of the writing and, sometimes, can take as much time as writing itself. But the problem arises when even after spending hours on editing; writers find the piece with errors and mistakes. Most novice writers have to face this problem. If we look closely into the matter, we can realize that it is the small things that make a bigger impact. We have discussed those small yet very impactful tips to help the newbie writers improve their proofreading skills.
1. Concentration is the Key:
The value of concentration for any work can never be doubted. But the importance of concentration increases multiple folds for a task like proofreading or editing. As we have to find the errors, misspellings, and grammatical mistakes by going through each word, only a concentrated mind will be able to go through every word.
Now the problem with the newbie writers is their habit of multitasking. Many writers proofread their writings while going through other tasks like social media scrolling, checking their emails, etc. So, the first tip is to proofread and edit with full concentration. Shut off your internet connection, put your cellphone aside and find a quiet place to edit and proofread your writing.
2. Breaks are Crucial:
Taking breaks between writing and proofreading can take your proofreading skills to a next level. Editing right after the completion of writing can be less effective due to the tiredness of mind. A fresh mind will have a different perspective to look at things and will be more likely to spot the error.
So, if you are not working on a tight deadline, it is much better to leave the document for a night. Edit and proofread your document the next day and you will find the errors more quickly. Even in the case of a strict deadline, a break of 10 minutes between writing and editing can be very helpful.
3. Never Rely Solely on Spellcheckers:
The introduction of several digital editing and proofreading programs has improved the writing game to a great extent. A variety of spellcheckers and grammar checker software is being used for editing. They are much faster and handy to use and we recommend using them for a quick review.
But we do not recommend solely relying on these programs. As these programs work on artificial intelligence and analyze the data based on fixed programming, the context of a certain word can be misunderstood by them. For example, you have written your name in your document, but a spellchecker may correct the name with another word which can be devastating. So as a novice writer, you must use these programs. But you should also proofread the document by yourself.
4. Proofreading a Hard Copy is Easy:
Majority of the modern-day writers use a computer to write any piece. Gone are the days when writers used to create huge written volumes by hand. But writing on a screen has its drawbacks too. You cannot sit for long hours in front of a screen to edit or proofread. Proofreading demands constant eyes on the writing which can be devastating for eyes. Moreover, this can also make you skip some errors which you would have identified on paper.
So, if the document to be proofread is not much bigger, it is better to print it on paper. Proofreading a hard copy with a red pen in your hand will be much easy and soothing to the eyes. Moreover, this way you can read the document aloud and let your hearing sense aid you to edit.
5. Assume the Reader’s Role:
As the final target of your writing is the readers, taking their place can help to better edit and proofread your writing. This way, you can comprehend, criticize or appreciate your writing as a reader. You will come to know about the things you must have discussed or the things which are irrelevant to discuss. You can also point out the errors in the writing too.
So, before starting the editing, close your editing tab, put the pen aside, and give your writing a thorough read. Assuming the reader’s role can help you to improve your editing and proofreading skills.
6. Changing the Formatting can Help in Proofreading:
Just like the breaks, the change of formatting also gives you a new perspective to look at writing. If you are proofreading a document in the same layout as it was written, some errors may skip out from your eyes. But changing the page size, font size or line spacing can help you to identify the misspellings, and grammar mistakes in the document.
So, changing the formatting is another tip on the list to enhance your proofreading skills.
7. Never Hesitate to Ask for Help:
Sometimes, finding out the error in your writing can be extremely difficult. As you have written the document yourself, your mind tries to convince you about the correctness of the writing. Even after countless readings, you can still miss certain errors in your document.
Asking for help from a friend or colleague can be helpful at such times. Another person will proofread your writing more critically. This can help him to highlight the errors which you were not able to find out. So, if you are unsatisfied even after several reads, ask someone else for proofreading.
In the end, you can see that these are common yet mostly ignored steps that make proofreading and editing easy and better. We hope that the above-listed tips make proofreading a piece of cake for you. However, we also recommend looking for professional proofreaders in the market in case of extremely important documents like job applications and cover letters and other official papers.
If you require any help in proofreading and editing then you can avail our professional editing service anytime of the day. Contact us now!