Here is a fool proof article that outlines the secret that makes top editors great
|Editing and Proofreading is not a layman's thing. The difference between an almost-right word and a just-right word is not trivial.
You don't know the havoc that a misspelling, or a misplaced comma can make to a whole article, or story.
I was reading an article (actually something like a biography) once about a famous lady. I was awestruck at the catastrophic mistake made by the editor (or the writer) in the sentence:
"...loves, above all, her dog. She loves cooking her family pets and books"!
Did you too see it? You could see that because of two reasons:
1. The sentence is already culled and there had been a preamble to the error.
2. You are not the writer or editor.
The point of this is that writing is like every other opinions of a person. They are perfect to the owners. Like children or farts... I won't talk too much on that.
But seriously, everyone loves his own opinions. Where is the problem in that?
Whenever a writer is trying to proofread his own work, he is rereading his own mind. This is what I am saying in simpler terms: You really think you are reading proof when you want to edit your own work, whereas you are merely reading your own mind; your statement of the essay or article or blog post which is full of holes that you don't see because you are filling them from your mind as you go along. Sometimes, no matter how carefully we examine a text, it seems there's always one more little blunder waiting to be discovered.
With this, how can you successfully proofread your article to make it perfect?
To be honest, there is no sure-fire formula to boost you to the level of highly paid editors but there are tips that even those highly paid editors as well as I use in the course of this proofreading job. I would share them with you today.
Truthfully as humans, when we talk, we want people to hear 'what we meant to say'. Therefore if we make a mistake we might roll our eyes whenever some dweeb tries to correct us and say, "but you get my point doncha?"
It's perfectly normal.
However, if we want to write something for the world to see and read, we would not be with everyone who reads it to interpret whatever we meant. Therefore it is important to write right.
I will share 7 of the things I do to proofread my articles and make them top notch.
1. I rest my head.
As time allows me (as a copywriter, clients may set a deadline I would meet in hours), I set my text aside for some time while I let my mind go on to other things. You can do this for your job. If you let it rest for some time, your mind will change and then you would be able to look at your text with fresh eyes.
2. I identify the problems one at a time.
I don't read my text with the mind of going through and correcting it all at once. That's a tricky thing to do as my eyes can skip a couple of lines which may be the holder of the main errors. So I go through looking at one problem at a time. If you look for punctuation mistakes first, keep an eye on all the punctuation only till you finish and then take another problem afterwards. Maybe sentence structures, then word choice, and finally spelling. As the saying goes, if you look for trouble, you're bound to find it.
3. I make sure of Facts and Charts.
One thing readers can use against you is wrong or incorrect information. So double check that the facts you give are correct and accurate. Look at your sources well and make sure they are reliable.
4. Sometimes, I print.
Looking at the work in a different format can easily and quickly point you to the errors. Print out your text and review it line by line. When you rereading your work in a different format, you may be able to catch errors that you previously missed.
5. Read aloud.
I ask my sister to read my text. She is the most playful and honest person I know. Although she is not a copywriter, she tells me if the text pushed her to (wish she would) take action or to really take action. Sometimes I read aloud to her. This can help you too. Reading aloud to a person or making a person read aloud to you can help you ring errors that you never thought of.
6. Use Autocorrect or Spell Check
The feature of spell checking on Ms word is a wonderful tools for me in spelling. Other bots you can use are grammarly, and grammarcheck. However, you must be warned that a proofreader who relies too much on bots will be less proficient. Hone your own skills and never rely on machines.
7. Practice and Practice.
You know what they say, "practice makes perfect". I say that's terribly wrong. I have seen many a copywriter at this job for many years and is still worse than a 7th grader. But the correct adage should be "perfect practice makes perfect". Don't just practice for a bulky portfolio, build a successful trail. That's what I am doing for my clients.
In the end, we have seen 7 tips to become the best proofreading guru. The most important tip is to set time apart. If you cannot do this because of urgency, why not give the text to an expert proofreader? I am always ready to help. You can reach me by email on firstname.lastname@example.org anytime (I read my emails myself).