10 Top proofreading tips

Our list of quick tips for proofreaders

  1. If you wrote the copy, get someone else to proofread it — they can approach the text as a stranger without your preconceptions.
  2. Have a tidy desk — you are your own worst interrupter if things catch your eye.
  3. It takes a lot of concentration — proofread when you are fresh.
  4. If you have to proofread your own copy, leave it and do something else first — give yourself time to forget what you wrote.
  5. Have the proofreader's tools of the trade handy — dictionary, thesaurus etc.
  6. Schedule — allocate time — proofreading is a specific task, not something just fitted in.
  7. Avoid interruptions — go somewhere, use a red flag system, hold phone calls.
  8. Take breaks — relax and then you can concentrate afresh.
  9. Divide into sections — set yourself a limit, "I'll do this and then stop for a moment."
  10. Do it at least twice — once for technical accuracy, once for sense.

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