Effective proof reading is the goal of all writers. The reality is, however, that it is often a difficult and time consuming task where word processers let you down and personal attachment can make you miss the simplest mistakes and inaccuracies. Although there is no foolproof formula, the right technique can really help and here we give you some tips on improving your proof reading skills so that you can come at least close to creating a perfectly polished piece.

  • Don't start proofreading immediately after you have finished writing. You need to give your brain time to detach and forget the prefect document you were meant to write. Leave it a few hours or better still, days and this will mean you come at it with a fresh eyes.
  • Begin by reading the document through all the way from the beginning to the end so that you have an idea of the context and layout before you look for errors.
  • Read aloud or try listening to the sound of your voice inside your head' as you read. This is a good way to spot missing words, punctuation or incoherent sentences.
  • Print out a hard copy of the text. Mistakes are likely to be much clearer in black and white in front of you than on the screen and the new format gives you another fresh take on the text.
  • Work from the beginning to the end of the document when changing spacing, lines, text and paragraphs to avoid jumbling up your document or having to redo the later parts.
  • Focus on one type of problem at a time. Read through the text several times looking for a certain type of error each time for example concentrating first on sentence structures, then word choice, then spelling, and finally punctuation. If you expect a certain error you are likely to find it.
  • Read the text backwards to thoroughly check for spelling mistakes. Reading each word out of the sentence context will make you focus on the individual spelling and look of the word. Try using the end of a pen or a straight edge to help keep your eyes focussed.
  • Read slowly. If you read at normal speed you do not give your eyes enough time to take in the word and will simply see what you expect to see rather than what is really there.
  • Keep a proof reading checklist. There are often certain mistakes that you will always make or words that you spell wrong. If you keep track of them you can be on the lookout in your next document.
  • Put yourself in your audiences' shoes; pretend you are reading the document for the first time and try and see what you audience would see and how they might interpret your writing.
  • Leave yourself enough time. Proof reading takes time so make sure you have not left it until the very last minute.
  • Have a proofreading partner, who can read through you text with a fresher look and without the personal attachment that you undoubtedly have you your thesis.

Proofreading hoping these are enough tips to persuade you to get on with writing NOW. If you do not have a time you always can use our proofreading services.

Tips for successful proofreading