Table of Contents Hide
- #1. Proofread Backwards
- #2. Check the punctuation
- #3. Read your writing aloud
- #4. Check your spellings
- #5. Verify the numbers
- #6. Check for repeated information
- #7. Check hyperlinks
- #8. Ask someone else to read your work
- #9. Proofread at the time of the day when you are most alert to spotting errors
- #10. Give yourself a break
- In Summary
As a freelance writer who wants to give his clients the best of services, you need to have the best proofreading tips.
This is because, proofreading is separate from editing, and you need to do both to create the perfect content. While editing involves searching for basic typo errors, proofreading is the last stage where everything is in place and you are looking for final errors.
More so, after proofreading, you can be very confident about sending it anywhere because you are so sure that there’s no error.
So, if you want to create and send out the best content, there’s a hack around it.
Here are 10 proven proofreading tips for freelance writers.
#1. Proofread Backwards
The first proofreading tips for writers is to proofread backward. This ensures that there are no mistakes in what you’ve written.
Start at the end and work back through the content, line by line, paragraph by paragraph. This helps you to focus on the content of the paper with a news eyes and understanding, instead of just looking at the paper.
Additionally, proofreading backwards shows you if what you’ve written is comprehensive or not. In simple words, if it really makes sense.
Asides that, you’ll also likely find;
- Words you overuse and misuse
- Sentences you can shorten to make clearer
- Paragraphs you can simplify
This method of proofreading is absolutely easy and helps you spot actual errors. So, give it a shot, the next time you have something to proofread.
#2. Check the punctuation
The whole aim of proof reading is to go through the little details that give your readers a seamless and stress-free reading experience.
This means that they can easily understand the message you are passing across without having a headache.
Asides from the words you use, the next thing that affects your readers is your punctuation. So, while proofreading, check all the punctuations you use.
Check every comma, hyphen, full stop, quotation mark, question mark, etc.. to ensure you have used them in the right place.
This will also help you notice if there are its/it’s, they’re/their/there, and where/were errors.
#3. Read your writing aloud
While proofreading, its important that you read your writing aloud. This is because, when you read silently, your eyes may jump some words on the page. And you’d fail to realize that your sentences are missing words or the right punctuation.
In addition, reading aloud makes you listen to how your text sounds. You may not see it but your ears hear it and they immediately give you a signal that that sentence needs fixing.
Hence, to become a better freelance writer is to minimize the errors that appear on your content. And one way to do that is to proofread by reading your work out aloud.
#4. Check your spellings
While proofreading your content, check all your spellings to ensure they are correct. Verify the spellings of people’s names that are contained in your article.
For example, My name is spelled as “Sophia”, not “Sofia”. Some people make this error, and honestly, I cringe at the sight of it. I often get tired of explaining that it’s a “ph” and not an “f”.
Also, verify the spellings of companies. A lot of people may easily ignore when one “I” is omitted in “institution.” But would cringe at the sight of a company name spelled wrongly.
For example, It’s “Writer’sGig” not “Writer’sgig”.
In fact, I remember when I wrote a post about “Healthywager.com”, I used “Healthywager.com” and “Healthywage.com” simultaneously in that content for SEO purposes.
However, my readers were clearly not having it. They thought I was sloppy and unknowingly mixed the two up which resulted in confusion. Somebody left me a comment, saying I should make up my mind on which one to use.
So, verify the spellings of any word you want to use. You can use Google to search for the correct spelling of the word if you’re not sure.
Remember, an incorrect spelling isn’t a typo, its a mistake.
#5. Verify the numbers
While proofreading, check the numbers to ensure that they are the exact figures. Did Tesla make $100million as revenue for 2020 or is it $10million? What about the population of the world, Is it 7 billion or 7 million?
Verify your facts and figures to be sure they are correct.
#6. Check for repeated information
Although the general idea of proofreading is to check for spelling and punctuation errors, It’s still a good way to notice information you’ve repeated.
Most of the time, you barely notice if you’ve said the same thing before or not. And the truth is, you really may never notice because you don’t use the exact words to pass the information.
Here’s an example
- I don’t think she is a weak woman
- I don’t think she is frail
These two sentences absolutely pass the same information – Believing that the woman is not weak.
So, aim to pass the information as briefly as possible in any statement. Your readers will be glad you did.
Another thing to consider when proofreading your work is your hyperlink text. You have to review the links to ensure they work.
Usually, a hyperlink text has a different color from the rest of the words, which make it obvious that its a hyperlink text.
So, don’t assume its all working fine. Check those words and ensure the link directs the reader to a useful/related web page.
#8. Ask someone else to read your work
After proofreading using the following tips, another method that can work is to ask a friend to proofread your work for you.
Your sentences, punctuations and overall arrangement of your content can look meaningful to you. However, a second person will be in a better position to evaluate if the sentences really make sense or not.
If you do this, you’d be amazed at the number of mistakes that will be pointed out.
#9. Proofread at the time of the day when you are most alert to spotting errors
If you’ve just written a 500-word article, you don’t expect to immediately start proofreading for errors.
Your muscles and eye have been stressed, and they need some rest. So, I suggest that you don’t do it immediately.
Proofread your work after your eyes are relaxed. That way, you’ll be able to spot errors quickly.
#10. Give yourself a break
Rounding up my list of proofreading tips for writers is to give yourself a break. Yes please, you are not a robot. Take a break, drink a bottle of champagne, eat popcorn, see a movie. Do anything that means relaxation to you.
Do this, and come back again to your article. You’d be amazed at how quickly you can spot errors and get things fixed immediately.
Remember, proofreading isn’t just about editing your work for errors, It involves polishing your sentences and making them smooth, clear and interesting.
So, go ahead and use these proofreading tips for writers to create that perfect content.
I wish you all the best!
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