4 Ways To Effectively Proofread Your Writing

When it comes to writing essays, reports, important e-mails or any other form of written communication, being a decent writer is only half the battle. Even the best writers make a few simple mistakes when they get caught up in their writing. Because of this, you should have an editor look over your work whenever possible, even if that editor is just a friend or colleague. However, sometimes it's just not possible for another person to look over your writing before you submit it. Here's how you can be your own editor.

Read Out Loud

When you read something over in your mind, you tend to read more quickly and may even subconsciously skip a few words. By reading your writing out loud, you force yourself to slow down and notice each and every word and how it fits into the greater whole of your writing.

Take a Break

After writing for an extended period of time, you can become so engrossed in what you've written that it can be hard to notice mistakes since you already know what it is you were trying to say. When you set the essay or report aside for an hour or two and think about something else, you can come back to it with fresh eyes and a fresh mind, ready to catch any typos or other errors.

Zoom In

Whether you're working in a web browser or a word processor, you should have the capability to zoom in and make the text larger. Mistakes, especially mistakes in punctuation, can be quite hard to see when they're in 12-point font. Zooming in makes everything clearer so errors jump out on the page more readily.

Print it Out

Computer screens can be a strain on the eyes after a while. Editing your writing on paper allows you to be much more thorough since your eyes can relax a bit. You can also set it down and come back to it more easily or edit your paper outdoors in the fresh air once it has been printed out. Just don't forget a red pen to mark any corrections and edits.

While being your own editor is not ideal, sometimes it's all you have. By using these tips, you can make sure your writing is always in top shape, even if you can't find anyone to help. You can also use these techniques to self-edit a paper after another editor has done their work just to make sure everything is in order.