Everyone has experienced that pain of rereading a letter, article, or a report after having sent it and spotting a glaring mistake (I’m looking at you, your and you’re) at least once in their lives. Correcting for grammar, spelling and syntax can be such a pain but it is oh so necessary.
To avoid this kind of shame, proofreading twice, even thrice, is the best solution. If you’re one of us who cringe at a misplaced comma, read on for our tips on how to catch these humiliation-inducing mistakes.
Utilise numerous grammar and spell checkers online, such as Grammarly and Ginger, but only treat them as the first line of defense, do not depend on them. A person’s eagle eyes and opinion, are much more reliable than software.
Formatting: Switch it up
When your eyes keep on reading the same text over and over again, it will just skim and not focus on the words. If you’re working with a serifed font, change it to a sans serif one; enlarge the font, or change the font colour. Basically do anything that will make your text seem “new” to the eyes. You’d be surprised how this can help you spot errors.
Say No to walls of text
The abbreviation TL;DR was created for a reason. When you proofread a single paragraph that takes up half the page, you are less likely to see the mistakes because your eyes are already jumping to the next word or sentence. Press Enter and don’t be shy to break those walls of text.
Use your voice
Use someone else’s voice
Grab a friend or a family member who will be patient enough to read your work to you. Give him or her a cookie afterwards. Additionally, ask someone to proof read for you. What may make complete sense to you, may be confusing to other readers.