In every thing we do as business owners we have to pay attention to the details. This post is just a friendly reminder to proof your work. Be it an email, a resume, a menu or a brochure.
When I say proof, I don't just mean glance. I mean, check that your name and phone number are correct. Walk away from the document and then re-read it AFTER you have spell-checked it. If you meant to write "patties" and somehow you types "panties," Spellcheck isn't going to catch it. You can bet that once your article is published everyone else will!
This mishap made many of my friends laugh, but I just cringed. It just goes to show that everyone makes mistakes, and that you need to proof EVERYTHING, even uniforms. See the Washington Nationals uniform below.
17 Proofreading Techniques:
The following list presents the strategies we recommend for better proofreading.
These methods strengthen your proofreading process and knowledge.
1. Step Away, Then Focus
Whenever possible, step away from the document before proofreading. This is crucial when you are the document’s author. You are too close to the content, making it difficult to have a clear, objective eye on the text.
We recommend taking a 24-hour break from the content before proofreading for maximum effectiveness.
2. Print a Hard Copy Proof of Your Document
Many editors find it easier to proofread with a physical document. Printing the document makes it easier to read and allows you to proofread in more places.
3. Read Aloud
Good proofreading is done slowly. Simply reading it normally allows your brain to fill in gaps and fix errors in your mind and skip them on the page.
Reading aloud ensures that each word and punctuation mark is verified. It also highlights awkward sentences because it will sound more awkward out loud than on the page.
Conveniently, there are online programs that will help with this task. Use your computer’s text-to-voice function to have your document read to you. Having your computer read to you will help catch typos that you may skip over as you know the original intent of the sentence.
4. Align With Company Style Standards
Most companies have style standards for external documents. Ensure you have these guidelines close at hand while proofreading.
These guidelines may range from font choice to preferred spellings to margin size and more. These details ensure consistency across an organization.
5. Remove Excess Words
Business writing is concise and direct. Excess words, like adjectives or adverbs, can detract from the message. Being careful not to overstep into editing, review the text for superfluous words that do not add value to the text. In addition, accidental excess or repeat words are erroneous and can be missed prior to proofing.
6. Explain or Remove Jargon
Specialized terminology or acronyms should be used sparingly, if at all, in business writing. When used appropriately for the reader, they still must be explained.
Generally, the first mention of an acronym is spelled out completely with the acronym followed in brackets. An unfamiliar technical term should be explained in the text before being referenced.
Terms that are difficult for the reader should be removed and replaced with more accessible wording.