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10 Effective Tips You Can Use for Proofreading and Editing

Proofreading and editing services go hand in hand in making your write-ups more polished and credible. While some may use the terms ‘proofreading’ and ‘editing’ interchangeably, it is worth noting that each of them serves different purposes. You may use one service but having both services will add gravitas to your writing.

Proofreading and Editing Your Writing

Going into the details, a proofreading service checks and corrects your work for surface errors such as spelling, grammar, language, punctuation, formatting, and typing mistakes.

An editing service improves the overall quality of your writing, makes your expressions and intent clearer with additional impact, and removes inconsistencies in your writing.

While proofreading is cheaper, one can’t simply overlook the benefits of an editing service. In a way, both services go hand in hand to hone your work to its best form.

Tools of the Trade

Proofreaders and editors use a variety of techniques to polish your writing efficiently. You can also use some of these tips and tricks to help you catch errors should you want to proofread or edit on your own.

For Proofreading

  1. Read in small fonts, and speak out each word discreetly and slowly. You’ll be more careful this way, and you’ll be able to single out awkward-sounding phrases.

  2. Read backward so you can focus on the spelling.

  3. It’s okay to use a spelling and grammar checking application, but don’t be reliant on it.

  4. Block the segments you haven’t proofread yet with a blank sheet of paper.

  5. Take on one type of mistake at a time (i.e., spelling, spacing, word usage, etc.).

  6. When editing via Microsoft Word, always use the ‘Track Changes’ function, and leave comments to make the review process easier.

  7. Present the proofread document to someone else, and have them check it. They might spot errors you haven’t seen before.

  8. Double-check for proper names and often-interchanged words.

  9. Carefully check the header and footer material as well as the page numbers. Make sure everything is in the correct order.

  10. Never be too confident that something is right. Even when you’re sure, reread the words carefully. You might find an unexpected error.

For Editing

  1. Cut long sentences to improve readability. Long sentences, while grammatically correct, lead the readers into losing interest and focus.

  2. Don’t rely on adverbs (words ending in -ly) to describe an action, if possible. Try using powerful verbs to provide a better description. Example: He sneakily crawled through the bushes. Use: He crept through the bushes.

  3. Simplify stuffy words. Don’t confuse readers with jargons.

  4. Be on the lookout for redundant words. It’s a common unintended mistake.

  5. Refer to people as ‘who’ instead of ‘that.’

  6. Avoid using ‘currently’ when describing something or someone in the present.

  7. Avoid starting sentences with ‘there are’ or ‘there is.’

  8. Use contractions to make your writing connect with readers. They’ll appreciate it.

  9. Make your verbs stronger for a good impression. It’s concise and gets more attention.

  10. The possibility of committing a mistake is never zero.

See: Proofed by Lexcode: Proofreading and the People Behind It

There are more tips out there, and you can even create your own set of tricks to make proofing and editing easier for yourself and everyone else.

No matter how good the tips are, it still needs your utmost patience and keen observation skills.

Furthermore, the tips and tricks listed above solidify the fact that proofreading and editing services complement each other and will give your writing the significant edge it deserves.