10 tips on how to proofread

Careful proofreading is essential if you want to ensure you look as professional as possible. Here are 10 tips on how to proofread.

Come back to it

If you have time, leave your finished work for a few hours then come back to it and proofread it with fresh eyes. You are more likely to find those hidden mistakes.

Break down what you are looking for

You should read through your report continuously and check your work for one problem at a time. Look and concentrate on the following: sentence structures, word choices, spelling and punctuation.

Make sure information is accurate

You should double check all facts, figures and names, to make sure all of your information is correct.

Use a spell checker

A spell checker is great for finding repeated words, reversed letters, and many other common errors.

Trust the dictionary

A spell checker can only determine whether a word is a word. It will not tell you whether the meaning of the word is correct. For example fair and fare sound the same but have different meanings. Therefore check the spellings and meanings with a dictionary.

Read your work backwards

Reading your work backwards (from right to left) enables you to spot spelling mistakes easier. This will help you focus on single words instead of sentences.

Create a proofreading common mistake checklist

Make a checklist of all the mistakes you commonly make. You can then refer back to your list each time you proofread.

Ask someone to read your work

Allow someone to read your work in order to catch any missed errors. Another set of eyes looking at your work may immediately be able to spot errors that you've overlooked.

Proofread using a hard copy

Print out your work and review it one line at a time. By reading your work on a printed version will help you find mistakes that you have previously missed.

Read your work aloud

By you or someone you know reading your work aloud; you may hear a problem that you haven’t come across. This could be a faulty verb ending or a missing word.
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Sharnie Carter

Passionate about marketing and education. Currently studying a CIM Level 6 Diploma in Professional Marketing via distance learning. When I'm not working or studying, I'm spending time with my young son and husband or hinching!

10 tips on how to proofread