Tonight’s guest blog post, on the topic of the editing process, is brought to you by proofreader Brian Karrey.
Proofreading tips and techniques
After an essay or other written work has been done and completed, checking to ensure it’s in the best condition follows. Proofreading work saves a lot of time and ensures that your work doesn’t go in vain. Proofing software is not efficient. This leaves your open option as the manual way. Here are some tips for you:
You need to concentrate on your work if you intend to catch the small mistakes. And to do this, you need to rid yourself of all distractions in the room where you are working. This will promote your ability to see the small errors.
2. Put it on paper
Sometimes it’s hard to proof soft copy. This is because of how the eyes are naturally made not to tell the accuracy of typed work. Hard copy proofing is the best approach. Print the work out and proof it.
These are words that share same spellings and pronunciation, yet have different meanings. For most people, words like complement and compliment are distractive. They could spell disaster in an essay or exam test.
4. Contractions and the apostrophes
Contractions are difficult. Yet, many people make mistakes that include them in their writing. Words like their and they’re can hurt the credibility of your writing if they are not checked. Also check out for instances where you have used apostrophes in plurals. They are never used there and you need to correct that.
5. Checking for punctuations
A huge part of proofreading work is to check punctuations. This means looking out for words that are capitalized wrongly, missing or extra commas, periods that have been used wrongly and other typos.
6. Read work backwards
It’s essential for you to start the habit of reading words backwards. This is because, the brains makes and corrects its own mistakes. Whereas this could be amazing in the ideal world, the corrections are wrong. You need to read each word, back to back to determine which one doesn’t make sense.
7. Check the numbers
Numbers are often confusing in text. However, humans are mad about numbers and you never know what their implications are when they turn out wrong. The best you can do is double-check your number sources. Make sure the numbers you use in the essay or writing is accurate.
8. Get someone else do the proofing
This is quite straightforward. Professional editors are in the best position to see ambiguity and mistakes in work. Get some help with the proofing before hitting send or submitting.
I made the compliment / complement error when I started out posting the author spotlights until one of my contributors pointed it out to me… fortunately I hadn’t done many. :) Thank you, Brian!
If you would like to write a writing-related guest post for my blog then feel free to email me with an outline of what you would like to write about. If it’s writing-related then it’s highly likely I’d email back and say “yes please”.
The blog interviews return as normal tomorrow morning with non-fiction author Liz Thompson – the five hundred and seventy-fourth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, autobiographers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.
** NEW!! You can now subscribe to this blog on your Kindle / Kindle app!
or http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008E88JN0 for outside the UK **
You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything. You can contact me and find me on the internet, view my Books (including my debut novel!) and I also have a blog creation / maintenance service especially for, but not limited to, writers. If you like this blog, you can help me keep it running by donating and choose an optional free eBook.
As I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t unfortunately review books but I have a list of those who do, and a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me posting it online in my new Red Pen Critique Sunday night posts, then do email me. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.