Proofreading is an essential part of the writing process that ensures that your writing is error-free. It is done after the editing process and is the final step that must be taken before a document can be considered complete. You should consider completing the following proofreading steps as a bare minimum when proofreading.
The Steps You Should NOT Skip!
- Do not rely on software to check your grammar or spelling because the word may be spelt correctly, but it is the wrong word (e.g. manger and manager).
- Print your document and use a red pen to circle your errors.
- Pay attention to spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
- Proofread for only one kind of error at a time.
Use a dictionary like Longman or the Oxford
The consequences of not proofreading
- Errors can reduce your credibility and professionalism. Errors on a professional document stick out. Imagine you pick up a book about writing professionally, and the back cover has several typos. Would you consider that credible or professional?
- Errors could cost you and your company money. For example, you email a client asking for feedback on your proposal. You did not proofread your document, so you forgot to change the price of the product you are selling from your local currency to US dollars, costing your company money.
- Errors might confuse. Something as simple as the wrong preposition in a sentence could change its meaning. For example, your professor sends an email asking that "All assignments are due on Friday" but meant to write "by Friday". This might confuse students.
To learn more, check out our course, Proofreading and Proofreading Strategies.
In this module, you will:
- Understand why it is important to proofread;
- Identify the six rules of proofreading; and
- Use the basic proofreading strategies to improve your writing.
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