You’ve researched and crafted a motivational article. Although it’s ready to publish, you want to proofread for obvious errors. No sense in publishing a piece with spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes. Right?
What do you do?
Stop, look, and proofread!
Manually proofread your content.
Read each sentence out loud. Sometimes reading out loud will help you catch phrases or words that don’t fit. Or, you’ll hear the flow of the piece better than when you scan the words with your eyes.
Review for active v. passive voice.
♦Which voice best suits your content?
♦Passive voice may slow the reader down and it’s less compelling than active voice.
How’s your layout?
♦Check for consistency!
♦What format do you use for headings and lists?
♦Make sure you have a consistent format that makes your piece easy to read.
Look for commonly misspelled words and typos.
♦Automated tools don’t catch everything! Trial and Trail are both correct; but an attorney doesn’t go to trail.
♦Reading the document backwards to help you catch spelling errors.
♦For a humorous discussion, check out Adventures with Automated Spell Checker.
Use correct grammar and punctuation.
♦Did you use commas, semi-colons, and colons correctly and consistently?
♦Look for clichés and eliminate them. Consider unique descriptive phrases instead.
♦Look for redundant phrases and simplify.
Unsure about which rule to follow?
Refer to your publication’s style guide for their rules.
If the publication doesn’t have a style guide, select your own. Some options:
Once you’ve proofread and edited your piece, go ahead and submit it for publication. Your editors will appreciate the consistently-organized and formatted content.
Would you like revisions or substantive editing by a Non-involved Third Party? Send me a sample and let’s chat!