9 tips for better proofreading

If you find that mistakes are slipping through despite your best efforts, try these techniques to strengthen your shield against errors.

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This story first appeared on PR Daily in May, 2015. Proofreading can be tough. It can seem like no matter how much you read and re-read your content, errors still get through. On the Web, these errors can be corrected easily enough, but in print, that’s another story.

Next time you are tasked with proofreading a project, consider the following tips:

1. Avoid getting bored. Though proofing requires extreme focus and concentration, it can be boring. Try something that relieves your mind of the pressure, but enables you to stay focused. This could be chewing gum, tapping your foot, or listening to classical music.

2. Get another set of eyes. The more familiar something is, the less we tend to notice it. This is why you can review something 10 times and still not notice that half a sentence is missing. You expect the sentence to be there. Have someone unfamiliar with your project review it and serve as your sanity check.

3. Know your weaknesses. We tend to make the same mistakes repeatedly. Know your weak spot and compensate for it. For example, complete a separate “graphics check” if you have a tendency to overlook page numbers, headers, footers, or other graphic elements.

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