When it comes to marketing and business communications tools, there are few things that can derail a good piece faster than a typo or misused word.
Proofreading is one of those thankless, tedious, painfully boring tasks. It’s easier and dare I say it, short-term pleasurable to skip. But, it will get you every time.
Here are some proofing pointers:
- Don’t rush it. Ideally, if you are the author, you’ll set it aside for a day so you can look at your writing with fresh eyes.
- Read it out loud. Sure it sounds silly, but you’ll be stunned (and relieved) at how many more mistakes you catch this way.
- Don’t rely on spell-check alone. it’s fallible, as I’ll bet you have already discovered.
- Make 3 passes. Read through it first for content. The second time around, check for grammatical, punctuation and structural errors. Finally, go through and watch for typos and spelling problems.
The best solution of all — have someone other than yourself do the proofing. Theres nothing more aggitating then having a mis take fowl up your good work. (how many did you count?)
I’m so guilty of this … that’s why I keep a former employeer, another DM copywriter on retainer to proof my work for big clients with big projects.
This is one of my sins as well. My fingers just outpace my brain! And sometimes spell check is not my friend. It may well be a word…but not the word I want.
I try to practice all the proofing advice I offered, but I am always leery of the big oops!
My co-workers get to read plenty of my stuff — it’s the best protection, for sure.