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Tips on how to proofread your own content

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The best way to proof your content is for someone else to read it. But sometimes you don’t have time - how can you be sure you’ve caught all the typos before you send it out?

The problem is, when reading your own content, your brain reads what you think you’ve written, not what’s actually there. Part of the reason is your familiarity with the layout, so using techniques that make you read differently will help you spot those troublesome typos.

Read it aloud

This is one of the best ways to spot errors. Reading aloud will also help highlight long or unnaturally sounding sentences.

Start at the back

Reading your content out of sequence (for example, by starting at the back) helps you to shrug off your familiarity with the text and spot errors.

Change the size and font

This will force you to look at the words differently.

Print it out

Reading comprehension is lower on screens than on paper. Printing out your content and reading it line by line will help you focus on finding mistakes.

Wait until the next day

Leave it overnight, or even a couple of hours, and you’ll see more errors with fresh eyes.

Use checklists

Keep a note of any words you commonly mix up (‘weather’ and ‘whether’ for me). A checklist will help you remember to look specifically for those mistakes. The ‘2i’ checklist is also a good place to start.

Let’s share

What other tips do you have for catching poor punctuation and sloppy spelling in your own content?

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