Proofreading your written content is an absolutely vital part of the writing process.  

Even the most experienced writers can benefit from having a thorough system for proofing their work.  

Carefully proofreading every piece of content helps ensure it is free of errors and ready for publishing. It also leaves readers with a polished, professional impression of your work. 

In this blog, we’ll explore 8 top tips for proofreading your content like a true pro. Follow these techniques to catch all the typos, grammar mistakes, awkward phrasing, and other errors that may slip through the cracks after drafting.  

With sharp proofing skills, you can put out content that looks slick, reads smoothly, and makes you look like an editing expert! 

 

Take a break between writing and proofreading 

Before proofreading, be sure to take a break of at least 15-30 minutes from writing. Give your eyes and brain some rest so you can come back to the text with a fresh perspective. When you dive back in, you’ll be able to catch more errors that your mind glossed over immediately after completing the draft. 

Read your work aloud 

Reading your work aloud forces you to speak every word and hear how the text flows. This technique allows you to catch any awkward phrasing, tongue twisters, missing words, or repetitive text that your eyes may have initially skipped over. You’ll likely stumble over the sections that need polishing, so take note. 

Use built-in software tools 

Word processing programs like Microsoft Word have helpful built-in software tools to aid proofreading, including the spell checker and grammar checker. These can catch misspellings, punctuation errors, grammar mistakes, and more. However, don’t rely on these tools fully, as they won’t catch every type of error. But they are a useful first line of defence. 

For example, Grammarly Premium is the perfect partner in editing.  

Slow down 

When proofreading, slow down and read each word carefully instead of skimming quickly. Moving too fast leads to missing issues like typos, punctuation errors, capitalisation errors, and other small mistakes.  

Check thoroughly for each type of problem by being deliberate and focused. 

Look for one type of problem at a time 

It’s tough to catch every type of error in one read-through. Try focusing on one issue at a time. For example, look solely for spelling and typo errors in one pass, ignoring other issues. Then make a second pass looking only for grammar problems like subject/verb agreement. 

Watch for repetition 

As you proofread, look out for any words or phrases that you may have repeated accidentally throughout the piece. Repetition stands out in text and can sound awkward. Similarly, keep an eye out for words you overuse and replace them with synonyms. 

Check formatting and consistency 

Correct formatting is a key part of proofreading. Look for proper header hierarchy, uniform bullet points, appropriate text styling for emphasis, correct image placement/formatting, and more. Also, check that you were consistent with things like capitalisation, abbreviations, use of serial commas, etc. 

Have someone else proofread 

One of the best tips is to have a fresh set of eyes look over your important content before publishing it. Since you’re so familiar with what you wrote, you’re bound to miss certain errors that another reader can catch.  

Ask a colleague, friend or professional proofreader to review and mark up your document. Here at 10X, everything that comes from our company is seen by multiple pairs of eyes.  

 

Proofreading thoroughly before clicking publish is a crucial step in putting out great content. Following these pro tips, like taking a break, reading aloud, and leveraging other readers, can help you catch all the sneaky errors in your text. 

Does the pressure sound a little daunting? Let 10X do it for you with our range of content writing services. 

 

Interested in learning more about social media, marketing and taking your content to the next level? We have a wide range of FREE resources available to download. Click here to browse the list.