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Top Five Tips: Proofreading - Active Outcomes


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We know, proofreading can be such a pain, but here are Active Outcomes top five tips to get you started!

If you need a fresh pair of eyes, Active Outcomes would love to get involved and proofread for you. Visit for more information.

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Top Five Tips: Proofreading - Active Outcomes

  1. 1. Proufreadin Top Five Tips: Proofreading Proofraeding
  2. 2. Why Proofread? We do not read every letter individually – we recognise patterns and then make assumptions about words. Do you remember the email going around with the following text? Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghi t pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! Here are Active Outcomes top five tips to avoid common pitfalls!
  3. 3. 1: Take a break! Walk the dog, get the kettle on, have a nap, watch paint dry do whatever takes your fancy. Just put a bit of distance between you and what you were writing. Otherwise you will read what you think you wrote, not what is actually on the page.
  4. 4. 2: One thing at a time… Don’t try and save time by trying to spot every mistake on the first reading – focus on one of these mistake prone areas at a time to make sure you do not miss anything. • Spelling • Grammar • Word Choice • Sentence Structure • Continuity (formatting, font type/size, numbering of tables and so on)
  5. 5. 3: Read aloud… By far the easiest way to check that your writing flows well is by reading it aloud. This will also help you spot mistakes your Spellchecker misses because while it can tell you that you put in an extra “e” it cannot tell you that the word you used is correct. Think of the difference between “dessert” and “desert” – I’d be pretty disappointed if I mixed them up – wouldn’t you?! This also improves your writing style as you develop your own unique and consistent “voice”.
  6. 6. 4: Stop racing on ahead! We are all busy – but you must resist the temptation to skip ahead. If you find you have been skimming, stop right there and start to read backwards. Focusing on every word when it is not in order helps you to see spelling mistakes and typos. Though it is obviously not quite so useful when checking sentence structure!
  7. 7. 5: Get a fresh pair of eyes! A new perspective can really help. Remember not to be offended or take it personally if people do spot mistakes – that is what you asked them to do after all! Better you revise a draft than send an inaccurate document to the printer costing you both money and reputational damage.
  8. 8. Not convinced? Why not? Even experts admit they need help! “You think you are reading proof, whereas you are merely reading your own mind; your statement of the thing is full of holes and vacancies but you don't know it, because you are filling them from your mind as you go along. Sometimes, but not often enough, the printer's proof-reader saves you -- and offends you -- with this cold sign in the margin: (?) and you search the passage and find that the insulter is right, it doesn't say what you thought it did: the gas-fixtures are there, but you didn't light the jets.” - Mark Twain (1898)
  9. 9. Need a fresh pair of eyes Active Outcomes offer affordable and thorough proof reading services. 07542 768132 @ActiveOutcomes