A Reliable Proofreading Checklist
- Always proofread your manuscript multiple times, and never only once. Take some time off in between each proofreading time. This will ensure that you come back refreshed with more energy to read the manuscript again.
- Look for problems and mistakes that you know you make. For example, if you make mistakes in subject and verb agreement, dedicate one entire proofreading cycle for only that mistake. Search for this mistake thoroughly in the document and correct it accordingly. Have a good reference book about this kind of mistake so you can edit it in the correct manner.
- Read very slowly so that you have a higher chance to spot errors. Do not speed read through the document, or you will miss common errors. It is also a good idea to read out loud so that you can hear mistakes as well. Put your speaking and listening to work and utilize them to help in the proofreading process.
- Read from the bottom up to catch spelling mistakes. Reading normally will reduce the chances of catching spelling mistakes. But reading backwards will force you to explicitly read each word individually. This is a good technique for spotting all of the spelling mistakes in your document.
- Change the font and style of the paper. This way you can trick yourself to thinking that this is an unfamiliar paper, and therefore you would read it slowly. This will ensure you are able to detect even the most implicit and hidden errors in your work.
- Use a reliable spelling checker to detect any spelling errors you may have missed. As humans, we make mistakes. Leave it to software to provide an additional round of checking spelling errors. It is also to correct these errors using the same piece of software, which commonly has the ability to replace the misspelled word with the correct one.