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The Benefits of Proofreading

September 25, 2014

by: Kristi Brown

Writing is a process. The layers of it can be overwhelming and time consuming. One of the most important parts of writing is proofreading, but it is often overlooked or avoided. When it is done effectively, proofreading helps writers communicate their points most effectively and remove unnecessary errors or information. Writers often skip the proofreading stage of the writing process because of poor time management. Efficient planning allows writers to have time for brainstorming, drafting, and editing. While proofreading can be daunting, turning in unrevised work is significantly worse than spending extra time editing. Allotting enough time to both compose and edit a piece of writing can be difficult, so below are some helpful tips:

  • Tip #1 Make a Plan
    • Half of the battle with any writing assignment is allowing enough time to finish the work. Since writing is a multi-faceted process, it is helpful to set aside multiple chunks of time before the actual due date. This helps the writer articulate his/her thoughts more clearly. Additionally, setting small deadlines is a great way to stay motivated. It is helpful to organize time intentionally; make personal goals for brainstorming, drafting, and revising the assignment.
  • Tip #2 Proofread Several Times
    • Allowing time to proofread a work multiple times will help the writer catch different mistakes. It is easy to overlook mistakes directly after writing because the brain is still thinking about the written sentences. Setting an early personal deadline allows the writer to spend more time revising the document later. Repeating this process will allow the writer time to subconsciously think about ways to improve his/her writing.
  • Tip #3 Read Out loud
    • Reading over writing is always beneficial, however, it is most effective when the writer reads their work out loud. This method helps the writer catch subtle mistakes because it forces them to read at a slower pace.

Overall, proofreading is one of the most important parts of the writing process. While most writers would agree that it is necessary, many do not allow enough time for revision. Following the steps listed above helps writers organize their time more efficiently, which enables them to produce their best work.

image from funnytimes.com

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