Proofreading your article is absolutely essential, but it’s not as easy as you may think. Your article could be missing verbs or punctuation, or it could have misspellings you don’t even notice. The problem is, after writing your article, you are so used to looking at it, your mind automatically fills in what it thinks should be on the page.
You may have noticed this with some of your own articles. You may have read your article a million times then, a week later you read it again and think, “How could I have missed these obvious mistakes?”
Writers can use a variety of little tricks to help them to see their content with fresh eyes. The key is to make the article appear as unfamiliar as possible so you can read it objectively and spot errors.
Here are eight article-marketing tips for detecting grammar and spelling errors in your article submissions:
1. Use a different font and change the color of the font. Also, you can make the font size bigger.
This helps trick your mind into thinking it is reading a brand new piece of content. If the words on the page look different, then your mind perceives the article as being less familiar. The larger font also helps you to spot errors.
2. Print a copy of your article and proofread from there.
You’ve probably written your article on your computer and have been reading it on the computer as well. By actually printing your article (try changing the font, font color, and size before printing), it can help trick your mind into thinking it’s reading something it hasn’t seen before.
3. Listen to your article being read aloud.
You can slowly read it aloud yourself, or you can enlist the help of a friend. Some word processing programs even have a tool that will “read” the text you’ve written aloud.
Hearing your article read aloud is very useful in spotting misspellings and grammar issues.
4. Take it from the bottom.
Instead of reading your article in the normal way, start at the last sentence and read up from there. By taking each sentence out of context, you can more clearly focus on the structure of each sentence.
5. Give your article a break.
This is the most obvious way to make proofreading easier. Simply take time away from your article. An overnight break should help considerably, but if you can take a few days away you’ll be sure to come back to your article with fresh eyes.
6. Get a second pair of eyes to proofread for you.
If you have a friend who has excellent grammar skills, ask him or her to proofread your article for errors.
7. Read through your article checking for different things each time.
The first time you may just check punctuation. The second time you may be looking for subject/verb agreement. The third time you may look for spelling issues. Being systematic in the way you proofread your article helps ensure you don’t miss anything.
8. State things as simply as you can.
Be on the lookout for confusing language or any points that are repetitive. You’re not just looking for grammar and spelling — examine how easy your article is to read and understand. Avoid sentences that are long and complicated.
Proofreading your article may seem like a big job, but it gets easier if you use the tips in this article. Even if you have read your article dozens of times during the creation process, the proofreading stage requires special attention and different tactics. The tips in this article will help you to thoroughly proofread your article so that by the time you submit it, your article looks professional and is something you can be proud to be associated with.
Steve Shaw is a content syndication specialist. Do you own a blog? Need content? Join thousands of other blogs and get free high-quality, niche-focused, human-reviewed content from quality authors sent on auto-pilot — and it’s all 100 percent free. Go to http://www.autoblogit.com for more information.