Checking your paper for grammar, spelling, and stylistic mistakes is called proofreading. Down below, there is constructive advice on how to do properly.
Spell Thorough! The Importance of Spelling
Regardless of the fact whether you are a student who writes an essay or a writer who works on a book, there is one golden rule, which has to be followed by everyone: spell thorough! The importance of spelling cannot be underestimated. It is a finishing touch, which can greatly improve the quality of the written text. In case you want to get a high quality paper or book, you should not forget about proofreading them. Otherwise, you can submit a good text, which will be underestimated due to numerous spelling and grammatical mistakes. The following article will help the readers answer the question: how do you spell thorough and what spelling actually is.
In the process of book production, two different actions take place. However, very often, these two actions are confused due to their similar nature. They are “copy editing” and “proofreading”. These terms are not only different but also occur at different stages of book writing.
Let us talk about proofreading in more details. Unlike copy editing, proofreading process occurs at the final stage of book production. At the same time, copyediting is one of the first steps taken to make the script better. Generally, copy editing deals with correcting spelling and grammar mistakes in the script, as well as with improving some awkward sentence structures, correcting some confusing parts, etc. In its turn, proofreading is a process, which is aimed at improvement of the text content in a little bit different way. It is done to make sure that there are correct word breaks in the text, that orphans and widows are missing, that different design elements are properly formatted, including headings, etc.
Make certain that you have revised the major points of your work. You should not start correcting mistakes in separate sentences until you organize the whole paper properly. It means that you need to write the paper, structure it and then begin proofreading it.
It is useful to put your completed paper aside and have some rest before proofreading it. In this way, you will be able to find and correct mistakes easily.
Before you start the proofreading procedure, you need to be sure that your paper is clear and does not contain irrelevant information. Be sure that you know what paper flaws to look for. Pay attention to your professor’s comments on previous texts and list the errors you may need to correct.
It is better to print your paper and then proofread it. However, you may use a computer as well if it is more convenient for you. There are different computer programs using which you will not have problems with proofreading your work.
Read the text aloud. Thus, you will easily identify incoherent sentences and find the made mistakes. Use a ruler in order not to confuse the lines you are reading. This is a very simple and efficient way of noticing all mistakes.
If you work on the computer, you should use the “Search” function to find the possible errors. For example, in order not to confuse “whose” and “who’s,” you should look for “who”. In the same way, you may search punctuation marks, etc. If you know that you always make a lot of errors, you should check the paper for each type of mistake separately. Start with the major mistakes and move to the secondary ones.
For example, first, you may read the sentences and check whether the subject and predicate are in the right position. Then, you may read the text again and check whether all punctuation marks are placed correctly.
The last stage is a check for spelling. You may either use a computer checker or read the paper backwards word by word. Note that homonyms or typos (e.g., “were,” “where”) will not be highlighted as mistakes by a computer checker.
Importance of Proofreading Is to Make the Final Manuscript Better
It is easy to skip some mistakes at the stage of copyediting and these mistakes are often corrected at the stage of proofreading.
When the book is completed and approved, it is a time for proofreading. The best way to do it is to print the book and make corrections on them. In other case, it can be done directly in the PDF version of the text. Regardless of the chosen method, it is recommended to mark the mistakes with a bright color so they could be easily identified. Red pen is the best tool during this process. The reader will have to spell thorough to notice even the slightest misprints, duplicated words, etc. After the corrections are made, it is recommended to request proofs to make sure that the mistakes are properly corrected.
The other way to get proofreading done is to hire a professional, who specializes in this activity. In this case, you will be sure that the work will be done properly and the proofreader will spell thorough your book. Without doubt, this method requires additional expenses to pay for the work of a specialist but in the end, they will be justified.
It is not recommended to reply on one editor when you want your book to be perfect. Checking the final version of the manuscript will help avoid overlooked mistakes. It is especially true when a big book is edited. The deal is that reading too much text may become a reason that the mistakes and typos will become so familiar for the editor that he/she will simply stop noticing them.
In order to proofread your book well, you should keep such questions in mind:
- Are the key areas of the book clear enough for understanding?
- Are there elements that make reading a pleasure?
- Are there enough graphic elements to help the reader understand the plot and stimulate him/her?
Other two important elements that have to be taken into consideration include orphans and widows. Even though these terms sound familiar, they do not mean what you think they do. In proofreading, the term “widow” stands for a line, which is separated from the main part of the paragraph and is presented on the following page. At the same time, “orphan” is also a line, which goes at the bottom of a page separated from the main part of the paragraph, which is placed at the following page. It is recommended to avoid both of them while proofreading the text.
The other things that have to be considered while proofreading are:
- Headers and footers;
- Numbers of pages in the table of contents;
- Page numbers;
- Presence of blank pages, if necessary;
- Make sure that all graphs, pictures, tables, etc. are at correct places.
Even though proofreading process requires additional time and making additional efforts, it is strongly recommended not to skip this part of work, as it can improve your book sufficiently. Mistakes are clearly seen for book readers, but their correction does not take much time. Proofread your books thoroughly if you want to reach a desired result.