Thursday, September 9, 2010

Six Tips to be a Better Proofreader

The importance of proofreading is often overlooked and under estimated. Alana Keane is a professional copywriter and her article below on How to be a Better Proofreader is a must read.
Please enjoy.

Copywriting Tips - Be a Better Proofreader

In a perfect world, you'd have a professional copywriter handle the writing for all of your marketing and business communication projects. Every report, every sales letter, every web page, every brochure... you'd rest easy knowing you had an expert on hand to keep it all up to par.

But the fact is, we don't live in a perfect world. We live in the real world and sometimes you have to write your own material. Of course, copywriting isn't one of those things that just comes easily to most people and after spending several days (or weeks) organizing your thoughts and working through multiple drafts, you may feel like celebrating. Don't uncork that champagne just yet, though. You still have to proofread.

Improve Your Proofreading

As tedious as it may be, proofreading is an essential part of the writing process. And though it seems like a straightforward procedure, after you've read -- and reread -- something over and over and over again, those pesky little mistakes get harder to detect. Make sure you catch them all by following a few basic tips.

Read it Out Loud

The words you've written may look great on paper. But how do they sound? You might be surprised to find that what you think you've written and what you've actually written are two different things. Find clunky phrases and repair them by reading what you've written out loud.

Read it Backwards

It's human nature to automatically correct the errors we may find while reading. To compensate for this, read your copy backwards. Start at the end and check each word for spelling errors. Remember: the spell check on your computer does not catch everything, including homophones like "their" and "they're" or "your" and "you're."

Have a Friend Read it

It never hurts to have another pair of eyes go over what you've written. Have a friend or co-worker read your copy and make suggestions for both grammar and style. You may disagree with the recommendations you receive, but you should give consideration to any constructive criticism that can make your work better.

Hire a Copywriter

There is often no substitute for professional copyedits. In a matter of minutes, a good copywriter can frequently detect errors you would have otherwise missed -- and suggest improvements you would never even have considered. Plus, since you've already put the time into writing a complete draft, hiring a professional copywriter to polish your work is significantly less expensive than contracting a project from scratch.

The Last Word
In the end, proofreading is time (and money) well spent -- because if you don't find the mistakes in your copy, your clients will.

© Copyright Alana Keane. All rights reserved worldwide.

About the Author
A professional copywriter with over a decade of experience, Alana Keane has been widely published on a national level. Her areas of expertise include copywriting for brochures, websites, sales letters, direct mail campaigns and more. Visit her website at

It's always good to have another pair of eyes,