How to Find Errors in Your Writing Before it's Too Late
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Article Title: How to Find Errors in Your Writing Before it's Too Late
Author: Carmen Brandt Wolf
Category: Tools and Resources, E-Books
Word Count: 547
Keywords: grammar,mispelling,mistakes,errors,writing,catch errors,spelling mistakes,grammar mistakes,writing m
Author's Email Address: carmen@...
Article Source: http://www.articlemarketer.com
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It has happened to all of us whether in an e-mail, a presentation to a group, or in a formal proposal. We go through everything with what we think is a fine-toothed comb to catch all the errors. Yet, as soon as it leaves our control, a mistake is blatantly apparent. How could this happen? We were so careful!
Here are some tips you can use to proof your material. These tips are very easy to incorporate into your daily writing process.
If you are composing or typing on a computer, the best way to catch errors is to actually print out your document and proof it on paper. By viewing the text in a different medium, it is easier for your eye to spot the mistakes if there are any. When you are used to seeing something in a certain way, your mind tends to "make up" for any errors, which is why you miss them as you proof.
It is very important to be able to focus entirely on what you are doing. Make sure you have eliminated as many distractions as possible. Make your environment comfortable . . . for example, good lighting and a comfortable temperature. Also, find a time when you are physically and mentally alert and in the best condition to focus. If you are a morning person, do your proofing in the morning, etc.
Don't forget that proofing can be tiring, so it is important to periodically take breaks . . . maybe do some physical exercise and rest your eyes. It is also a good idea to give your eyes mini breaks from the paper or computer screen by looking away into the distance from time to time. If you get to a point where you just can't keep your mind focused any longer, take a longer break. A change of scenery or some fresh air may be what you need to refocus your mind.
Don't make the mistake of thinking you can do an adequate job of proofing your document by only going through it once. It is best to go through it several times, and you can even focus on something different each time. For example, the first time you can look for misspelled or incorrect words. The second time through could be for grammatical errors or composition, etc.
Reading the article out loud is a good way to catch mistakes as well as run-on sentences or awkward paragraph structure. Even better, read it aloud to someone else, especially someone who is not familiar with the subject. That way they can let you know if you have identified and defined any specific terms and concepts well enough. If you have the time, walk away for a few days. It is amazing what a little time away from the project does for your mind and your ability to identify problem areas.
Finally, don't rely on your spell checker. You can use it to aid in identifying blatantly misspelled words, but it will not tell if your misspelling happens to be another word. Other techniques include reading the paragraphs out of order or reading the sentences backwards.
No matter how hard we try, there will be times when errors slip past us, but by using the techniques above, those times will be few and far between.
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