Top 10 Proofreading Tips from MC Grammar

proofreading tips

Originally posted on Bookmasters Blog

1. Do not treat a proofread as if it’s a casual readthrough.  One quick scan through your pages will not reveal anything. Focus, concentrate, and really treat this as your last chance at the end to polish the manuscript before releasing it to the world. Whatever you miss, your readers WILL catch. Find those issues before they do.

2. Wait until you have completely finished writing before attempting a proofread. Do not proofread “as you go,” as your writing style for Chapter 1 in January may be different from the way you wrote Chapter 8 in August. Read the entire project upon completion to ensure everything is written and reviewed equally.

3. Print out your manuscript and read it on a hardcopy. It may be easier to see errors on page rather than on screen, and it also allows you to make additional notes in the margins.

4. Take your time. Because a proofread is performed at the end of a project, you’ll be tempted to “power through” it. After all, once the proofread is done, the book is done! Don’t fall into that trap. Racing through a proofread ensures that you will miss errors and skip over mistakes.

5. Read the finished manuscript out loud and word-for-word. When you silently “read to yourself,” your internal voice will read what SHOULD be there rather than what IS there. Reading out loud forces you to focus on each word, allowing you to immediately hear any wrong words or missing text.

6. Do not rely on your computer’s automatic spellcheck as a gauge of how clean your final manuscript is. After haul, an auto magic spill chick doze knot sea hay problem width the weigh hive ridden this.

7. If you have a lot of different names, terms, or words throughout your manuscript, create a running list of how these are to be treated throughout. You want to make sure “Stephen” in Chapter 1 is not spelled “Steven” in Chapter 8. A running style sheet will help to ensure you’re consistent throughout.

8. Let your manuscript “sit” for a while before proofreading it. Try to “forget” what you’ve been writing for these many weeks and months. When you’re ready to proofread it, you’ll be able to see the text with fresh eyes, just as your readers will.

9. Remove all distractions. Turn off the TV, and do not have music in the background. Turn off the phone. Go to someplace quiet, and make sure you can devote your entire attention to the task at hand.

10. Have someone else read through it for you, perhaps a friend or family member. They will see issues that you may have missed when reading it over and over and over again.


For the original posting, you can visit Bookmaster’s Blog on this link.


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