You have great ideas and information to share with the world; however, if your posts are filled with typographical errors, misspellings and poor sentence constructions, your message will be lost.

Ten Simple Proofreading Methods That Yield Stellar Posts

The following are 10 simple proofreading methods that yield stellar posts:
  1. Take a breather. Before you submit your post, take a few minutes and do something else. Then come back and reread what you've written. Fresh eyes can catch mistakes you might otherwise miss if you try proofreading right after you've written your post.
  2. Don't rely only on spell check. Although that little red squiggly line is a good indicator that something could be wrong, it won't catch everything. A misused homophone is a common mistake that spell check misses. Software will also miss sentences that don't make sense, so don't rely on it exclusively.
  3. Enlist a second set of eyes. There's a reason writers hire proofreaders and editors. It's not that writers don't know how to use a comma properly or when to use "accept" versus "except"; instead, when you read your own work, you often read what you thought you typed, not what you actually typed. Get a second set of eyes to review your post before you publish it.
  4. Send it to the printer. Print a hard copy of your post. Reading it on paper, rather than on your screen, can give you a new perspective and help you catch errors.
  5. Backwards it read. Read your post backwards, word by word, to catch any spelling errors your spell check may have missed. Reading backwards forces you to focus on each word, rather than allowing you to rely on your memory of what you typed.
  6. Read it out loud. Reading your post out loud helps ensure that your sentences flow smoothly. This practice can alert you to misused words, incomplete sentences, run-on sentences and missing punctuation.
  7. Check one category at a time. Proofreading isn't just about making sure you've spelled everything correctly. Check your post for one type of mistake at a time. For example, read through your post and make sure your verbs agree with your subjects. Then, read through your post again to check for verb tense consistency.
  8. Keep a list of your common mistakes. Everyone has hard-to-break bad writing habits. When you see that you've made the same mistake multiple times, add it to the list. Double-check those items before publishing your post.
  9. Correct as you go. When you're proofreading, correct your mistakes as you find them. Don't wait until you've read your entire post, planning to go back and correct them afterwards. Otherwise, you'll forget where the mistakes were and they'll slip through the cracks.
  10. Cover it up. Place a blank sheet of paper over your computer screen or printed out post, so that you can only read one line of text at a time. This way, your eyes won't be tempted to jump ahead, and you can focus intently on a limited amount of text at a time.

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