We are not all naturals at proofreading. It’s not something they teach in most paralegal certificate programs or even in college. They teach you how to write, but not how to proofread your writing.
Proofreading is a skill, and like most other skills, it is one that can be improved over time.
Here’s a quick 2-minute video to remind you of some important steps to include when you are proofreading your work.
For those who prefer to read instead of watching the video above, here are the 5 Tips to Improve Proofreading
- Take a quick break. Especially if you were the one who wrote the entire document or if you’ve already read the document made some corrections. Your eyes need a break.
- Read it aloud. What your eyes don’t see, your ears will hear. This is especially helpful if you’re still working on your attention to detail skills.
- Line-by-line editing with a ruler. This will prevent your eyes from jumping to the next line. If you wrote the document, you already know what it says and we have a tendency to jump forward because we assume we already know there are no errors in that line.
- Read it backward, one sentence at a time. Start at the last sentence and read each sentence in its entirety from the last one to the first one. This allows you to read each sentence as its own sentence.
- Use a checkmark in the margin as you review and proof each line of the document. This will force you to confirm with yourself that you’ve reviewed each and every line of the document.