Good writing and editing acumen can be a major asset at any job
by Sasha King, Black Enterprise
It was reiterated constantly during your school years that you must proofread your work, but do you actually take the time to do it now? Most people, especially young professionals, will let the computer handle it. Yes, spell check is efficient, but it doesn’t beat the human eye. Brazen Careerist offers tips on how to proofread effectively:
Print it out. That’s right. Just print out the document. For some reason, holding the work in your hands lets you see it differently. The words jump off the page, and typos you didn’t see before become readily apparent.
Editing is such an underrated part of the writing process. It’s not enough to skim through your work and click “send.” In fact, the best writers are also great editors. They pore over what they write to make absolutely sure it’s ready.
This is so important that it’s no stretch to say that your reputation is at stake whenever you attach your name to a piece of writing.
Read your work aloud. A sentence can often sound great in your mind, but when you say it out loud, it might not flow well.
Ask sharp editors to have a look. Find coworkers you trust and have them review your work for content as well as grammar.
If you have the time, sleep on it. The best time to do a final proofread is the day after you’ve written the piece. Sure, this requires working ahead of time. But it allows you to feel like you’re reading your work for the first time, and maybe you’ll decide that a sentence you were in love with a day before doesn’t really make the cut.
It’s worth the extra effort, because when you present a flawless piece of writing, no one gets hung up on your miscues. Instead, they can focus on your message.
Readers won’t have to ask, “Wait, is it ‘its’ or ‘it’s’? I can never remember…” No, they’ll simply enjoy your writing as intended.
March 17, 2014 //
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