Can you spot what’s incorrect in this post’s title (courtesy of Daniel Smith’s proofreading exercise book. Here is the link)? If you want to write, you need to be educated in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. I’m not saying this is the be all and end all of writing, but it’s definitely on the to-do list. Try sending a manuscript of your novel, short story, or poetry with something like, “James hid his gun in his poket and weeped at the sight of the ded bodie.” I’m not saying that all blame should be placed upon the author – it’s quite easy to misspell words on a computer. But what I am saying is that if you try sending a manuscript like that to a publisher, you won’t get very far!
Consider this quote.
“Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.” Author Unknown
Did you see it? Yes, missing words out is another easy thing to do on a computer, and sometimes Microsoft Word won’t even tell you that it’s wrong, making it even easier to make mistakes. So then, here are a few tips to improve your grammar and proofreading skills:
1.) When you have completed your writing assignment, read it aloud. Do sentences become unclear; is the pacing not quite right? Reading to yourself is a very useful way of proofreading.
2.) Make a hard-copy of your assignment and read it through – reading on a computer is very different to reading something on paper. Use a pen or pencil to circle misspelt words, and highlight incorrect uses of tenses.
3.) Ask someone else to read your work. Another person can spot many mistakes which you may have overlooked.
4.) Buy a grammar book. One can be found through clicking the link at the beginning of this post, but here are two more: One and two. These books will give you a basic overview of English, and will improve your writing.
5.) Finally, don’t be too critical when you proofread. Everyone misses something out once in a while, so after a few times of looking over your work, relax. Take a break, watch TV. Basically, do something completely unrelated.
Thanks for reading this post! 😀 Wednesday’s post should be a review of A Song of Ice and Fire’s Game of Thrones, but plans may change. Also, I’m hoping to add the first list to the ‘Top Ten’ section, and I’m also considering creating a ‘Teens’ section for this blog. If there are any thoughts or queries on this, please leave a comment below.
Do YOU have any tips to add to the proofreading list?