How to Find and Correct Writing Errors: The Proofreading Guide | Duncan Koerber | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

How to Find and Correct Writing Errors: The Proofreading Guide

teacher avatar Duncan Koerber, University Professor

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Welcome from the Instructor


    • 3.

      What are Good Habits for Proofreading?


    • 4.

      Good Habits Tips before you Start


    • 5.

      The Importance of Practical Tips


    • 6.

      8 Practical Proofreading Tips


    • 7.

      Don't Forget about the Punctuation!


    • 8.

      9 Tips for Proofreading Words and Punctuation


    • 9.

      The Proofreading Symbols Professionals Use


    • 10.

      Why Lists and Guides are so Important


    • 11.

      The Use of Lists and Guides in the Proofreading Process


    • 12.

      An Overview of Format, Design, Graphics Errors


    • 13.

      6 Tips for Proofreading the Format, Design, Graphics


    • 14.

      A Quick Word on Final Tasks


    • 15.

      Don't Forget to do These 5 Final Tasks


    • 16.

      Why Getting Help is so Important


    • 17.

      5 Tips about Getting Help


  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Did that spelling mistake in your cover letter cost you the job interview?
Did you annoy a client by misspelling her name?
Have you edited and read over your writing 10 times but still worry that errors remain?

The Ultimate Guide to Proofreading is for writers and editors of any genre who are looking to develop their proofreading skills and prevent embarrassing errors in written documents.

The proofreading stage is the last chance to catch errors before colleagues, publishers, application committees, and the general public read your writing. Effective proofreading is about polishing your documents to impress readers with pristine prose and design.  Yet proofreading does not get enough attention as it’s often rushed or avoided altogether. 

The Ultimate Guide to Proofreading is the first comprehensive Skillshare course on the subject.

First, I explain how to develop the right mindset to catch errors. I then show where most errors lurk. I examine the most common errors in words, punctuation, and design and format. I additionally provide unique techniques for making your proofreading work easier and more effective.  

These tips come from my 20-year career in editing and proofreading positions. I've edited thousands and thousands of written documents and I use these techniques every day.  

The objectives of this course are to help students understand the key principles of proofreading, learn the techniques required, and apply them effectively to real documents. No prerequisite knowledge or materials are required. 

Enroll now to learn tested tips for getting those annoying errors out of your documents and the documents of clients and colleagues.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Duncan Koerber

University Professor


Dr. Duncan Koerber has taught writing and communication courses for the past 16 years at 8 Canadian universities to thousands of students.

Currently a full-time assistant professor at Brock University in Ontario, Canada, Duncan Koerber worked for nearly 10 years in reporting and editing roles for the London Free Press, the Mississauga News, and the University of Toronto Medium. He has freelanced for magazines and newspapers, including the Toronto Star.

Oxford University Press recently published his writing textbook, Clear, Precise, Direct: Strategies for Writing (2015). Available on Amazon, the book considers the seven most common errors (interfering factors) in writing and how to improve them (enhancing factors). His second book, Crisis Communicati... See full profile

Level: Beginner

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Overview: This course provides many tips and techniques for finding airs and documents. This is useful for anyone wanting to improve their writing, whether that's the student looking to improve a document before submitting, it's a class or even the professional editor who wants to improve their ability to catch lingering airs. This course also shows how to catch airs both in text and in design. What are my expectations for you? Well, please watch all the videos first, to understand the proof reading process and to learn all the various techniques you wanna have that whole arsenal of techniques available to you before you begin proof reading. Then do the project listed below this video to try it out, post your article to the course with the corrections written on it. 2. Welcome from the Instructor: welcome to my proof reading course in this introductory video. I just want to talk about what perforating is because there are some misconceptions. First of all, proof reading is the final stage before the document is submitted before it's published. What we think of as editing is typically called copy editing, and that is an earlier stage. If you're an editor or a copy editor, often you are doing great interventions into the writing of a specific document. So you're moving words around a re casting sentences. You're changing paragraphs. You're trying to help improve the argument of the document. We're not talking about that in this course. This course is specifically about that final stage, and that final stage is extremely important. This is the last chance to get those airs out of the document before it gets out into the world before readers start getting to that material. And, of course, you don't want to have any heirs remaining. That just looks bad on you. A few years ago, I was reading a book called The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, published by a reputable New York publisher. And yet, but 2/3 of the way through the book, there was a glaring typo, and this meant that the proof reader failed. It was only one type of that I could see, but still it stood out to me amongst all the great writing of that book. So this is really important, certainly for great proofreaders to make sure that you've got all those airs out of the documents. You don't embarrass yourself at the end of this publication process. So that's what proof reading is. And this course talks about specific tips techniques, good habits to follow. So you can be the best proof reader you can be and really impress readers, clients and so on. And these tips don't come in a book somewhere. Thes air typically tips that I've developed over about 20 years in the editing and proofreading business. So I'm sharing these tips with you today. Make sure you go through all the videos, and if you have any questions, just send me a note. Thanks 3. What are Good Habits for Proofreading?: in this next lesson, I'm gonna be talking about some good habits that you need to have in place before you get to the sentences, the words, the paragraphs and so on. And these good habits will put you in a good position. Provide a foundation for you to be successful as a proof reader, whether you are preventing your own work or whether you're doing this professionally. Now those habits deal with clearing your mind up a bit, giving you so that mental freshness that will allow you to see the airs on the page. If you are tired, if you are rushed, you will not see everything. And certainly great perforating is about actually slowing down, not rushing, being totally focused in that moment that you are proof reading or else you will gloss over those airs. Your eyes just won't see those airs, and you will miss some embarrassing problems that will get into the final version and obviously the consequences. Air great here because if you miss those than you know, you might not get the job. For example, if it's a cover letter or you might be showing that you have a lack of attention to detail in a business report. So, really, take these good habits to heart. Try them out every day, Get them to the point where you're not even thinking about it. This is just your habits to be a great proof reader. Um, and those should help you to free up your mind to fresh in your mind in what is a very difficult job, which is perforating. So take a look at this next lesson, and then after that, we'll move into some other lessons in this course. 4. Good Habits Tips before you Start: in this video, I'm going to present a good habits, these air general ideas to keep in mind when you're proof reading the first good habit is to avoid distractions. If you've got a child running around behind you at home, or maybe you're at the office and you've got co workers talking behind you, that's a big problem. I work from home a lot, and I've got my daughter home two days a week, and it's very challenging to proof. Read when your mind is divided between the work on the page and your child. If you're unable to concentrate because of some sort of noise in the background, I suggest putting on headphones and playing a website COCOM furtive ITI, which simulates the sounds, the background noise of being in a coffee shop, and this can help you focus. I also suggest turning off your phone and avoiding checking your messages your texts, because that takes you away from your concentration on the page. We live in a digital world with so many distractions now, and that will inhibit your effectiveness as a proof earlier. Good habit number two for effective proof reading is to sleep on it If you've been slaving over your document editing it all day, you've probably lost objectivity. You can't really see what's on the page. Put that document away, get a good night's sleep and wake up with a clear mind of fresh brain and you'll look at your document with objective eyes. The third good habit of effective proof reading is Don't rush. We have to spend so much time writing days, months, weeks and then we spend a lot of time copy editing when it comes to the proofreading stage were often tired. We're sick of the document, and we didn't leave much time to actually sit down and look for those final airs schedule in a few days. So you're looking at the document over multiple days. You're getting that sleep that I mentioned earlier, and you don't have to rush through it at the last second. Good habit Number four is the proof read at different times of day dry proof reading when you're fresh right in the morning after your first coffee or maybe the afternoon or the late evening. Personally, I don't like proofreading in the morning. My brain's not working my eyes. They're not seeing the air's so find your preferred time of day proof reading. Good habit Number five is read the document out loud. For some reason, when we do silent reading are I skip over the heirs or they assume something is there when it's not. But when we speak, the words on the page or tongue will stumble over awkward spots. And obviously we can't say aware that's not actually there. This tip can be difficult to employ in long documents because you just get tired of speaking. But if you've got a short document like a cover letter, read it out loud and the errors will jump out at your years. Tip number six. Look for only one type of problem at a time. In this course, I've got a lot of tips and techniques, but if you're thinking about all of that stuff while you're going through one pass of the document, you'll probably miss things. For example, all sometimes spend one passed through the whole document, just looking at the lay aft proof reading that lay out first. So my mind is focused on that one issue and I can concentrate on it. Good habit. Number seven is to proof, read on screen first and then do a number of passes on paper. Studies have shown that we don't see all the heirs when we look at the text on the screen and has something to do with the resolution, I believe, But heirs jump out of this on the printed page. So the end of your proof reading process printed out on paper and give it another look. Finally, good habit Number eight is to work that muscle. Professional athletes know they need to practice every day to keep their muscles strong, and it's no different for proofreaders. If you're not proof reading people's work or your own work regularly, you kind of lose that sense of errors. If you don't have anything to edit right now, go on a Web page printed out. See if you can find any errors just to keep yourself sharp. 5. The Importance of Practical Tips: In this next lesson, I talk about a number of practical processes and these air designed to get your mind out of a rut. And by that I mean that sometimes when we get our documents to perforate, they all look the same. So they're double spaced. They have 12 point fund. They have one inch borders like the typical school essay style. And I find personally that sometimes errors don't jump out at me when they all look the same. You know, every page looks the same. So what I like to do. And this is one of my favorite tips that I talk about in this next lesson, and that is to reform out the document. Of course, you want to put it back to the original format later, But a few years ago, somebody gave me a 300 page book to per free, and it all looked the same. Double space, 12.5 8.5 by 11 sheet of paper, and the errors weren't hitting me the way they do when I sometimes reform at the book. So I actually went in and changed the book to a six by nine size a single spaced, and it actually made it look like a really book like it looked like what it's going to look like when it's published. And then I printed that out and I proofread that on paper, and I found the errors were hitting me. I was seeing the air is better because my brain wasn't seeing the same format for a document. So that's just one of my favorite tips that I talk about in this next set of lessons. So try these out. Pretty the bigs, the one about the ruler. See if they work for you. See if they allow you to have more focus and to see the heirs jump out at you on the page. That's the goal of this set of lessons. 6. 8 Practical Proofreading Tips: in this video, I'm going to talk about eight practical tips to do a better job is a proof for you. Practical tip number one is to format the document in a different layout. Typically, documents we proof read look like this so they're double spaced in terms of the line spacing. But they have these long lines on an 8.5 by 11 sheet of paper. In this case, her eyes have to go a long way across the line. What I found helpful is actually to shorten the width of the lines with your margin feature , or you can change the whole shape of the page, make it six by nine or four by eight. And that makes the line a little bit easier to follow and also makes it more likely that you're gonna catch the heirs within one line. Practical proof reading Tip number two. Turn off Full justification. Full justification in Microsoft Word pushes all of these sentences up against that right hand margin, and while this may look cleaner on the right side, actually think it makes it harder to see certain errors. If you look up in the middle there, there's a sentence begins, on the other hand, and we can't really tell with this justification. If there are extra or added spaces there, it makes every sentence kind of run into the next one, which makes it harder on your eyes to see the heirs that might be there, so just make sure you have it as left. Justify, as in this example, practical tip number three is to use a red pen. Using a red pen is important because the changes on paper stand out to your eyes. If you've got a long document with a lot of changes, and those changes are suggested in pencil or a black pan or even a blue pin, it can be hard to see them when you are typing those changes in at the and practical tip, Number four read sentences in reverse order. If you read a document a number of times already, sometimes your brain needs a fresh perspective. This doesn't mean reading the words in reverse order. It means reading the sentences and going upwards so I would begin in this paragraph with the sentence, therefore consensus among consumers and I would edit that and then I would go to the sentence before that, says, moreover, and so on up to the top of the Pera, this approach just gives you a different perspective. A different vantage point on that paragraph. Practical tip Number five proof. Read slowly when you're proof reading often feel rushed because you're near completion. You just want to get it over with. But that's a mistake. Even though you can see the incoming, it's important to slowly read. That means seeing every word digesting every sentence. Consider reading each sentence twice. Just to be sure. Practical tip Number six is to use a ruler. Our eyes sometimes lose track of which line were on on the page, and we could see other sentences below our field of vision. That's when a ruler is helpful in the editing process. Just place the ruler below the sentence you're editing, and you'll have perfect focus on that sentence. Practical Tip Number seven. While footnotes and endnotes in academic writing need love, too, sometimes we forget to look at the footnotes or endnotes an academic document because they're put in nine point fund. So there, down at the bottom of the page, you may want to increase the font size to 12 or even 13 point fun so you can see all the airs down here. Air is lurk in the footnotes in the end notes, because we haven't had such a small phone size practical tip. Number eight is to re read your changes. As you can see on the screen here, I use Microsoft Word. Track changes feature whenever I make a change to my documents or somebody else's. But sometimes when I type in changes from the printed version, I actually add typos. And, of course, you don't want to be having typos at this stage. This is the final review of the document, so go back to your track changes. Look at all these red spots and just make sure that you've not added any problems. 7. Don't Forget about the Punctuation!: In this next lesson video, I focus on words and punctuation. Now that's typically what we think of as perforating is focusing on the words and punctuation. But what's interesting is while we get so obsessed and perforating with typos, with spelling mistakes and other things to do with words, we sometimes forget about the punctuation. So in this set of lessons, I talk about some issues that I've seen come up and writers work over my 20 year career in proof reading and editing. And so, by giving you these places toe look, I'm hoping to raise your awareness of what's going on on the page. That perforating is not simply, ah, problem of words, but also problem of what holds those words and sentences together. And those are the apostrophes, the periods, the quotation marks, the Comus. And so I'm hoping that this set of lessons will help draw your attention to misused apostrophes, for example, or missing quotation marks. Certainly these air issues that will come up in that proof reading stage near the end of the publishing process, you'll find the writers will overlook these little things, and you may think that punctuation is not that important. It's It's so small. Let's focus on the bigger issues, such as a spelling mistake. While actually punctuation is so, so important. And if you can see these little problems if you're if you develop your proofreaders, I to see the problem with commas or C the problem with apostrophes to see that they're missing or misused, then you know you're developing your really good proof readers I for mistakes on the page. 8. 9 Tips for Proofreading Words and Punctuation: in this video, I talk about proof, reading tips for words and punctuation. The first type is that you should read the syllables of long words on this slide. I've put three long words. Now, if we see these as individual units, it's easy for our eyes to gloss over any missing letters. Let me show you what I mean Here. I've added some airs by removing letters, but sometimes when our eyes come across these words, if we just gloss across the words, we may not even notice those missing letters. But if I read out the syllables, I immediately see something is missing. Commentator Desire a built e read question. Of course something's missing and my eyes can't gloss over it cause I'm saying it by speaking out these syllables. I'm checking it to see if there's anything missing. So whenever you come across a long word, do this same syllable test word. Tip number two. Look out for Hama phones, Hama phones or words that sound the same when you speak them, but they're spelled differently. Consider the difference in spelling of the words principle in principle. In these two words, two more And of course, the meaning of these two words is very different, even though they're both draft. There's a great book by Bill Bryson called The Dictionary of Troublesome Words that includes a lot of these Homa phones. So look at those lists. Familiarized yourself with those troublesome words. Tip number three is look out for double Worth's double words. Crop up occasionally in draft seems to be a problem of fast fingers. A racing brain. If you run the spell, check grammar check feature of Microsoft Word. It'll look out for these double words and flag them. If not, you can search for possible combinations with the find feature in your word processor. Tip number four is to be consistent in the spelling of names. Children are known to write their names and the names of other people in many different ways, not realizing the importance of consistency. But you are respecting people if you get their names right in every instance of the document. So go back and check, make sure that those names or spoke correctly in every instance, Tip number five, which deals with punctuation, is be consistent with contractions. The other day I was editing a client's cover letter for a job, and I noticed that the end when I was reading it on paper that he was sometimes writing. I am, it is, and other times he was reading, I'm it's and so that consistency was an issue, so I just converted all the contracted ones to the fuller versions. Tip number six on punctuation is to check for missing quotation marks. You see often in fiction that people will start the quote mark for the dialogue, but they won't finish it. In this case, you need a end quote After doing comma, a related point comes in academic quotations. Often, the author will put the period after the final quote mark because that period was not in the original quotation. But nowadays, many publications style guides will put that period inside the final quote mark. Just because it looks better. Tip number seven on punctuation is to watch the apostrophe style. Now this is probably a really picky point that page designers will know what I'm talking about. That word states in the middle, which is, ah, possessive with the apostrophe, actually needs a curly apostrophe, and I think if you're writing in a non Microsoft word word processor, they often come out that way. The fix is simply to pace that into Microsoft Word, hover over that that flat apostrophe and just change it. And Microsoft Word will automatically make it curly, and this looks a lot like the comma at the top. After practices, the next tape is be consistent with dashes. There are three kinds of dashes. There's the small hyphen. There's the end ash, and then there's the em dash. Noticed the size changes. The hyphen is used to connect words intimately, often in the adjective position before and out. Such as this example. 2/3 the and ash, which is a bit longer than the hyphen, connects things through time. So may to September. The EM dash is the longest dash, and it's usually setting apart. Some additional information. Kind of stops the reader for a second and emphasizes what's inside those dashes. So, for example, we could say he saw her, the woman of his dreams inside the coffee shop window. So go back through your document and just make sure you're using the right dash at the right time. The final word and punctuation tip is to be consistent in capitalization writers will often forget the capitalization rules, and maybe they were taught in school or throughout a document. They were very capitalization. Here's an example where someone has capitalized university in the first instance on the left and then in the same document later on on the right, it is not capitalized in this case. What you need is a style guide, and that style guide will set out what should and shouldn't be capitalized in this case. Normally you wouldn't capitalize. University. It's not the proper name. So get that style guide in place before you start proof reading. 9. The Proofreading Symbols Professionals Use: this video is about proof reading symbols these air the symbols professional providers use to indicate changes to their editors. If all you're doing is profiting your own documents that you don't really need to worry about these symbols. But if you're planning to work for a professional publisher than you definitely need to know the proof reading symbols commonly accepted in the field the symbols are important because they reduce any confusion your editor might find when he or she looks over your proof reading suggestions. Now I'm gonna go through a list of the five most common proof reading symbols. This is the symbol to mark that something, whether a letter or a word, should be deleted. Here's an example of using that delete mark. We have the sentence. The sky was blue that day, and we noticed we have an extra e on blue, so you cross through the and then you make this little curly market the top, and that indicates to the editor to delete that extra e. The next symbol is kind of an upward arrow, and that suggests that you wanna add a word. Here's an example of the use of adding era So you put the era below the spot where you want to add a word and you write Theoden final word above it. So instead of his car broke down the highway, it's his car broke down on the highway. Thes two symbols indicate the same thing. And that is that you wanna add a space between two words In this example, we have the president called the meeting and we noticed that called and the R one word. Essentially. So you draw that little arrow, you draw the line or you can do that sort of pound symbol above that space. And if you want to close down extra space, you use this symbol. She stepped onto the boat. You want to put that as she stepped onto the boat has one word, and you just link up those words in this way with the symbol. Finally, these three lines below a letter in a sentence will indicate to the editor that you want to capitalize the letter here, the sample sentences. Doctor Kerber wrote a book. Obviously, all of you notice that the D and the KR not capitalized as they should be, obviously in this sentence, so you just draw those three lines beneath each and that suggest to the editor that you have to capitalize those two letters. There are many more proof reading symbols than these, and some of them are fairly obscure. You will only use them once in a while now. If you're getting into the publishing business, it's important to learn them all. And you don't need to buy any books to learn the rest of the symbols. Just go to Google search proof reading symbols. Click on the images search option and you will get all of these images of proof reading symbols. The 1st 1 on the top left there is actually the best one, and that's the Chicago Manual of Style page. 10. Why Lists and Guides are so Important: In the next lesson, I talk about the importance of lists and guides. So what are guides will? For example, publishers will use style guides so sometimes have an in house style of what they want in their documents, or they'll use something like the Chicago Manual of Style. Now that guide is this very thick, a book that comes in an orange cover and it has so many pages of rules. And in perfecting we are trying to follow rules and ensure consistency across the document , so it's important to have a style guide in place. Or you can come up with your own in house style guide that talks about punctuation, that talks about justification, paragraphs, talks about tight faces, all those sorts of things so you can sure the document is consistent. And also, I talked about the importance of lists. So when I started proof reading, often I would have a 200 or 300 page document, so many different things that I needed to focus on, and sometimes I would forget that I need to deal with this issue or that issue. So it's important to have these lists available to you, so you can keep track of what you need to dio in a 300 page document I might start to see. The author is writing a word in the wrong way every single time. So I'm gonna make a list of those incorrect words, and then I'm gonna go later and find them throughout the document on, and that makes my job a little bit easier. So take a look at this next video and understand the real importance to your preferred ng work of lists and guides. 11. The Use of Lists and Guides in the Proofreading Process: this video is about the importance of lists and guides to being an effective proof reader. Tip number one is used a style guide from the beginning of your work. Before you start proof reading, figure out which style you're gonna follow. Is it gonna be the M l A. Style? Or maybe you want to go with the Chicago Manual of Style. Whichever one you choose, it will help you be consistent and your spelling your capitalization, your page formatting right from the start. That way you don't get halfway through a document and realize you have to go back and review a lot of consistency issues. The next tip is to keep on air list. I have a little note pad file or I list common writing airs. If I'm editing my own documents, there's some things I always do wrong. So keep that list to make sure I check those at the end. If imagining somebody else's work, I start making that list right from the first page and then later on, I go back and do a control F find in Microsoft Word, and I type in some of those and often those airs air occurring elsewhere in the person's document might even be a good idea to stop right there, find the heirs elsewhere in the document just by searching, correct, um, and then get back to the original page Iran. And now you have a more pristine document to work through, and you can focus on other, more difficult errors. Tip number three is to be consistent. Consistency is the hallmark of a good proof reader. You've done the same thing everywhere in the document. If you see, for example, that someone has used short dashes for the 1st 20 pages and long dashes for the rest, you've got to go back and change those to make it consistent across the whole document. And that's why these lists and guides air so important they keep your mind on that notion of consistency. Final tip in this category is keep a checklist of elements to review. I've given you a lot of points in this course, and sometimes it can be tough to remember everything. So you need to create a checklist whether you're editing your own work or the work of a client's have that checklist by your side that says you're gonna look at headaches. I'm gonna look at the table of contents. I look at this and that and follow through and check each one off as you do it. That makes sure that you're doing a comprehensive proof reading job. 12. An Overview of Format, Design, Graphics Errors: it's easy improve reading to get caught up in words and forget about other elements of the proofreading process. In the next set of lessons, I'm going to talk about proof reading the design or the format of your document. Of course, this means that you do have to have some sort of rules in place for that design. If you are perforating an academic document, perhaps your author is using the A P A or the M L A style guides, and these guides provide actual rules for the layout of the document. Should it be 12 point fought? Should it be double space? Should they be in dense at the start of paragraphs? Should the paragraphs be full, justified or left justified? And you need to have these rules in place before you can actually prove freed the format. So work with your client on deciding which guide to use or maybe come up with your own rules that you're gonna have throughout the document on Lee. When you have those rules in place, can you actually compare the document against them and make those proof reading changes? And this is all about consistency. I don't really care if a document, a single space or double space or indented or whatever, it's just a matter of consistency. We want to make sure throughout the document that everything is formatted in the same way. And as you've noted throughout this course, I'm sure that the proofreaders job is really to find that consistency and make sure that the author is actually doing the same thing throughout. One other area I talk about in this next video that is often ignored is proof reading graphics. So if we have pie charts, it's very, very easy for people to put those into a document. But forget to actually proof, read the description of it or proof, read the percentages of the pies. So go through this next video with that, I for proof, reading the design of the document. 13. 6 Tips for Proofreading the Format, Design, Graphics: proof reading can sometimes become too focused on the words the punctuation. In this video, I'm going to talk about some tips for proof, reading the format of the document as well. For my tip number one, look for formatting inconsistencies. Here's an example of an improperly formatted set of paragraphs. Just take a quick look and tell me what you think is going on here. Well, first, the first paragraph is indented in. The second paragraph is not number two, and this happens a lot in longer documents. People forget to be consistent with justification, So in that first paragraph you'll notice it's left justified. So the right edge of all that text is jagged, while the second paragraph has a full justification on the right side. So you have to decide how to make that consistent for my tip. Number two is removed two spaces. After a period, there was a time maybe it was in the typewriter age when people used to always put an extra space after the period. I have indicated that here with these brackets of these boxes after the period, but really, page designers don't like that anymore because the software that they're going to design your book article in actually puts the proper amount proportional spacing between the period and the first word of the next sense. So remove that extra space for my tip. Number three is review section numbers. Academic and business documents that are long often have numbered section headers like this one here. You'll notice, though, that there's two number four's. This comes about because people forget the last number, or in other cases they will even delete the whole section and forget to re number. So just go through the document check and make sure those numbers are consecutive format. Tip number four is proof, read headings and subheadings. It's easy when you're a proof later to get caught up in the sentences and the paragraphs and sometimes the loss over the headaches. So just make sure at the end that you go back and just look at the headings throughout the document and make sure there's no spelling mistakes or typos. Tip number five is to proof the table of contents, making sure the table of contents is correct, Something I do right at the end go back and cross reference thes table of contents, chapter titles with the actual titles within those chapters to make sure nothing has changed. And also see if those page numbers match up with the actual starts of each of those chapters. Because if you've done a lot of editing, you probably cut out material or you've added material. And so those numbers may not match anymore. Tip number six Proof the Tables, graphs and charts. When you're so focused on proof, reading the words, you can forget to proof, read the graphics as well. So, for example, in a pie, those pie slices may not add up in the graph, you know, maybe the X Y axis. There's some inaccuracy, either. Also pro free the descriptions for these graphics. 14. A Quick Word on Final Tasks: Sometimes when we're perforating, we forget to do some things that need to be done at the end of the process. In the next lesson, I'm going to be talking about some of these final tasks that you cannot forget. So keep a checklist of these items and just make sure you make a run through those right at the end. If you were rushed, if you were hurried, you may avoid doing some of these things, and even though some of them can be quite tedious, um, things you don't want to necessarily do at the end before sending it off, I say, slow down, take your time and try to do these tasks. For example, one that I talk about it is running spellcheck sounds obvious, but actually most writers tend to forget to do this before they send off a document. So if you're the proof reader, there's really no excuse not to run the spell check feature. It could be very tedious. It could be something that takes a lot of time, and certainly if you're on the clock, so to speak, or if you're trying to get off to another job in another project, then maybe you can avoid spellcheck, but certainly in my experience, spellcheck eyes so important it will catch those last three or four air some very embarrassing errors. So that's one really important tip that I talk about in this next video. So make sure you're doing these things before you send a document off to the employer, to the clients, to whomever that you're working with, because it will save you. It'll be that last, ah, wall of defense against airs remaining in your document. 15. Don't Forget to do These 5 Final Tasks: In this video, I talk about some final proof reading tasks that you just cannot forget at the end of your process. The first is run spell check. Of course, Spellcheck is a feature and just about every word processor, but I find most people don't use it now. Sometimes that's perhaps because it's tedious to go through a whole document. Look at all the possible corrections. Sometimes the spell check and grammar check software isn't correct, so it can flag Cem. Something's as problems when they're not. But it's really important, as a last check just took to go through that process to run spell check, even if it's 100 page document. Go through, it says. Tedious is it is and find most final errors. It'll cash 345 years that you didn't see. Next. You need to fact check the document. This is not about grammar or style. It's about simply making sure that the fax you use are accurate and sourced at high end magazines. There are people whose sole job is to check the fax of articles, go back to your document, locate the dates, the names, the statistics and so on and compare them to the original source. Another final thing to do is check if the sources were actually used. This is mainly an issue in perforating academic documents. So in academic documents, you've gotta references list at the end what you could do with control F the find feature in word it just searched the names from that reference list in the body of the document. See if the person is actually using those sources. If not, you can cross the motor. Suggest to the author to use that source or delete it. Reputable publishers actually have a certain software. They will cross reference the use of those sources, and even if they come across a source in the text, it will see if that was actually listed in the reference page at the end. And if not, you'll get an error. Number four is to check the references. Most academic documents have some sort of references of work cited or bibliography at the end, and these can have a lot of heirs, whether it's spelling its capitalization, whether just data from the source is missing, such as page numbers, this is another reason to have a style guide in place before you begin, because then you can compare those references to a P A style to M. L. A. Or Chicago style. I can never remember these styles, so I need a guide by my side. If, for example, I want to know which style wants lower case letters in titles, I have to admit, this is actually the job I hate to the most is a proof reader is reviewing citations reviewing references just because it is such tedious work. But it is important because scholars will look up those citations and they want to find it in their own library. So it has to be accurate. The final thing to do with the end of the process is to recheck any mathematics. The document may have some calculations, and it helps The author of You Can go and just make sure those air correct so they're not embarrassed by some numbers that air wrong. Glaring mathematical errors can undermine the credibility of the document and its arguments 16. Why Getting Help is so Important: in the next lesson, I talk about getting help. Perforating could be very solitary work. But remember, in the professional business of publishing that many eyeballs get on a document so we don't want to just have one person always reviewing a document, we want to get more people. So in this next lesson, I talked about what that means, how you can reach out to other people to help you in the perforating process. Now that may mean going to a website like up work dot com. Over the last few years, I've been a successful up, work proof reader, and you can do that to a ZA career. Now, if it's your document, you can hire someone to proof, read your work to get that objective person looking at your work for a very modest fee. Proofreading is often ah, you know, a good price job not to intensive or costly. So check out that also, I also talked about in this video coming up about the website Graham early and how that can help you to proofread your documents right at the end. I like Graham early as a final check on my own job that I'm doing? Did I miss anything? And it's nice toe have that virtual set of eyeballs looking over things to just confirm whether I've done the right thing. You can also set up, for example, proof reading partnerships with other people. I did this as an undergraduate student. I had my friends reading my own papers. So these are some ways you can get help. And the ultimate goal here is to make sure that your document is absolutely in perfect shape and however you do, that doesn't matter. It just matters. That document becomes pristine by the end of this process. 17. 5 Tips about Getting Help: in this video gonna talk about getting help to improve your proof reading skills and also to do better proof reading jobs. The first point is to get a trusted friend to read your writing. If you're a student student writing conf, feel often like solitary work like you should do everything yourself. But in the professional writing and editing world, many people read over documents. So send your document to a friend for the final proof read to get opinion suggestions. Edits and the document will be better off for it. Number two is the proof. Read other people's work. When you proof, read other people's work, you're developing your editors. I proofreaders I Maybe you can develop a relationship with a proof reading buddy that you edit each other's work that'll keep your editing eyes sharp. Tip number three is to read a good grammar and style book. Reading a grammar and style book will give you ideas where toe look when you're proof reading. If you're not so sure, these books often have a list of the most commonly misspelled words or mistaken words, and you can read those over and raise your awareness of possible problems the next step is to hire a professional. If you want to make sure your own documents are just perfectly edited, sometimes it's best to hire a professional. A website like up work dot com has thousands of freelancers in the editing and proofreading category, and they can help you for a modest fee. Get your document into top shape. Finally, you might try using a proof reading website. The most popular profiting site in the world is Graham Early. They have a free version that gives you a limited review of your documents. The pay version, which is often on discount if you just wait, it'll come up on discount has much more detail in grammar and style in typos and spelling, and I found it's a good final check for my own personal documents and for client documents .