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Yetunde Onafuye: 4 Basic Proofreading Tips For Your Written Content

To successfully carry out this second proofreading and editing tip for your written content, read through your work from a reader’s perspective. Forget you wrote the article, and take the readers approach. Do you think a specific sentence is clear enough for the reader? Ask yourself if the reader will understand your sentences without reading sentences more than once or twice.

Yetunde Onafuye

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Now, more than ever, people are creating and publishing written content, online. There’s enough time for people to bring words into life, open blogs and online journals, and publish written content for the consumption of millions of internet users. All these have one profound impact: hundreds of written content are published online.

Most times, these written pieces, articles, or blog and website posts attract hundreds of readers. And because there’s a good number of content to consume, online readers stick to the ones they find concise, easy to understand, and clear.

What attracts readers to a post or article? What keeps them glued to a particular blog, website, or online publication? The answers to these questions are numerous. But one that cannot be overlooked is the quality of the written piece.

Note that the quality of an article or blog post is beyond the storytelling prowess of the writer. It’s also beyond the use of profound terms and grammars or the length of a specific piece. It’s how well the writer or the online outfit edit and proofread the content.

Editing and proofreading a written content does a lot for the writer, and the content itself. It binds the whole piece together, rewards the writer with free flowing sentences, and keeps the typically distracted reader, glued to the content.

So, as a writer, one way to improve the quality of your work is to carry out proper edit. Contrary to popular belief, editing or proofreading a piece is not so challenging. Of course, there are editing apps and proofreading software that can help reduce the mistakes and loopholes in your piece. However, a closer look and consistent use will show you that these apps are far from perfect. They also lack the human touch that is evident in ever-changing language, human understanding and interpretation.

That being said, if you’re looking to improve the quality of your content and discover simple ways do so, try these basic proofreading and editing tips:

Start from the basics: read your piece from start to finish

This is the first step to getting anything positive from proofreading your written content. After you put down your ideas to form an article, the next thing is to go over it again. This helps you identify simple mistakes in sentence structure, and paragraphing. These two should be your focus point at this stage.

Check for sentences that do not follow up properly. Moreover, you should identify the best paragraph style and structure. If it is a blog post, make sure each paragraph is not lengthy and ensure that it captures only a single idea.

Scrap repetitions and unclear sentences

Having gone through the whole piece for the first time, do well to go over the article and identify sentences and ideas that appear twice or more. As a reader, I do not want to go over the same sentences over and over again. You can merge similar ideas into a paragraph to make sure you limit repetition to the barest minimum.

To successfully carry out this second proofreading and editing tip for your written content, read through your work from a reader’s perspective. Forget you wrote the article, and take the readers approach. Do you think a specific sentence is clear enough for the reader? Ask yourself if the reader will understand your sentences without reading sentences more than once or twice.

Check for punctuation mistakes, grammatical errors and simplify words

Using punctuation the right way and in the right places makes your written content better. Punctuation marks are also fantastic because they make the piece clear and easy to understand. Moreover, do not forget to identify grammatical errors and substitute unpopular, difficult and strange terms for simple and generalized ones.

Read again, and aloud

Reading aloud works like magic! Once you’ve made the necessary changes listed above, your content is almost ready to make an appearance on the internet. One last tip that can help you bring your work together is to read the piece, from start to finish, aloud. Why? For one, going over your work may seem tiring at some point. Reading it aloud makes it easier to go through the entirety of your piece, successfully. Reading aloud can reveal some mistakes you’ve failed to notice before now. 

Editing and proofreading your written content should slowly find its way into your writing process. It may seem difficult at first, but you’ll get accustomed to it. If you do not have access to professional editors or you still find mistakes in your content after using proofreading and editing apps, these tips are self-sufficient and can help you get through. 

Yetunde is a freelance/content writer and editor. She and is a graduate of the University of Lagos with an interest in history, international relations, sports and African literature. Yetunde is a serial volunteer, and is interested in sharing useful writing and productivity tips. She also runs The Mustard Podcast. . You can find more of her works HERE. Mail: [email protected]

1 Comment

  1. Eze Dorcas

    May 5, 2020 at 10:26 pm

    Nice read.?

    1

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