Proofreading practice: How a Checklist Can Speed Up Your Work and Make it More Effective

We know it might be an arduous task to correct all the mistakes at once. You open a document—and it is an embarrassment! Creating a certain order can not only facilitate the working process, but also help achieve better results.

Sooner or later, almost every professional proofreader develops his or her own working approach, along with an elaborated methodology, and faces challenges. Some specialists use a proofreading list rarely, whereas others prefer to keep it around for a quick check. If you want to proofread for money, but have not obtained high proofreading skills yet, then a well-structured checklist will probably come in handy.

It is always better to create an authentic template that works specifically for you. However, if you have not chosen your narrow field so far, these ideas will help you out to be more confident in what you do. The proofreading tips that we offer tend to be more or less universal and will be of use even if you are a student who needs to polish an essay up.

To avoid letting mistakes slip through the cracks of your proofreading work, go over every part as follows:

In Terms of Formatting

  1. All the existing headers, footers, and titles that contain general information are in their proper place.
  2. Titles of books or articles match with the reference page, namely the author, edition, year, publishing house, etc.
  3. Such details as quotation marks, spaces, parentheses, the number of pages, dates, and footnotes are used accurately.
  4. Take a look at the initial guidelines to make sure that a font and its size, an indent, and spacing are exactly the same with the requested ones.
  5. The hyperlinks, if any, should redirect to a proper page.

In Terms of Punctuation

  • Check on frequently used homonyms that can be easily omitted.
  • If there are any complex words you are not absolutely sure of, try both a spell checker and dictionary.
  • Capitalizing all the needed words is what even a sharp eye can skip from time to time. That is why you should include capitalizing names, places, titles, and pretty much everything that relates to this rule in your list.
  • Whether or not you are confused about placing commas, apostrophes, punctuation marks, dashes, colons, semicolons, parentheses, and brackets,there is nothing better than consulting a tried and tested guide.
  • Even though it is as clear as a day, many people happen to miss periods.
  • Confusing an en dash with an em dash is not a rare case either.

In Terms of Grammar

  • Looking for dangling modifiers is important, as long as they change the meaning of what you intended.
  • Subject-verb agreement is what plays a leading role in regards to grammar.
  • A vague pronoun reference also plays against your proficiency if it is misused.
  • Remembering all the nuances of using English prepositions may sometimes be rather tricky. Luckily, there is a bunch of decent articles to help you.
  • Finding elaborated lists of the most common mistakes that people make can really help as well. The most efficient option, however, is to compose a personal one with the flaws you are prone to make in terms of grammar proofreading.

Last but not least, your specific personal experience and the quality of proofreading work can affect the proofreading prices and even monthly income. Motivation is crucial! Thus, creating a checklist may not only boost professional effectiveness, but also save you time and improve working results. Try to further your achievements and efficient progress!

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