In today’s workplace, communication skills are far more critical than any other job skill. Irrespective of the job, field or expertise, it is crucial for you to be an effective communicator. The three main types of communication that take place in a workplace include written, verbal, and non-verbal. All of them are essential; however, written communication leads as one of the effective types of communication. Regardless of your position at a workplace, writing skills are a valuable asset.
The two primary skills in effective writing are editing and proofreading. As you can see, the two terms can be a bit confusing. Editing and proofreading are terms used interchangeably. The main similarity in proofreading writing and editing is that they both demand careful and close reading. On the other hand, the main difference is that they focus on different aspects of writing and use different techniques.
Before moving to the importance of proofreading even for the careful writers, it is essential to understand what the term means, what it entails, and how to proofread
Proofreading refers to a close and careful examination of your text to help you find and correct mistakes in grammar, spelling, style, and typographical errors. Therefore, proofreading will generally take place at the end of the writing. It is typically the final step before submitting written content.
For you to achieve effective proofreading, here are some tips that will help you to achieve that.
It means after typing your work, print it and then proofread it on a paper. Proofreading on a computer screen is not effective and you may end up missing some errors.
It is a helpful tip for identifying run-on sentences. Reading out loud will also help you to hear other problems that you may miss out when reading silently.
It is a technique that will allow help you to avoid skipping any possible mistake.
It is not a highly recommended technique for proofreading writing since a spell checker cannot highlight errors with homonyms. If you don’t like the idea of using a spell checker, read the text backward.
Proofreading is not only crucial for basic writers but also for careful writers. The importance of proofreading includes;
At the workplace, you are probably writing content to be read by your boss or colleagues and not by machines. By proofreading your work, you can ensure that the text flows naturally right from the introduction to the conclusion. A natural flow will also mean you are conveying information is an easy and understandable way.
There is nothing worse than someone getting a different meaning of a sentence only because there is a misspelled word.
By proofreading, you will be scrutinizing every single sentence for grammatical mistakes as well as the use of punctuation marks.
It is a technique that goes hand in hand with proofreading. It involves giving others your work for the purpose of editing your work. You can perform what is known as self-edit; however, peer editing is much more valuable. It’s because when you edit your work, you are likely to overlook some errors because your brain already knows what the next sentence or paragraph says. Peer editing is an excellent way for any writer to reach their full potential.
However, some writers do not prefer peer editors because they think their sole focus is on criticizing their work. Well, opinions are okay, but the peer editor should not solely focus on finding the mistakes. A peer editor will help you determine when your text does not clearly express your ideas. From awful to careful writers, a peer editor should always be part of their writing to help them achieve excellent results.
Editing and proofreading writing is vital to business communication. One little blemish in a text causes the overall impression to suffer. “Proofread your text before submission” is a phrase that you probably have come across. It is an important writing skill for every piece of written communication.