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How to Proofread Your Own Writing

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Have you ever been out to dinner with a new friend, and you’re having a great time laughing and chatting away, and you notice a biiiiiiig ol’ hunk of spinach in your friend’s teeth?

 

You try not to look at it. You try to focus on anything but the monstrosity poking out of their mouth.

 

So you scan over the menu again, you study the decor of the restaurant, and wow is that your first grade teacher sitting at the next table? And just when you’re about to pat yourself on the back for avoiding eye contact with the spinach, you realize it’s been five minutes and haven’t listened to a word that’s been said.

 

That’s kind of how I feel about typos.

 

Okay, maybe that’s dramatic. But there are definitely a few similarities between the two:

 

a) They can happen to even the classiest of people.

 

b) People who don’t know you that well are too polite to point them out.

 

And most importantly:

 

c) They detract from the important points you’re trying to make.

 

A typo is far from the worst thing in the world, (as is spinach in your teeth,) but it absolutely displaces a reader’s attention and focus. Even if only for a second.

 

I guess there’s also:

 

d) No matter how intelligent or eloquent you are, they make you look like a goofy mess.

 

Even the Queen of England would look bloody ridiculous with a piece of the green stuff wedged between her pearly whites.

 

Now. Given that this problem can happen to anyone at any time, how can you proofread your own writing to guard against publishing content with a dreaded typo in it?

 

The pricy option is to hire a proofreader, aka professional typo hunter to go over your copy with a fine-tooth comb and polish up any scragglers.

 

But if that’s not in your budget and you’d still prefer not to post content that has obvious mistakes, I have three quick and easy strategies to proofread your own writing before you share it with the world.

 

 

Disclaimer: Strategy #2 technically doesn’t fit with the other two, since it involves bringing in another person. But since that person isn’t a professional proofreader, I still consider it a worthy tool in an entrepreneur’s quality-control arsenal!

 

over to you

How do you proofread your work before sharing it with the world?

What strategies do you use to catch typos?

And what are your grammatical slip-ups? I’m guilty of the dreaded double preposition (ex: “to know where to go to.”) Gets me every time!

 

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© Whitney Ryan LLC

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