How Many Times Should You Proofread Your Writing?

proofread your writing

You are a writer, blogger, or author, and you love to write.

Perhaps you are a student and writing essays, which is hard work.

But the expectations are very high from people who will read your writing and especially online readers.

They want well-written, fresh new content that informs or adds value to their lives.

It’s your blog

Your blog is online and available to the world, so it deserves a lot of attention to detail when you write new content.

Most bloggers work part-time. But for some, they realize that a successful blog might lead to a full-time job.

As your traffic grows, so does the amount of work you need to put into it.

Having a blog is so much more rewarding than posting articles on free sites. It is about connecting with your audience and wanting them to come back.

Building a relationship with your users is critical if you want to improve your blog.

You don’t want readers to forget about you after they come across one of your articles.

Instead, you want them to bookmark your site and come back to check if you have anything new on your blog.

You can monitor how long your visitors stay on your website and how they navigate. You can use Google Analytics to find this valuable information.

There are so many options available to bloggers to build a great site.

But one of the most critical elements to an excellent blog is proofreading your articles.

It’s not enough to write a new article. You have to check that it is perfect every time.

Even if a text is highly informative, no one enjoys reading any text containing basic spelling and grammar errors.

This attention to detail and accuracy applies to all forms of writing.

So how many times should you proofread a document, an essay, a short story, or an article?

 

Read twice by you

After you write your first draft, put it away for a day or two if you have the time.

It lets you refresh your mind, and you can look at your work later with a clear head.

All writers love their work, but rushing into proofreading can lead you to miss small mistakes that you could easily correct.

When you take a break, you can find these errors much easier.

When you’re ready, start by reading your text line by line from top to bottom. Note and correct any errors you find.

Then read it from bottom to top.

When you read backward, you are not distracted by the flow of the article.

It helps you concentrate on each sentence, which makes it easier to spot errors.

When you read your article backward, you tend to pay attention more to each individual word.

Once you have made all your corrections and you are happy with your text, it’s time for the next step.

 

Read by someone else

You might think that your article is excellent.

But now it’s time for another pair of eyes. You probably don’t have an editor, so ask a friend or family member to read it for you.

Another person will be completely unbiased because they have no attachment to the text they are going to read.

Ask them to check and note mistakes or typos and to give you their thoughts, feedback, or suggestions.

Maybe they won’t like the way one of your sentences flows.

Or they might suggest you delete a sentence because it doesn’t fit or sound right. They could have ideas about a better word choice.

All of their suggestions will help you make improvements to your text.

You do not have to apply everything they suggest, but you might find something worth changing for the better.

 

Use online proofreading tools

You can’t afford professional proofreading, but you can get help.

Now that your article has been read at least three times, there is one more check to do.

It’s time to use an online spelling and grammar tool.

There are many free grammar tools that you can use online. When you find one you prefer, you’ll have a great tool to help you every time you write.

Grammarly is the most popular online grammar checker, and you might have the free version already installed.

But whichever one you choose, it’s time to let it help you find the little things like missing commas, unclear pronouns, and capitalization.

Also, watch out for any passive sentences that you might want to change to active voice.

You might see suggestions to change a sentence slightly or to change your tone.

It’s up to you to decide if you want to apply these changes, but I would suggest you consider them carefully.

One of the benefits of using a grammar checker is that it can help you to learn from your mistakes and improve your writing.

 

Take pride in your writing

You should always take pride in your writing, even if thorough proofreading means that it will take a little longer to publish.

It is far better to be patient and make sure your writing is error-free.

For a blogger, if you write and edit your articles well, it will pay off in the long run.

It will help you to increase your traffic and attract loyal readers.

But being proud of you writing applies to all forms of writing and every writer.

If you are business writing, or you are an essay or short story writer, meticulous proofreading is always a must.

Whatever text you write, it is always an important document because you want it to be read, understood, and appreciated.

Never try to rush. Take the time you need to make sure it is perfect.

 

How many times should you proofread your writing?

At a minimum, at least twice by you, once by someone else, and one check with a reliable online grammar tool.

But the more times you proofread and check your work, the better.

You might use a checking tool while you write, or shortly after you finish your text.

Sometimes it’s better to ask someone else to proofread before you do.

Then there are times when you’ll read your text many times before you are satisfied.

The right answer to the question is that you need to proofread your writing as many times as it takes to get it right.

You can definitely proofread too little, but you can never proofread too much.

Derek Haines

A Cambridge CELTA English teacher and author with a passion for writing and all forms of publishing. My days are spent teaching English and writing, as well as testing and taming new technology.

One thought on “How Many Times Should You Proofread Your Writing?

  • April 20, 2018 at 2:52 pm
    Permalink

    It is always suggested to make your important text make read by a fresh second pair of eye. Thanks for the blog it is very informative.

    Reply

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