Proofreading Techniques

Although the edits to your manuscript are completed, you're not quite done. You still need to ensure that you have a clean manuscript without spelling mistakes or grammatical mistakes. Just as with getting input for cultural sensitivity, getting other people to read your work can help in other areas, too.

If you don't have a writers' group you can rely on to proofread for you, you can gain this objectivity yourself by putting the manuscript away for a few days, ignoring it completely, and coming back to it when you've gained enough distance. You'll be more likely to notice mistakes when you're fresh.

Another technique that works well is to slowly read what you've written out loud. (The “out loud” part is essential because you'll find that you'll “hear” when you “trip” over the words; your ear will pick it up when a sentence contains awkward word choices or groupings, or grammatical errors.)

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