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3 proofreading tips for National Proofreading Day

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Discover the power of proofreading and make your content work as hard as it can for you! You can write the most amazing piece of content, but it’s not going to have the same effect on your audience if there’s a typo in the title, or a host of misused apostrophes and spelling mistakes.

Think of proofreading as the polish you add at the end of your project to make it shine! Here are 3 ideas to help you perfect your content:

  1. Create a cheat sheet for commonly misspelled words

Let’s face it, there are loads of words in the English language that are so easy to get mixed up. Words that sound the same when we pronounce them, but have different meanings and spellings. Think about ‘there, their and they’re’ or ‘to, too and two’ as a starting point – it’s so easy to write the wrong version of a word, especially if you’re in a hurry or have been writing for a long time!

There are some really common mistakes that even the most talented copywriter will have messed up on at some point. One great idea is to create a cheat sheet of words that are easily mixed up, so if you or your co-workers are ever unsure of a spelling, you can quickly check the sheet and get it right!

This handy article from Campaign Monitor is the perfect starting point as it covers some of the most common copywriting errors and how to avoid them!

  1. Don’t rely on a digital spell-checker

Although the built-in spell-checkers in Microsoft Word and online content checkers can be handy for pointing out typos and grammar issues, it’s important that you don’t rely solely on a digital spell-checker to proof your content.

If you’ve written the wrong word in your text but spelled it correctly, a spell-checker won’t pick up on this, for example:

If I write “I love buying stick images” a spell-checker won’t pick up that I’ve written ‘stick’ instead of ‘stock’.

The best advice is to always have someone read over your work when you’ve finished it. It’s so easy to get lost in the copy or skim over the text when you’re reading your own work back, so a fresh pair of eyes is a brilliant way to iron out any typos.

English breakfast menu from a cafe
danny bird / Stockimo / Alamy Stock Photo
  1. Master use of the apostrophe

You’ve probably come across a sentence or two like this that stress the importance of using the right punctuation: “Let’s eat, Grandma’ vs. ‘Lets eat Grandma’

There’s no escaping the fact that grammar is important and one of the most misused types of punctuation is the humble apostrophe.  Try to avoid some of these common apostrophe blunders to keep your content looking professional:

In each of these instances, unless the apostrophe is being used to indicate possession, there’s no place for it in any of these cases…

To indicate a plural

This one is really frequent – you see it everywhere from shop door signs to advertisements offering services. When you’re writing the plural of a word, you don’t need an apostrophe. Some examples include:

  • Video’s should be videos
  • Logo’s should be logos
  • Kid’s should be kids
Text on the side of a tradesman's van showing incorrect use of apostrophes.
Washington Imaging / Alamy Stock Photo

After an acronym

Using DVD as an example, when you use an acronym and want to refer to the plural, you don’t need to put an apostrophe between the last letter and the ‘s’. The plural form of an acronym should look like this: DVDs not DVD’s

After numbers

Another really common mistake is to pop an apostrophe in after a number. The best example of this is if you’re talking about a decade, for example “in the 1970s” – there’s no need for an apostrophe here!

For some handy tips on using the apostrophe, check out this article!

 

Now you’ve got your copy sorted, it’s time to pick out some great imagery to finish off your project! Check out our great image categories now for some image inspiration!

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