proofreadingIt is easy to make grammatical mistakes that are easily overlooked even if somebody else proofreads the work. Some of the mistakes may be minor but will have a great impact on your reputation. It will portray you as careless. Although we make common grammatical mistakes even when it is our first language, proofreading is of vital importance to ensure that we promote precision and accuracy. None of us immune to grammar mistakes because at some point we are all absent-minded. Our minds also think faster than our hands can write. We are, therefore, susceptible to miss a lot of information and misspell countless words. There are those that are common to many people. They include; There, They’re, and Their. Although they seem minor and petty, the mistakes could yield major business blunders that will cost you more than you expected.

Importance of Proofreading

Minor errors may have unexpected repercussions for a business. It is of vital importance to invest time and even money in eliminating any mistakes no matter how small. Take time and  make all effort possible to scan the document thoroughly. It is not enough that the idea is explained in the document and all words must have meaning and the correct meaning should be conveyed.

The surest way to make sure your document is free from errors would be to have someone else read through it for you. You may not always have someone to proofread it for you and hence the need to do it yourself. To ensure effective proof-reading you ideally need a copywriter. You may make the same mistakes time and again or completely overlook them. This is because your brain can play tricks on you making you believe you are reading what you want it to be even when the mistakes are staring at you. Another solution would be to hire the services of a proofreader. This is a cost you may want to avoid, but considering the vital importance of a business proposal, it would be valuable to consider the option.

How to proofread business documents

To do it yourself, set aside enough time to get your mind away from work. For example, you may carry on with other duties and return to check your document a few hours later.  After taking time out from thinking about the proposal, your brain will have a fresh start with the document. Print it out because it is challenging to read it on a screen. Find a quiet place and read it aloud. Reading aloud helps you make sense of it from the perspective of your audience. You will be able to pick up the errors, misspells, repetition and the general rhythm. Mark the errors on the pages and repeat the process. You will be amazed at how mistakes can easily go unnoticed.

This is the traditional manual way of proofreading your work. Another manual method would be to read the document from back to front. Although it is not easy, in doing this you will catch all the misspelt and repeated words quickly. You may not be able to understand the complete meaning and general rhythm of the document, but you will find spelling mistakes

Don’t Trust Spellcheck

You may also use your computer spellchecker to confirm you do not have any green and red underlines on your document. The word processor, however, is not smart enough to notice the sense in your work. It will only identify the limited accuracy of words and sentences, and it may be worthwhile investing in a tool such as Grammarly. You may, for example, have the wrong word with the correct spelling, but it fails to make sense where it is the document. Some of the most common ones include; there, their, and they’re. Using one in place of another may go unnoticed by your word processor. You cannot, therefore, rely completely on word processors and technology for editing your work. Some of the words may require you to use a dictionary. Do not ignore the dictionary, as there is nothing wrong with confirming the meaning and usage of words by checking them up.

Avoid reading through fast. Your brain has a way of skipping some words that it can make sense of without having to spell it out. By using a pencil and paper, you slow down your brain and go slowly through the document with intent. This way you can get the perfect copy for your document and you soon realise that it is worthwhile spending some extra time proofreading. The difference between there, their and they’re could win or lose a deal.

To have your business documentation written well or simply read through contact Matt Newnham today

Business Blunders: There, They’re, Their

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