Bup? Really? Anyone who saw this picture in the media last week would have been incredulous at how on earth these sign writers managed this spelling absurdity: ‘Bup Stop’. Read the full story here.
Still, it does prove how easily spelling and grammar mistakes can slip through unnoticed. Your spelling mistakes are unlikely to trend on Twitter of course but the consequences and damage to your marks can be high.
Whereas editing looks at the ‘bigger picture’ of your writing: structure,style and task requirements, proofreading drills down to the finer points: spelling, grammar, word choice and punctuation.
Here are some key tips for proofreading:
- Read your assignment out loud one sentence at a time. Often mistakes are easier to hear than see.
- A sentence should only have one point. If it’s longer than two or three lines perhaps it should be more than one sentence
- Use a spell checker – but do not rely on it!
- Learn to spell the words and jargon and that you will be using often.
- Check your work by reading it backwards. You’ll concentrate on each word individually this way rather than seeing what’s expected.
- Get a critical friend – no, not a ‘frenemy’ but someone who can read your work and spot mistakes and give constructive feedback.