When it comes to writing, the editing phase is where all the hard work begins. The editing process can be tedious and, at times, downright daunting. Here are four proofreading techniques for business communications to make writing for a blog or an email, as flawless as can be. These techniques will help you feel more relaxed after you hit send or publish (and these are the exact ones we use too!)
A Second Pair of Eyes
When it comes to proofreading techniques for business communications, the second pair of eyes is useful. You may think you have the eyes of a professional, but even a professional from time to time will miss something. I mean, can you think of all the books where there is a ‘the’ back to back? I know I can.
Having a second pair of eyes will assist in sweeping up any issues. They’ll catch something you didn’t even know was there.
How we do it: I write all of the articles for our clients and then Becca looks over them as a final sweep. Kaitlyn then takes one last glance at them to see if we missed any minor things, and then they’re ready to go live. For us, we use three different people, but that’s to ensure the quality is there for the client.
Don’t Edit While Writing
If there’s a sure thing to get in the way of writing and creative thinking, it’s going back and fixing grammatical mistakes while writing. There is a reason why there’s a separation between “writing” and “editing,” and it’s because both require different kinds of thinking and a lot of time.
Nothing throws off the flow of thinking like wondering if you should have added a comma at the beginning of a sentence like, “Nothing throws off the flow of thinking.”
How we do it: I always find that I do edit when writing when I feel like I can’t get anything out on the page. However, the only way to get anything out on the page is to stop the judging and start the writing. Save the editing for the actual editing process.
Reread Reread Reread
It seems self-explanatory. Of course, you’ll reread your work. Even if you wrote it and had those second pairs of eyes examine it, your work still needs the benefits of rereading. You’d be surprised how many errors a simple reread will resolve. Comma splices, misusing a “there” or having two “the”s… these all can be resolved with rereading.
How we do it: We reread things all.the.time. This ensures that we don’t miss simple things and multiple people have the ability to catch different things. I also take a break from a blog before I send it to Becca to ensure I didn’t miss anything.
Grammarly and Grammar Checkers
Another simple tool and trick that helps any editor is to utilize a grammar checker application. I didn’t know about these until recently and they’re seriously so helpful because even the most experienced person needs a little help once in awhile!
How we do it: What I use is Grammarly. What’s great about Grammarly is that it not only has a paid version but it also offers a free version that is still helpful in cleaning up minor issues. This will act as a second pair of eyes for you, catching and cleaning up split modifiers and other easily overlooked grammatical issues. Keep in mind though, that this is a program and it does suggest things that aren’t always correct.
I hope these four proofreading techniques for business communications will help your editing process as much as they have helped my editing process. Editing doesn’t have to be tedious or daunting so long as you stay consistent.