Missy Jenkins Musical Mysteries - Mystery, Music and Murder!

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Sinking Springs Skatarena c.1950s
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Never underestimate the importance of the time you spend on proofreading your work. It’s the final, and most crucial, step in the writing process. Face it, we’ve all fallen victim to the occasional typo, misspelling, and grammar or punctuation errors that might even change the meaning of your text.

Time, or more accurately, the lack of time, is the main reason proofreading tasks are ignored. But if you take the time to proofread carefully, you show your reader that you care enough about them to pay attention to details. Find a solid block of uninterrupted time to concentrate on proofreading.

Whether you’re writing business documents, advertising material, personal letters or email, correct information is crucial. And don’t overlook those errors of omission! And if you make your living as a writer, you can’t expect a publisher to correct your manuscript. Their editor’s job is to edit content, not clean up your mistakes. You want professional-looking copy before your work is sent out.
Here are ten Proofreading Tips that I use. Try them to create your own error-free document.

  1. Proofread from hard copy. A higher percentage of mistakes will be found on the printed page than on the computer monitor.
  2. Read your document out loud. Hearing the mistakes can red-flag grammar problems, give a sense of pacing, and let you know when a section is awkward or unclear.
  3. Read each sentence slowly and separately. When reading quickly, your mind knows in advance what you intended to write and tricks you into reading what you thought would be there.
  4. To be sure, look it up. Whenever you have the slightest doubt about spelling, punctuation or grammar, use your best reference book to find the correct answer.
  5. Don’t rely on spell check. When you’re way off the mark, it can be a handy tool. But if you replace your word with another recognizable word in your computer’s dictionary, you’re on your own. Use your own brain for the final test.
  6. Read the text backwards. This is a great tool for catching spelling errors. It forces you to concentrate and focus on each individual word, rather than the text.
  7. Handle interruptions. Find a quiet place and a block of uninterrupted time to proofread. If that’s not possible, don’t rush. Mark your spot, come back and resume later.
  8. Wait 24 hours and proofread again. A time delay gives your mind the ability to forget what you wrote, increases your ability to catch errors, and enables you to proofread more objectively.
  9. Give it to someone else to read. An objective reader can catch mistakes you might miss and also tell you whether your copy is clear and understandable.
  10. Proofread several times. Take the time to guarantee an error-free document.


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uk on Friday, January 12, 2018 3:09 AM
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