We're all busy at work, but that doesn't mean that we should forget to proofread the documents we write. Having a misspelling or grammatical error in your work can make you look unprofessional and cause confusion among your coworkers and clients. But if you're not a professional proofreader, you may not have any idea of how to go about proofing your work.
Proofreading is not hard to do-you just need to know how to go about getting it done. The following are easy ways to proofread your work while at work.
Give it time.
After you have written your document, save it and take a small break. Then, come back to the document to proofread it. If possible, allow as much time as possible to pass between when you wrote it and when you need to submit it. This way, your mind will think that you're looking at the document for the first time, which will help you catch more errors than trying to proofread it right away.
Change the font.
By changing the font on the document, you're tricking your mind into thinking that it's a new document, which will help make proofreading easier. When your mind thinks it's a new document, you're able to catch misspellings and grammatical errors that can save you from making your work look bad.
Read it out loud.
It may be hard to do this if you're surrounded by coworkers, but if you can read your work out loud, do so. Reading your work out loud forces you to slow down, which can help you locate your mistakes and correct them before submitting your work.
Use spell check.
Most word processing and email platforms have a spell check program built in, and it's a good idea to use it to spell check your work. While you may not be able to trust it to catch everything, as most spell check software programs will only catch misspellings and not grammatical mistakes, you can trust it to catch some minor misspellings.
Use a grammar checker.
You may not know this, but there are programs out there that focus solely on checking your grammar. They work like a spell check, and all you have to do is simply copy and paste or upload your document into the software, and the program will let you know about any grammatical errors in your work. Programs like Grammarly or GrammarBase can be a big help to you while at work.
Have someone else look it over.
The best thing that you can do is to have someone else look over your work. They will have a fresh eye to the document and will be able to give you a critique of your work. They will also be able to catch grammatical errors and misspellings that you may have overlooked.
Proofreading your work is important, so you should make sure that you're using these simple techniques to help proofread your work while at work.
Caroline Jones is an English professor and avid writer. She enjoys educating others about grammar rules and recently wrote about the importance of proper grammar for professionals.