Take a moment to think: how much text have you written throughout last week? No, we’re not talking about actual writing with pen on paper; it seems like no one does that nowadays. We’re talking about texts, emails, social media updates, comments on blog posts and Reddit, reports for your boss if you’re working, homework assignments if you’re a student…
Now think: did you proofread all that content? If you’re like most other people, you probably thought that proofreading was a waste of time because you were in a hurry to send the messages and updates. You’re wrong! The least you could do is starting using the Ultimate Spelling spellchecker, which will instantly improve the impression you’re leaving with your writing.
Michelle Roberts, a professional proofreader from EduGeeksClub.com, explains how important it is for people to proofread every single sentence they write: “Weak instead of week, your instead of you’re, bitch instead of beach… I’ve seen plenty of misspellings throughout my career and let me tell you one thing: they are embarrassing. Are you one of those people who don’t care about spelling because they think no one else cares? Guess what: your teachers care, your potential employers care, and all people you contact definitely care about the way you spell.”
An automated spellchecker will help a lot, but keep in mind that it lacks the human element, so you’ll have to make at least some effort to proofread on your own. Don’t worry; that’s not an overwhelming challenge. Continue reading and you’ll find few simple exercises, which will help you to become the proofreading master.
5 Proofreading Exercises to Try
Exercise 1: Find 7 errors in the following text:
Do you think practice make perfect? It does, but only when you’re practice is proper. When your used to wrong spelling, your contunuously practicing the mistakes. If you have doubts of the way you spell, than you need to check a dictionary. Write the misspelled words in your personnel dictionary and practice proper writing.
Exercise 2: Retype the following text in a word processor, but make sure to correct the mistakes along the way. You should identify 7 mistakes.
Margaret Thatcher was one of the most famous politician in the history of Great Britain. She was the leader of the conservative party for 15 years, and a Primer Minster of UK for 11 years. She got the nick name Iron Lady because of her tough leadership style.
Before becoming a barister, she was a research chemist. Thatcher became the first women to lead a major political party in the UK.
Exercise 3: Read this passage out loud. Is there something wrong with it? Then, retype it to correct the mistakes!
I have an inovative idea: lets practice mispeling and usage wrong gramar as much as possible. Who cares if people cant understand what I write? Ill leave it all to spelcheck to corect. I beleive in the prinsiple of freedom, we shouldnt waste time on proofraeding.
Exercise 4: Retype this text without reading it first. Try to correct the mistakes as you go.
It was realy cold yesterday. Everyone were wearing coats. There hands were cold and there faces unhappy. People were standing like statues waiting for the next bus, and they were verry quet to. Yesterday wasnt a good day.
Exercise 5: Make sure to correct the following sentences regarding proper use of apostrophe.
In my honest opinion, those were our table’s. However, Richards children looked so disappointed, that we had to look for another place to sit. We found four table’s near the windows and everyone was happy at the end. Seeing the childrens’ smiles was a precious moment for us, knowing that we did something good.
Answers to the Exercises
Be careful; don’t read these answers before you practice the exercises above. The point in practicing is to make your own efforts. With time, you’ll get better at proofreading and you’ll start writing much cleaner text. Now, check out the answers to the exercises above, and see if you got the right answers:
Answer to exercise 1
Do you think practice makes perfect? It does, but only when your practice is proper. When you’re used to wrong spelling, you’re continuously practicing the mistakes. If you have doubts of the way you spell, then you need to check a dictionary. Write the misspelled words in your personal dictionary and practice proper writing.
Answer to exercise 2
Margaret Thatcher was one of the most famous politicians in the history of Great Britain. She was the leader of the Conservative Party for 15 years, and a Primer Minister of UK for 11 years. She got the nickname Iron Lady because of her tough leadership style.
Before becoming a barrister, she was a research chemist. Thatcher became the first woman to lead a major political party in the UK.
Answer to exercise 3
I have an innovative idea: let’s practice misspelling and using wrong grammar as much as possible. Who cares if people can’t understand what I write? I’ll leave it all to spell-checker to correct. I believe in the principle of freedom. We shouldn’t waste time on proofreading.
Answer to exercise 4
It was really cold yesterday. Everyone was wearing coats. Their hands were cold and their faces unhappy. People were standing like statues waiting for the next bus, and they were very quiet too. Yesterday wasn’t a good day.
Answer to exercise 5
In my honest opinion, those were our tables. However, Richard’s children looked so disappointed, that we had to look for another place to sit. We found four tables near the windows and everyone was happy at the end. Seeing the children’s smiles was a precious moment for us, knowing that we did something good.
Now, Practice Proofreading!
You’ll find chances to practice everywhere around you. Billboards, Facebook statuses, tweets, and blog posts – all these resources are great for finding spelling mistakes. Remember: every single thing you write makes an impression. When you want to leave an impression of a smart, well-educated individual, you have to proofread your text!
Author’s BioJoan Selby is an ESL teacher and blogger from sunny California. Former CalArts graduate and fancy shoelover. A writer by day and reader by night. Giving creative touch to everything. Find her on Twitter and Facebook