If you have just a short article to submit, you may not need a proofreader: why not do it yourself?
Even if you’re not altogether confident with your spelling and punctuation skills, there are some tricks you can utilise that will help avoid the embarrassment of seeing a typo in print, free of charge. These for example:
- It sounds obvious, but … have a tidy desk – you are your own worst interrupter if you like shiny things!
- Best to print your article out and proofread it from a hard copy. Proofing from the computer screen can strain the eyes and errors are harder to spot.
- Proofread backwards to check spelling and punctuation as the words are then seen outside the context of the sentence. Start at the end of your article and work back through the article.
- Proofread for one type of error at a time. A once-over for spelling and punctuation, then another for grammatical errors.
- Do a consistency and fact check.
- Make sure any links or references work.
Have you spotted either of the two deliberate mistakes in this article???
Remember, spelling and grammar do matter today because if you cannot write convincingly and clearly, people won’t believe what you have to sell or say is worth reading about!
My top tip though is to have someone else proofread your work.
It doesn’t need to be a professional unless it is something important like a draft novel submission, a report of a CV – a good friend is fine. You won’t spot your own errors because you will see only what you THINK you wrote, however many times you check it.