Written by: Peter Hill
Proofreading and editing are quintessential elements of writing, but they often get neglected because authors want to publish their works as soon as possible. This is, of course, a huge mistake because the smallest error can ruin days, weeks, or even years of hard work.
That’s why all sorts of content creators – from freelance writers through bloggers to novelists – must be patient enough to check their text before going live with it. But it’s never an easy task, which is why we notice a lot of blunders happening in the process.
We will show you here the 10 most common editing and proofreading mistakes that writers usually make and explain how to avoid them. Let’s take a look!
Top 10 Proofreading and Editing Blunders
Before we present you the list of common mistakes, we need to mention the differences between editing and proofreading . Although most people use the two concepts interchangeably, they are actually different.
While proofreading is focused on eliminating formatting, spelling, and grammar errors, editing is all about improving the style of writing. Now that we’ve got that clear, it is time to check out the top 10 blunders in these two fields:
1. You don’t let it rest for a while
The first post-writing mistake is to jump straight to proofreading and editing without letting the text and yourself rest for a while. At that point, a professional paper writer is still preoccupied with writing thoughts and ideas, so you can’t be fresh enough to do the job thoroughly. Take a break and come back to it later – it will have a much better effect.
2. Not doing it yourself
Most authors hire someone else to proofread and edit their papers or simply use a digital tool (we will discuss this issue later), but you should not rely on others 100%. Instead, we strongly recommend you inspect the text on your own because you are the one who knows the purpose of the content and the message it is supposed to transfer.
3. Forget to read it out loud
Another major mistake is not reading your article or story out loud. Why is this so important? Well, reading the text out loud feels like someone else is reading it to you, so you get that much-needed distance and can notice imperfections, especially style-wise.
4. Getting too familiar with the content
This mistake is the main reason why you should not proofread and edit content single-handedly. All authors spend a lot of time brainstorming about a specific topic, so they get too familiar with the overall context and idea of their prose. This keeps them distracted and makes the proofreading and editing process much harder.
5. Trust the spelling checker too much
This is a very common mistake among blog writers, journalists, and all other types of authors for that matter. While spelling checkers definitely play an important role in the life of an average writer, the truth is that you cannot completely rely on this service. After all, how many times have you noticed a spell checker turning “you’re” into “your?”
6. Not using professional tools
We live in the digital era and it would be insane not to utilize some of the best editing and proofreading tools available online. Our fellow colleagues at BrillAssignment claim these are the most convenient tools and agencies:
7. Mixing points of view
A lot of authors, beginners in particular, mix points of view in their posts or novels. This is not only a styling mistake but also a detail that can confuse readers and spoil their experience. Therefore, pay attention to the point of view and don’t forget to use only one solution such as writing in the first person.
This is not a big blunder, but it reveals that the author does not pay attention to details. Inconsistency occurs when you change certain expressions throughout the text. For example, you could be mixing “e-commerce” and “eCommerce,” which is never a good thing if you want to keep your articles perfectly polished and eye-pleasing.
9. Creating bulks of text
Every writer should know that it’s not good to write huge bulks of text. This is particularly important for online authors who have to pay attention to user experience and digital reading habits. Instead, you should write shorter paragraphs and focus on action. Write clearly and directly, leaving no room for misconceptions or misinterpretations.
10. Neglect fact-checking
The last mistake on our list is very important. Namely, you cannot allow yourself to neglect fact-checking. Once you are done with editing and proofreading, you must go through the text one more time to double-check every statement and make corrections when you spot a false declaration.
Everybody makes mistakes and writers are not an exception here. However, they have to be diligent enough to double-check their documents before publishing to avoid professional embarrassment . We showed you the 10 most common editing and proofreading mistakes, so make sure to eliminate them from your daily work.
Peter Hill is the best editor of GradeMiners . He is a socially active person, likes traveling and photo/video editing. He finds himself in writing for Assignmentmasters . You can find him on Twitter and Facebook .