After the Deadline

Hone Your Eye by Reading Out Loud

Posted in Proofing Tips by Michelle Weber on August 16, 2013

After the Deadline is a great safety net, but your own critical eye is also an important tool to hone — that’s why we offer proofreading tips along with helpful software. In this post, we want to highlight one of our favorite proofreading methods: reading out loud.

How many times has this happened to you? You draft a new post. It goes through several big revisions, and then endless tweaks (sometimes back to its original wording) until you’re as satisfied as you can be. You give it a last once-over for typos, find none, and send it on its way… only to get a note from readers about typos. You vow to be more vigilant the next time, yet it happens again.

Why? Your brain is skimming over the errors. You’ve been looking at the words for hours and know exactly what they’re supposed to say, so your brain makes sure that’s what you see when you read.

To get your overachieving brain to notice the errors, you’ve got to slow it down. That’s where reading aloud comes in: when you’re reading aloud, sounding out each word as you go, your brain is forced to consider each word independently in a way that doesn’t happen when you’re reading silently.

The next time you need to make absolutely sure your work is typo free, make sure you’re home alone, close the door, and give it a try (and then run After the Deadline as a final check).

And remember — if you’ve a developer interested in working with After the Deadline, there are lots of developer resources available, as well as a Google Group just for you.

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2 Responses

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  1. leeund said, on November 20, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    A good way to hear it read is to load the document on a Kindle and select the “text to speech” from the menu. This will help much better because reading it yourself allows you to read in words that aren’t there but you wanted them there.

  2. Robert Wlaschin said, on January 1, 2014 at 8:53 am

    This is a great suggestion. My Father who was a teacher for 35 years suggested proofreading by starting with the last sentence and working your way backwards. This works because your brain can’t get the context and will not be able to ‘guess’ and fill in the missing blanks!

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