How to proofread, and reduce errors before posting your articles.
How many times have you been in a hurry to write an article and get it posted online? You tend not pay attention to grammar and structure? For anyone who frequently writes online, you will know that time is of the essence. You need to get the articles published as soon as you can. If a topic is hot and news related, you know that is what people will be searching for and to be adequately ranked, you need to be one of the first to break the news. That is what online writing is about. If you are writing for sites like Hubpages, Infobarrel, eHow, etc, then you might want to quickly build a portfolio of articles. This also presents its challenges as you will have to deal with optimizing your time. In the midst of all this, you end up posting an article that is sometimes difficult to read or blighted with errors. How embarrassing that can be when you later discover that others have probably seen your post. Here are a few tips that could help you reduce, if not eliminate those undesired errors. What you could do:
Simultaneous Articles: If you try to write a couple of articles simultaneously, you will be able to shift your mind from staring at the same sentences and ideas. This will also help you catch grammatical errors or spelling errors that your eyes might have glanced over. It is strange that the mind and eyes lose their coordination after you've been staring at the same words and sentences. Some people are quite good at paying attention to details while others have to struggle. Taking your mind and eyes off the same article will help you refocus and improve your writing. This takes time and consistent practice. You just need to discipline yourself to go over what you have written. You need to reread yourself a few times over. This is a type of quality control.
Tomorrow: Never leave for tomorrow what you can do today is not always true. Sometimes waiting for a day to go by might actually be beneficial. If you write an article today, revisiting the same article the next day will give you better perspective and will improve your sentence structure and make your writing more readable. You will be able to add new ideas and maybe remove redundant words. It is amazing what a difference a day can add to your mind. There is no need to wonder why and how. That is the way the mind works. The mind is a tool and you need to use it to your advantage.
Paragraphs: If you write using paragraphs judiciously, it will make it easier to spot errors and correct them. The longer the paragraph, the more difficult your eyes will have to distinguish what does not belong.
Redundant Words: If your aim is to write about a thousand words, there is no need to stretch your sentences just because you need to fill the page. The more redundant words you use in your article, the more difficult it will be to spot and correct errors. Words like (quite, really, of the utmost, etc) can give an informal tone to your writing. This might be good but they are not always needed. "It is really quite difficult not to use them to achieve the utmost". Writing is about words and people read words that have meaning. That is your job as a writer to make sure that your words achieve their aim. No one has a hobby of reading words. Your readers want ideas and redundancy does not always belong.
Look Up: There are times when you might doubt the use of a word or where to put a comma, there is no need to be ignorant. If you search and learn how to use the word correctly, it will become easier the next time the same word comes up. You need to put in the effort because it will help you produce better articles and gain more readers.
Slow Reading: Reading slowing just because you want to make sure you catch every error can be counterproductive. You can quickly read through your article and still be able to see what you need to improve or change. This is mostly beneficial as it helps you detect problems with some of the ideas you might want to develop. If the ideas are not clear, you would have missed your goal.
Be in the Know: What you don't know might kill your article. Even if you read through your article, there are errors that you might still not be able to detect. This can be due to habit. You have always used the word incorrectly and no one has ever flagged you about it. As a result, it will always appear to be correct. Knowledge is the key. It is always a good idea to read what others have written and learn from the way they use words. You will gain better insight into how some words are used and how you could integrate them into your writings. You could also enrich your vocabulary and thereby improve the way you convey your thoughts.
Microsoft Word: Word is great but it is just based on grammatical algorithms. It can be helpful but you still need to make sure your thoughts are conveyed correctly. Microsoft word will not correct your errors but try to highlight potential problems. You will still have to go over you articles to make sure everything is in place grammatically.
Fonts: Using a good font and appropriately sized characters will make editing your articles easier and less error prone. It doesn't have to be fancy. You want to catch errors and you also want people to be able to read and comprehend. That is the primary goal of writers.
Writing is an art and there is no global rule with regards to sentence structure. However, you can still become a better proofreader if you take the time to familiarize yourself with a few or these ideas.
Things to be aware of:
It's versus its - you or your; alot or "a lot"; whatever or what ever; mere mortals or mare mortals;
Cannot or can not; referred or refered ; tomorrow or tommorrow; embarrassing or embarassing; threw versus through; you're versus your; taking versus taken; the list is long but at least you get the idea.