The proofreading stage is one disliked by most writers. It's the stage where the research and creative aspects of the piece are complete, and you’re looking at your work from a critical angle.
It is also one of the most crucial and undervalued parts of the writing process, and it is often avoided by writers who fail to see the importance of the process.
When it comes to writing and sending out emails, proofreading is essential. Failing to check them over can be a huge mistake. Here are the 8 tips you need to know when it comes to proofreading your emails like a professional.
Take It Backwards
Some things may not make sense, but reading an email you have written backwards prevents you from automatically filling in any missing words or skimming through sentences. You actually see each word letting you look at the spelling of that word on its own. You can read it both forwards for clarity and backwards for correct spelling.
Don’t Get Distracted
There are plenty of distractions nowadays, but it’s important that when you’re proofreading, you’re focused on the task at hand. Choose a spot that’s free from distractions, and put your phone and other sources of disturbance away. If you become distracted, you won’t be able to pay full attention to proofreading. This increases the risk that you’ll let mistakes slip through the cracks.
Make The Most of Online Editing Tools
Plenty of online resources are available to help you proofread your emails and rid them of errors and other unwanted elements before they’re sent off. Here are just a few of the best tools you can find online to help you along the way:
Take Time Before Proofreading
Although you may want to jump straight into proofreading as soon as you’ve finished writing, you should take a break first. When you first finish writing, everything is fresh in your head. This means you may be reading what you think you’ve written and not what you’ve actually written. Leaving a piece of writing for an hour or even a few days gives you a buffer and helps you read more clearly. You could even write another email to give yourself a break from thinking about the first.
Check Your Facts
You should double and even triple-check any factual information written in your emails. If there are names, dates, times or any other facts included, ensure they’re correct before you distribute them. “If you’re giving out wrong dates for events, etc., it can be difficult to recall that message and send out corrected information. It’s much easier to check things and send out the proper information from the start” warns Marketing Manager Roy Tabor of Elite Assignment Help and StateOfWriting.
Get Linked In
If you’re adding links to your emails, you’ll want to make sure they’re all included exactly where they’re supposed to be. More importantly, you’ll want to make sure they’re all working before you send off that email. Nothing can make you look less professional and cause more reader frustration than links that don’t go where they should. Double check all links before you send anything off.
Format Things Differently
When you get used to seeing things one way, it can be tough to see them any other way. Shake things up by formatting your email differently, even temporarily. This can help make it easier to see mistakes. You could increase the font size or change it’s style - anything to make things look different. This can give you a new perspective on what you’ve written.
Don’t Rush Yourself
If there’s one thing you don’t want to do when it comes to proofreading, it’s rush the process. If you do, you’re bound to make mistakes and miss things that you could have otherwise caught. Don’t leave things to the last minute, and give yourself enough time to review things properly.
Figure Out Your Bad Habits
Everyone has certain habits when it comes to writing emails. Whether you’re always making the same grammatical error or you always misuse the same synonym, learning to recognize your most common mistakes streamlines the proofreading process. Of course, you’ll still want to read for other mistakes, but you will be able to efficiently scan for your most common errors.
Ask A Friend
If in doubt, ask somebody else to proofread your email once you have written it. Remember that fresh eyes often spot mistakes missed by the original writer, so they can be effective for removing errors. This takes extra time, but is a worthwhile step and can make a lot of difference to your emails. Other readers will understand things in different ways, so they can let you know if something doesn’t sound right, and you can rephrase or even rewrite the email if necessary.
Don’t skip the vital step of proofreading your work before hitting the send button. Use these tips to help yourself create better, error-free emails. It takes time to write emails, so make sure you are sending out the best you can.
About the author: Nora Mork is a business and marketing journalist at UK Writings and Essay Roo. She helps brands create better digital strategies, and writes columns to magazines and blogs, such as Boom Essays.