As a copywriter at Anchor Marketing, proofing is a big part of the job description. We internally proof, externally proof and pre-flight proof everything that we do – ensuring that mistakes are few and far between. However, some days proofing needs to happen ASAP, with no time for multiple sets of eyes. When it’s your job to make sure that it’s right, it pays to be prepared.
Here are a few tips to remember during these fast proofing sessions.
1) Read copy twice. It’s very common that you may not catch everything on the first read, so read it once, then go back and read it again. Taking that extra time will definitely pay off when you’re catching more errors.
2) Read the copy out loud. This will help you not only see errors, but hear them.
3) Look for style inconsistencies. This may include inconsistencies in bullets points, capitalization, italics, font sizes or spacing. If it looks odd to you, it’s probably an error.
4) Check the body of the copy first, then check the headlines. Usually headlines are formatted differently than the main copy, so it’s important that they are consistent.
5) Double check proper names, addresses and telephone numbers.
6) Keep a style book handy (and know how to use it). Sometimes, you second guess yourself, and having a style book handy will ensure that you get it right.
7) Question everything. If the copy doesn’t sound right to you, question it.
Being prepared to proofread anything that comes your way ensures that errors are uncommon. It’s our job to produce professional materials, which is why everything that leaves Anchor Marketing (whether that’s an email or a magazine) has been proofread.