A Proofreading Checklist

Today most writing is created using a computer. Even text that uses dead trees runs through this process. Working with a computer screen is not conducive toward quality proofreading. There are tricks to improve proofreading text on screen.

Common Textual Problems

  • Look for homophones such as hear and here.
  • Look for close-sounding words such as access and excess.
  • Look for misuse of s and ’s.
  • Look for misuse of its and it’s.
  • Look for transposed letters.
  • Look for omitted letters.
  • Look for added letters.
  • Look for consistent word usage and style.
  • Look for correct grammar.
  • Look for spelling errors.
  • Verify the material is easy to comprehend.
  • Verify with subject matter experts that information is not missing.
  • Verify with subject matter experts that information isn’t misleading.
  • Verify the text is not wordy.
  • Verify the illustrations are correctly identified.
  • Verify the text is written in “bite-size” chunks.
  • Verify the upper and lower cased letters are used properly.
  • Verify the table of contents is easy to use.
  • Verify the table of contents references the correct pages.
  • Verify the index uses subtopics.
  • Verify the index references the correct pages.
  • Verify the text references the correct pages and illustrations.
  • Verify acronyms, jargon, and abbreviations are limited.
  • Verify the document is paginated correctly.

Common Document Design Problems

  • Verify the illustrations convey information and are easy to look at.
  • Verify the illustrations are located near their associated text.
  • Verify the document does not cause eye strain.
  • Verify white space is used efficiently.
  • Verify text styles are consistent.
  • Verify type spacing and justification are consistent.
  • Verify serif and sans serif fonts are used appropriately.
  • Verify lists are used appropriately.
  • If appropriate, verify the reader has space to write notes.

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: Tech Writing

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