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.