Typos are embarrassing and can be devastating on marketing materials. Unfortunately, they happen. Spell-check isn’t fool-proof and it’s human nature to make mistakes. But you shouldn’t have to deal with a mistake every time you produce a piece of writing. Good writers learn from their mistakes and have a few tricks up their sleeves when it comes to editing their own work.

Included below are 10 tips from the writers at Jelly Triangle.

JT writing inforgraphic editing tips

  1. Work as a team. When you’ve read your piece over and over, your brain remembers what you’ve read which causes your eyes to get lazy. You expect a certain word at a certain point, so you’re not paying attention to the spelling. That’s why a good editor is the best tool a writer has. A second pair of eyes will pick up on the typos that you’ve missed.
  2. Don’t rely on spell-check. Your word processor might think you’re trying to spell a different word and will automatically change a word for you. There are words out there that look really similar, so don’t let your machine make a fool out of you. Rely on your writing skills to find what spell-check can’t.
  3. Print a hard copy. Editing on a screen is hard. Most editors explain that they catch more errors on paper than on a screen. Save yourself an embarrassing moment down the line by spending the few cents it’ll cost you to print a copy of your work.
  4. Walk away for a while. Plan ahead and write ahead. Give your brain a chance to refresh and recharge before you tackle revisions. You’ll be more focused and will see the words you’ve written, not the ones you think have (see 1).
  5. Read it out loud. When you force yourself to read your work out loud, your brain slows down to read each word. You’ll notice spelling errors, grammatical ones, and any awkward phrasing that sounded just fine in your head.
  6. Try using a pencil. If reading out loud isn’t possible for you (because you work next to people or you’re just shy), try reading silently while using a pencil to touch each word you read. The tactile activity slows you down just like reading out loud does.
  7. Start from the end. Are you having trouble slowing down? Are you constantly tempted to just glaze over each sentence. Try reading from the end (sentence by sentence, not word by word). The content will sound different to you and won’t follow a logical sequence anymore. This will force you to slow down and read each sentence anew.
  8. Try changing the look of your work. Treat your eyes to something new. Change the font style and size. Modify your margins. Do whatever it takes to make your piece look radically different. You can trick your brain into thinking you’re looking at a new piece of writing.
  9. Tackle one task at a time. A lot of us are tempted to look for spelling mistakes, missing punctuation, and stylistic considerations all at the same time. What happens then is we get overloaded and we lose track of what we’re looking for as we read the document. So, as annoying as it might be, try to read over your work for a single purpose each time.
  10. Did you set out to complete what you wanted? Copyediting is important, but make sure you’ve thought about the content as well. Did you accomplish what you set out to do? Does your work make sense? Have you incorporated all the vital details you wanted? Good writing should be a demonstration of good thinking; don’t let your readers down!

If you’re worried about your writing skills or want a second-pair of (professional) eyes, talk to us about our Writing Services. We’ve got a talented team of wordsmiths that can help you refine your voice, clarify your tone, and make you sound like you’ve been a professional writer your whole life.

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About Jelly Triangle

We're a different kind of community-minded marketing company that is fearless, creative and fun-loving.

We're proving that outstanding marketing doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.

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