We’ve all done it – finished a writing project only to read it later and find a glaring mistake. Ugh! How did you let that sort of thing happen? Maybe you were tired. Maybe you read it several times but just couldn’t see it. Or maybe you send it at the last minute without time for a review. Either way, it’s not a good feeling.
So before you complete another project, we’ve three recommendations to hopefully prevent this type of mortifying event from happening to you in the future. Follow these to maximise your time – and others’.
Step 1: use a grammar checker
Online tools like Grammarly are great at taking a first check through content. They can find punctuation errors, style inconsistencies, tense preferences – even things like long sentences and better ways of saying things. If you think, “Oh, this blog rocks!” – Grammarly might just beg to differ. A check always catches something.
Even if you disagree with what it says and decide not to implement suggestions, using an online tool can make you a better writer. When you use Grammarly regularly, you start to see patterns in your writing – correcting yourself during the writing process. It helps you learn more about your writing style and saves you time in the future.
Step 2: take a break
It’s always a good idea to take a break from your work and return to it again with a fresh set of eyes. Go for a walk, do some stretching or run some errands. Or move on to another project. Whatever break you decide to take, we suggest giving yourself at least a few hours. Otherwise, you’ll probably still see the content as you left it – the idea is to have a clean read-through.
If you’re ahead of schedule, put your writing aside for the day and review it first thing in the morning. We find that having a good night’s sleep can help give you a fresh perspective.
Step 3: have someone else review your work
If you don’t work with an editor, ask your manager, colleague – even a friend or family member to review your work. As writers, we become ingrained in our work, sometimes subjectively, and it can be hard to see things objectively. Even if your grammar check has found the mechanical things, this review should be more about flow, understanding, correctness and style.
It’s the final check to make sure your work is the best that it can be.
Break, grammar checker and review
We hope you’ve enjoyed these three steps on finalising your content. Hopefully you’ll never be caught with glaring mistakes again.
Check out our writefully knowledge hub for more tips, tricks and insights into the writing world.