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Proofreading Your Hubs

Updated on October 22, 2009

As a pedantic English teacher and proofreader-for-hire, I have noticed many proofreading errors here on HubPages. I am not suggesting that I am perfect in this regard. I merely wish to offer some tips for improving your writing.

The biggest mistake my student writers make is trying to proofread their own work. I insist that another peson look at their work before they submit it. I realize that Hubbing is more personal and in-the-moment than writing assignments in school, and you may not have time to find someone to proofread for you. With this in mind, be very cautious when proofreading your own work. Your mind knows what it expects to be there and will often overlook subtle errors. If possible, wait an hour or two before proofing your own writing; this allows your mind time to clear and you will more readily catch your own errors.

Another common mistake in proofreading is accepting all changes from a spell checker. I had one student writing a paper on the Playstation game system. He used his spell checker and accepted all suggested changes. His paper turned out to be about lactation, which apparently the Japanese invented! Be smart about spell checkers. They can be a great tool, but you should also examine the content of your writing before accepting what the spell checker suggests.

Another danger of spell checkers is missing incorrect words that are not misspelled. The most common mistake I see of this nature is using 'form' instead of 'from'. A spell checker will not flag the word, and you could miss the necessary change.

Other common errors include poor punctation, incomplete sentences and incorrect paragraph separation (or none at all). My intent is not to teach English here. Instead, brush up on the mechanics of writing for yourself.

Improving your writing can be a long process, but making the simple corrections are a good place to start.


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