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This week’s writing tip regards one of the final steps of revision: proofreading.

There are few things more annoying than a simple error that a casual proofread would have caught. So…

Proofread. Proofread everything.

I can’t stress enough how important proofreading is. It can be the difference between looking like a professional and looking like an absolute amateur.

From an editor’s standpoint, proofreading is the last editing to take place, after developmental, line, and copy edits. So this type of editing is focused not on grammar and facts, rather on formatting and appearances.

Proofreading services include (but aren’t limited to): checking page numbers, photo captions, headers and footers, consistency in formatting chapters and other font changes, table of contents being correct, etc.

From a simple standpoint though, proofreading is your last chance to get things right. It’s your final chance to make sure that your name isn’t misspelled, or that you don’t have an embarrassing autocorrection on page twenty, or that your dedication really is to “Rachel your true love” instead of “Rachelle your true love.” (Try explaining that one to your spouse Rachel.)

Even in writing this blog post, had I not proofread, I would have had several mistakes, including “From and editor’s standpoint.” But proofreading this post kept me from making that mistake. It’s a quick and simple thing to do. Do it.

Don’t skip this very important editing step. Always take the time to reread an email before pressing send, and even a text. You won’t regret catching that typo.