Proofreading is important because we are often ignorant, careless, or ‘blind’ to our own errors, mistakes, bad grammar, poor layout of sentences and paragraphs, poorly constructed sentences, lack or incorrect use of proper punctuation, and of course spelling or typing errors.
Proofreading is a ‘four-eye method of checking for the above-mentioned writing and construction errors. This is called the four-eye method because an additional person’s pair of eyes get to read and check the first person’s written or typed content.
Often a second reading by the author him or herself will convince that person to adjust the tone or use of words to express themselves differently simply because they may have emotionally overreacted during their initial drafting process.
In fact, it is good practice whenever possible, to proofread the following day — to allow you to read your content with fresh eyes’ — as you may have been too tired, too emotional, or otherwise too distracted, to pick up overreaction, errors, or omissions otherwise.
So, proofreading is important to ensure correctness, completeness, and accuracy of one’s written or typed content.
Other useful methods of proofreading involve using professional proofreading and/or editing services by trained and experienced proofreaders. There are also useful digital and online tools and apps which can assist you like spell-checkers, track change review options, Grammarly grammar checker, and other software-driven programs available.
Furthermore, proofreading usually results in more succinct, readable, and clear content, making the reading experience easier, interesting, informative, educational, and enlightening.
Most of us have heard the words ‘proofread your work’ at some point in our lives. We are told to proofread our essays, CVs, cover letters, emails, blogs, and tweets. We are also told not to just use spell check, as it doesn’t always pick up on problems that the human eye can detect.
Proofreading is important as it can add power to your writing; without it, your work has a higher chance of containing errors. Errors, such as poor sentence structure, typographical errors, misspellings, tense confusion, and grammatical mistakes can really undermine your potential and credibility as an applicant for a new job, as a blogger, a writer, or an academic.
Students in particular really feel the benefits of academic proofreading, as not doing so can often result in the loss of up to as much as 10% of their overall grade. Good proofreading can make all the difference between your work making a positive or a negative impact upon the reader.
Imagine you are applying for a job and see an ad for a role that seems ideal for you; the right salary, the right position, in the right location. You feel that you have all the right requirements and experience to apply, so you email your CV and add a brief personal statement. Then you hit the send button and forget about it.
A few days later you go back to your email and realize you have misspelled the job title and missed out some vital words and letters. This may not matter for some jobs, but there are many roles that specifically require excellent English skills; in this instance, your lack of proofreading may have cost you your dream job.
You want your reader to be able to focus on the content of your writing, not the mistakes and errors that have been overlooked and remain in your writing. When your written work is perfect, it shows others that you pay attention to detail and care about the things that you produce. This gives your writing added strength and authority.
It is important to note that over 70% of interviewers discard applicants based on the typos, grammatical and spelling mistakes in a personal statement or a CV. This demonstrates how great the negative impact of errors in written work can be, and further shows how important proofreading actually is.
If you want your CV to be taken seriously, and your essays to make their points effectively, and your short story to be safe from being instantly binned, you must proofread your work before you send it off anywhere. Then you proofread it again. Then get a family or friend to proofread it after that. Then, depending on how important you feel the document is, even pay a professional proofreading service to proofread it too.
Proofreading services can offer you an extensive range of products that you might not be aware of. They can make all your written words look professional. Your message will be conveyed much more clearly to your intended audience.