When I'm finishing up a grant I can't find my typos, misspellings, or grammar errors. I see words that aren't there and miss words that fail the spellchecker. My punctuation deteriorates into scattered dashes and dots.
I never was much good at grammar. And my spelling -- well, some people find it entertaining.
So before I put an application to bed it's time for someone else to take a look.
I always ask my team to read the grant for content and clarity, but it's rare that they're any good at proofreading. But when someone shows a penchant for editing, I ask them to do a careful reading for me.
One person is good; two is better.
Now I have a handful of people I ask to proofread for me. Some, like Candace, enjoy doing it and will squeeze me in whenever I need them. My errors jump out at her. And its a break from her usual people-problems work.
If you don't have a sharp reader you might want to try a service like www.ProofreadNow.com They're professional, painless, and fast.
They also publish a neat weekly newsletter that focuses on one grammar tip a week. I read it religiously.
It's brief (takes about three minutes to read) and entertaining (can you imagine entertaining grammar?). And I find that these tidbits tend to stick in my mind as I write.
So who's proofing your work? Tip #7 - find someone. Don't do it yourself.