Monday, April 24, 2006

#7: Who Proofreads Your Stuff?

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 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., Inc.


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