To say I’m very particular about the quality of written content is quite an understatement. Yeah, I’m the one at the restaurant agonizing over the typos in the menu. I consider the eye rolls from my friends just part of the dining experience.
While paying such attention to those kinds of details may be grudgingly tolerated in social situations, it’s crucial to the production of my own content. Here are some key things I look for when I proofread before sending a project out.
No matter how great my content is, just one typo can ruin it. Readers are less likely to value a message if it’s not error-free. Along with that, I make sure that all the words are what I intended to place. Word’s spell checker can easily overlook plain when I meant to say plane.
That’s right, missing words. I can’t tell you how often in my research I see online content with a word missing from a sentence or phrase. It’s easy to happen when a writer gets in a hurry. But I know that failing to catch such a gap is one more way to weaken my own content’s credibility.
Consistency in Bullet Lists
When creating bullet lists, it’s important to be consistent. If I capitalize the first word in the first bullet, I do the same with the rest of the list. If I leave punctuation off in the first listing, I do so for the other items. Maintaining consistency within a bullet list is just one more way to make sure my content creates the right kind of impact.
Use of Active Voice
I learned early in my newspaper days that active voice strengthens content. Consider the active “Police arrested a suspect.” It packs much more power than the passive “A suspect was arrested by police.” You can also see from the example that active voice uses fewer words. That tightens up the content, which is important when I’m trying to stay within a word count.
When I’m proofing, keeping these points in mind helps me to produce quality content. Let me know in the comment section below what you look for when proofreading your projects.