Get help - Step 7 – Proof

7 Steps to Better Writing - Charles Maxwell 2020

Get help
Step 7 – Proof

When possible, enlist a family member, friend, or colleague to read the document with an eye for content. Ask them to point out unclear ideas, lapses in logic, and awkward phrases. Later, ask another person—one with a skill for finding small errors—to proof the document for spelling and punctuation.

If you are a non-native speaker of English, obtain the help of a native English speaker. If time allows, work together with one person reading the document aloud and the other looking at the printed text.

If you do not have access to a native English speaker, use translation software to pass the text back and forth between English and your native language. Draft in English. Then use software to translate your English draft into your native language. See how it reads. Correct the document in your native language. Then use the software to translate your document back into English and compare the retranslation with your original English composition. This can help you spot nuances that you missed in your draft. This is an imperfect process, but it can prove helpful when you do not have access to a person fluent in both languages.

If you want to improve your ear for English, establish a practice of daily oral reading. This, coupled with listening to electronic media, will help train your mind to create natural sounding English prose.