Proof Reading

The best proof reading technique is to let your story sit for a few days.  When you come back to it, you will see it with fresh eyes and your proof reading will be much clearer.  Look at your story from the perspective of someone who knows nothing of your family.  Does every sentence make sense or are there things written that you understand because it is your family, but no one else will understand?  Maybe instead of a fully explanatory sentence, you have written it in an abbreviated form that is not truly clear to the reader.  If that happens, clarify the sentence.

When you are finished with this proof reading step, your software will have a feature to check spelling and grammar.  In MS Word, this is the Review button at the top of your screen, using the Spelling and Grammar check.  On a Mac, use the Pages software to write and edit your story.

Once you have cleaned up spelling and grammar, then the next thing to look for is the overuse of certain words.  We all fall into patterns of talking and writing using the same phrases.  If you find yourself repeating certain phrases or words, look for an online Thesaurus (if you don’t own one).  Find different ways to say the same thing so there is variety in the writing.

The final proofreading test is to ask a family member or friend to read it over and give you feedback.  Our Generations editors can help with this step of the writing process.