Here are a few ideas to help you proofread text that you have written yourself:
- Take some time to give yourself space from the text before you proofread — for example, overnight or even a day or two
- Print the text in a different font or larger text so that it appears different to your eye
- Read out loud (or say the words out loud in your head)
- Proofread the text backwards (one or two pages at a time)
When proofreading the work of others, if possible, I usually read the text over once so that I have the gist of what the writing is about. That way, I don’t end up concentrating on the meaning of the text when I should be paying more attention to the words on the page.
There are also a few areas where errors are likely to hide, like in headings, tables, numerical sequences, alphabetical lists, bracket or quotation mark twins, to name just a few. If you have time, a good idea is to prepare a checklist of things to look for that you can consult while you are proofreading.
Here are some helpful links about proofreading: