Montana State University-Northern
Student Support Services

Contact Us

Student Support Services
MSU-Northern
P.O. Box 7751
Havre, MT 59501-7751
406.265.3783
1.800.662.6132 (x3783)
bclark@msun.edu

Tips & Tricks
Proofreading

Hints for successful proofreading:

  • Cultivate a healthy sense of doubt. If there are types of errors you know you tend to make, double check for those.
  • Read very slowly. If possible, read out loud. Read one word at a time.
  • Read what is actually on the page, not what you think is there. This is the most difficult sub-skill to acquire, particularly if you wrote what you are reading.
  • Proofread more than once. If possible, work with someone else.

Most errors in written work are made unconsciously. There are two sources of unconscious error:

  1. Faulty information from the kinesthetic memory. If you have always misspelled a word like "accommodate", you will unthinkingly misspell it again.
  2. A split second of inattention. The mind works far faster than the pen or keyboard.