One of the simplest things that you can do to improve your rating is to make proofreading a habit. Many authors use proofreading software, such as Microsoft Word’s grammar checker, Paper Rater or Grammarly. These resources are great and can improve your copy, but they just don’t catch everything. In this lesson, we’ll discuss where these software programs, though usually thorough and well-designed, can lead you astray. We’ll also cover all the major proofreading errors we commonly see at Textbroker, and we’ll give you a good set of practical techniques that you can use to proof as you go. Have a listen here:
We think that most authors at both the 3- and 4-star levels proofread well most of the time. However, we still see an alarming number of errors that could easily be fixed by a read-over. More than one of these errors is almost always cause for a rating adjustment. 4-star work should be free of typos – if you can catch it with a spellcheck, then you should be able to fix it before you submit it. They should also be generally void of homonym errors, subject/verb agreement errors, tense issues and incomplete or unclear sentences. Because it’s usually a combination of errors that leads to a 3-star rating, it’s important to catch those that are easiest to recognize and fix them before you submit your text.
Once you’ve reviewed this lesson, feel free to progress to the next one, which covers avoiding filler and writing effective, relevant copy. Each lesson is designed to illuminate the most common errors for which we adjust ratings. If you know what to work on, it’s easy to improve!