Don’t you hate sending a document and realizing after the fact that you made one typo.. or more?! I have three tricks that I use on a regular basis when I write. These tricks allow me to produce writings that are more coherent and also allow me to catch typos along the way. Here they are:
- Print a paper copy instead of reading directly from the computer screen. I find it much harder to read slowly when I read directly from the computer screen because it puts more strain on my eyes and, subconsciously, induces me to read faster. That may actually be one of the reasons why our attention span is shorter when we browse the Web. Further, printing a paper copy allows me to make corrections with a red pen, including reorganizing sentences and paragraphs.
- Leave your report, resume or whatever you wrote aside until the next morning. This will help you put things in perspective. In the heat of the moment, you may think that what you wrote makes perfect sense and you may feel the impulse to finalize it and send it out right away. Big mistake. Unless it is a pressing matter, leave what you wrote aside for the next morning or when you are normally at your peak. When your eyes are rested and your mind is fresh, read through what you wrote again and, I can almost guarantee it, you will find things that can be improved.
- Read backward. When reading “the usual way,” we tend to assume things and that’s how we overlook typographical errors. The way to counter this is to read backward. If you read backward, you will realize that you no longer assume things and will see the letters as they are. Yes, I wrote “letters” and not “words.” That’s exactly the problem when we read; once our brain recognizes a word, it tends to shift its attention to the following word. That’s how typos are overlooked.
If you follow these three simple tricks, you will bring your writing skills a notch higher, guaranteed!
by John Sylo