how to be a better proofreader

Proofreaders Unite! How To Be a Better Proofreader with IAAP Rocky Mountains Region

Last night I gathered with 100+ members of IAAP’s Rocky Mountain Region. Their leadership hosted a virtual workshop and invited me to present “Proof It! How To Be a Better Proofreader.” For a topic as dry as proofreading, we had a rowdy good time!


Toward the end of the session, I shared the START strategy of quick proofreading tips, and I’m including a synopsis in today’s blog.


S    Spellcheck everything—but never trust it


T    Tag team [This approach is partner proofreading at its finest.]


A    Approach line by line [Decontextualize the document using a colored straight edge.]


R    Read out loud [This technique is how you proofread electronic copy.]


T    Take a break [This advice is just as valid as the others, and a 20-minute break can work wonders.]


We discussed these quick and easy techniques in conjunction with the three-pass Newspaper Proof, which is the heart and soul of the proofreading process. But what about you? What proofreading techniques do you use to facilitate letter-perfect proofreading where you work? What’s your best proofreading advice? And if you participated in last night’s virtual event, what was your top-tier takeaway you already have used to proofread like a pro?



To customize a keynote or professional development session that will have your audience laughing and learning, contact Mandi Stanley.

Certified Speaking Professional Mandi Stanley works with business leaders who want to boost their professional image by becoming better speakers and writers through interactive high-content keynotes, breakout sessions, workshops, technical writing seminars, and fun proofreading classes. 

You might also like:

Prefer Performance to Chronology in Your Résumé

It’s Interview Time: What’s the One Detail Most Interviewees Forget?

Wacky Word of the Week: Purge this Particular Word