Proof Reading

Some common mistakes identified during proof reading

What is proof-reading?

Proof reading is an age old process of making your write-up flawless. The concept of proof-reading has emerged with the concept of ‘publishing’. If you ask people engaged with the publishing industry about ‘proof-reading’, you will be acquainted with the traditional concept of proof-reading, which is to revise a manuscript before it gets printed. Thus, traditionally the process of proof-reading involved formatting of the written piece, providing page numbers, headers, Spelling-check. With the advent of internet, a completely new platform other than the print media was established for the dissemination of news stories articles and the traditional concept of proof reading changed as well. Now-a-days proof reading is considered as the process of revising the final draft of a write up, under which grammatical errors, spellings, punctuation and consistency as well as logical flow of the narrative are checked. 

Below are some of the common mistakes detected through proof reading

1. Incorrect Capitalization:
Out of their misconception, often writers tend to use incorrect capitalization all through a write up. Especially, in case of academic writing, at the time of incorporating relevant models, theories, disciplines as well as ideas, often writers use capital forms. This is one of the most common mistakes detected though proof-reading.  The following are the examples of theories, models and other academic terms that should not be capitalized. 

• Theories including string theory, psychoanalytic theory, Einstein’s theory of relativity and so on.

• Models including five- Bohr atomic model, factor model of personality, and so on.

• Disciplines as well as subjects including Japanese, French, economics, sociology and so on.

2. Unnecessary usage of apostrophe:

• Never use apostrophe to make plural forms of years:

Many of you may have the habit of using apostrophe unnecessarily, to turn the singular form of a noun into plural form. For instance, often proof readers encounter sentences like -“My sister was born in 1990’s”. However, this is a wrong use of apostrophe. There is no need to use apostrophe for making plural forms Rather apostrophe is used to indicate possession as well as contraction. The right sentence should be-“My sister was born in 1990s.

• Never use apostrophes for making plural forms of acronyms:

However, there are more faulty usages of apostrophe that are identified at the time of proof-reading. For instance, as a novice writer often you may nourish this wrong perception of turning acronyms into plural forms by adding apostrophes and writing sentences containing acronyms like-“Several international NGO’s are working proactively to save the flood victims”. This is again a wrong use of apostrophe. Instead the sentence should be written as – “Several international NGOs are working proactively to save the flood victims”.

3. Informal language usage: 

As a proof-reader you may encounter common mistakes like the use of informal language, especially in case of producing academic contents. For instance, often academic write-ups may contain words like ‘photos’ instead of photographs, or phrases like-‘A lot of’ instead of ‘many’. Such mistakes should be avoided. 
Here, I am providing you a list of informal phrases and how you could replace them with formal phrases.

• Instead of ‘A bit’ use ‘somewhat difficult’

• Instead of ‘A lot of’ or, ‘a couple of’ use

• Instead of contraction form of apostrophes (‘would’ve’, ‘can’t’, ‘Isn’t’, ‘doesn’t’) use full forms like-would ‘would have’, ‘cannot’, ‘Is not’, ‘does not’ and so on.

• Instead of phrases like ‘Kind of’, ‘sort of’ use ‘type of’.

• Instead of ‘from 2019till 2020’ use ‘from 2019 to 2020’

• Instead of second person (you, your) use passive voice (‘was done’, ‘can be seen’)

Finally, there is no need to mention that, you will be considered as a proficient writer if you know the skill to produce error-free articles. The common mistakes discussed further as well as the simple tips to eliminate them, are essential for you to reflect perfection and proficiency all through your writing. These are some of the common mistakes that are detected during minute proof—reading which you can avoid easily by following all such simple tips discussed further. 

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