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Print Newsletter Proofreading Tips

Read these 13 Print Newsletter Proofreading Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Newsletter tips and hundreds of other topics.

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What does stet mean?

Stet

The term stet in proofreading means "let it stand" or "let it stay." It is used to cancel a previous change or correction on a proof copy. This allows the marked-up copy to have a "cleaner" look by eliminating erasures and white-out.

   
How can I determine if I have left out a word when proofreading?

Read Backwards

Have you looked at your text over and over, but are still concerned as to whether there may be a typo or a word left out? Try reading what you've written - backwards (right to left). This forces you to say each word and see exactly what you have typed. Your brain will not "automatically" fill in words as it sometimes does when reading normally (left to right).

   
Should I proofread my newsletter from a hard copy proof?

Hard Copy is Best

You will catch more typos and errors by proofreading a hard copy proof of your newsletter, than by reading the copy from a computer screen. Not only is it easier on your eyes, but you will be able to see who has made which previous changes/corrections. (There's also no chance that your hard copy will "crash!")

   
What is the most practical method of proofreading by myself?

One-Person Approach

With practice, you can become quite proficient in your proofreading skills (without the aid of spellcheck!) The most practical method of proofreading by one person is by reading a line, phrase, or sentence on the proof, then reading the same line, phrase, or sentence on the manuscript and comparing the two.

   
Can I change grammatical errors from the original manuscript?

Correcting Grammar

Be careful when you are correcting grammar; common usage does NOT always mean the copy is incorrect. As with suspected misspelled words, if in doubt, contact the author of the piece.

   
How many times should I proofread my newsletter copy?

How Many Times?

Not sure how many times to proofread an article? Easy! Keep proofreading until you are absolutely, positively convinced there are NO ERRORS anywhere!

As a general guide, you should first proofread when your copy is typeset or typed. Be sure to read every word! Then, after marking the errors and correcting them, read it again. You can go ahead and paste-up the corrected copy, then proofread it at least ONE MORE TIME!

   
Should I use the two-person method to proofread text?

Two-Person Approach

The two-person approach to proofreading requires one person to read aloud the newly-composed text, while a second person follows along on the original manuscript. This is NOT a good method because the person reading along tends to mentally relax and errors often get missed. Also, if proofreader's marks have been used on the original, they are difficult to convey verbally.

   
How can I turn editing into a learning experience for writers?

Constructive Criticism

Editing should be a learning experience. You should be able to explain why you made changes to copy without bruising egos. The same philosophy that applies to raising children can be used here, "Choose your battles." It will do more harm than good to criticize every little mistake a writer has made. Instead, point out the most significant problems and focus on those. Give suggestions, rather than demands, and praise their strong points. A little bit of kindness can go a long way.

   
Can I change a misspelled word on the original manuscript?

Correcting Spelling

The only time you should change the spelling of a word when you are typing from a manuscript, is when you are ABSOLUTELY sure the word is misspelled. If you are not the original author and you are in doubt, contact the person who wrote the article.

   

Rewriting Articles

Unless you are familiar with a particular topic, have personally done the research, or conducted the interview on a news article, you probably don't have all the information or facts to do a complete rewrite of another writer's work. (Besides, that's not your job!) Instead, suggest revisions.

   
How can I determine if I have left out a word when proofreading?

Read Outloud

Here's a little trick that will help you find missing words or awkward sentences: Read your text outloud! By hearing what you have written, you will easily determine if it "sounds" correct.

   
Is it appropriate to completely rewrite someone else´s news article?

Knowing What a Writer Knows

One sure-fire way to get a writer to quit writing for your newsletter, is to completely rewrite an article without discussing it with them beforehand. They will feel extremely insulted and as though their work is of little value to you. Unless you know what the writer knows about the subject, you may have also inadvertently changed the entire point of the story. Not sure what to do? Except for correcting glaring errors, go ahead and leave the story alone.

   
What is proofreading?

Proofreading

Proofreading is the procedure of checking composed material against the original manuscript for the purpose of locating errors before the newsletter is published or printed.

   
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