Re: Editing, Smediting

Subject: Re: Editing, Smediting
From: Michael Hassett <mhasset -at- QUARTZ -dot- IDBSU -dot- EDU>
Date: Thu, 17 Apr 1997 13:07:45 GMT+7

A trick my dad taught me when I was 12 and he was working as a
proofreader for a publishing company--

If you really want to catch surface problems (punctuation, spelling,
citation style, etc.) read the document backwards. Start with the
last sentence, then move to the next to the last sentence, then to
the third-to-last sentence, and so on. (For spelling, sometimes it is
useful to read one word at a time, starting with the last word of the
document.) This circumvents the mind's
ability to automatically correct errors as you read in the normal
manner. It also serves to make your own writing foreign, thus
getting at the "fresh set of eyes" concept.

I'm currently doing this on some material and it works quite well.
However, if you think proofreading the normal way is slow and
tedious, you'll find this even worse. But it seems worth the pain.


Michael Hassett
Assistant Professor
English
Boise State University
mhasset -at- quartz -dot- idbsu -dot- edu
(208)385-4211
http://www.idbsu.edu/english/mhassett/hassett.htm

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