If you’re going to take the time to write a blog, articles, white papers or anything else then I can’t stress to you enough the importance of proofreading what you write. Proofreading ultimately takes up very little of your time but not doing it can have a negative impact on your publishing efforts. Often you are writing to prove to people you are an expert in your field. So how do you think it looks if you have spelling and punctuation errors regularly in your writing? It doesn’t look good, it detracts from the writing.
Currently I’m enrolled in the Master’s program at the University of Phoenix and the format for the classes and curriculum demands a lot of writing. We use an online forum to answer questions posed by the instructor and we comment on each other’s answers as well. I cannot tell you how annoyed I get when I read someone else’s post and see misspellings, bad sentence structure, or punctuation errors. And what amazes me is that it happens all the time. I’m really not trying to knock them but my fellow classmates are in the Master’s program. That implies that they already have a lot of education and that they are probably a part of the business community as well. Many of them hold good positions within well established large companies. But they can’t get through a paragraph without some sort of error.
I know we’re not all expert spellers or masters of sentence structure. I’m certainly not but not taking the time to make sure that your writing is free of the most basic errors tends to strike others as unprofessional. If you can’t seem to take the time to proofread your own work then how are you going to handle my project? That’s the question that someone willing to hire you for a job might end up asking themself. Something as simple as proofreading your own material needs to always be done because you are a professional and what you write needs to look like it came from a professional as well.
One final note on the subject. Don’t trust things like spell check for word documents. Spell check does not know everything. In fact it is often horrible at catching bad sentence structure and spelling errors because the program does not seem to understand the context of what you are writing so the suggestions it makes are way out in left field. Spell Check can be helpful in catching accidental spelling mistakes but proofreading your work yourself or better yet having a colleague do it will do a lot more good.
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