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Before you push send, take one last look

You’re approaching a deadline, you’ve gone over this case study a hundred times and made a few more edits. You don’t need to look at it again…it’ll be fine, right? Maybe not.

We don’t always take the time to make sure all i’s are dotted and t’s crossed (mostly because we don’t write in cursive anymore). But reviewing your work one last time can make a difference in producing a piece you’re proud of, or one you’d rather forget.

Here are some ways to reduce errors and improve your writing at the final stage before you push send.

1. Give it a rest.
Ideally, and if you have time, step away from your writing, give it a rest for a few hours, then take a fresh look before you submit it.

2. Get a second pair of eyes.
Have someone else review your work. A professional writer is preferred, but a subject expert can also help. You don’t have to use all of their suggestions, but others often catch glitches while affirming your obvious talent.

3. Run a spell check.
At the very least, run a careful spell check. Does this need to be said? Yes, it does.

4. Read it out loud.
Read your entire piece out loud. Use a foreign accent, like Texan or Schwarzenegger.

5. Revisit your goals.
What are the project goals: To make you or your client sound smart? To sell stuff? To get readers to join the conversation? Your writing should achieve these, not just display your vocabularity.

6. Print it out and proofread.
This may sound un-green, but it can help you see your work in a different light. Of course, print two-sided and recycle.

Written by Kate Kotecki (www.katewrites.com), an independent writer in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

2 Responses to “Before you push send, take one last look”

  • This is excellent advice for all levels of writers. It’s easy for professional writers to speed through this final assessment, after all the time invested leading up to it. Thanks for the reminder, Kate!

  • Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a corrected version
    May 21, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Excellent advice and I’ve always followed it to the letter when it came to any work for a client. But, when I was my own client I slipped up. The other day when I submitted an entry in a short story competition; I had proofed the story several times, and then after I had made a few final changes, as the deadline was nigh, I sent it off without further checking.
    After I printed it out, to my chagrin, I found some embarrassing typos.

    “My bad” won’t suffice.

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