A guest post by Brian Patterson of Grammarly
For many people, there is nothing more annoying than a typo. Be it a misspelled word in the newspaper or a punctuation problem on a blog post, readers are almost immediately distracted when they come across a typo. The same distraction holds true for teachers; if a student submits an assignment riddled with typos, they’ve already lost the battle. The paper could have brilliant points and analysis, but those will be quickly overlooked if the teacher is stumbling through the document. Today I want to share a few quick tips to help your child effectively proofread their work.
Read it Aloud
This little tip is extremely effective! Reading your writing aloud helps you catch the mistakes that you don’t otherwise see when just reading in your head. When you read to yourself, it is very easy for your brain to fill in missing words and plow through typos. However, when you read aloud, you pay much more attention to each word you are saying. As such, you can quickly catch most of typos with just this one little method.
Work with a Peer
Having another set of eyes review your work is very effective. After all, news articles and books go through rounds and rounds of revisions before being published. Shouldn’t important schoolwork go through a similar type of scrutiny? If your child’s teacher allows it, he or she should work with another student in this class, an English teacher, or perhaps the school’s writing center to spot-check the work. It can be as simple as only reviewing for typos and errors or as thorough as helping your child further develop their thoughts and ideas. Either way, use the strategy that every major publication employs, and have multiple sets of eyes review the work.
Try an Online Tool
I work with grammar checking tool Grammarly, so I’d be remiss if I left out automated grammar checking tools as a great way to quickly and effectively review a document for grammar and spelling. Gone are the days when the best check you had was a squiggly underline in your word processing software. With all of the advances in technology, the algorithms that these types of software contain are so sophisticated that they can perform very advanced reviews of content for things like faulty parallelism, dangling modifiers, and Subject –Verb agreement. To me, it always makes sense to run an important document through an automated check.
Armed with this small bag of tricks, your student should never be dinged for a typo again. And, the best part is, that the more aware your student becomes of the types of errors they are prone to make, the less likely they will be to make them!