Improving Proofreading Skills: Exercises for Proofread Practice

It’s important to learn to proofread. The only problem is that searching for information on how to improve proofreading skills often leads to stuff that’s more suitable for school kids. Finding a proper guide or effective strategies that will help you polish your writing may be next to impossible.

Yes, there are proofreading online classes, but who has time for that? You’re not trying to pass some exams. What you really need is to develop a consistent approach and better edit your own documents for school and other correspondence.

Good news! We’ve studied popular proofreading online tests and put together some exercises, questions and answers, and helpful tips. Work your way through the information here, and your skills will improve immensely.

A Short Quiz

1 - What are the steps you follow when writing a report?

A. Planning, drafting, revising, and proofreading.

B. Procrastinating, panicking, and writing furiously.

C. Outlining, researching, writing, formatting, and polishing.

If you selected A, your answer is correct. When you write a report you follow these steps: planning, drafting, revising, and proofreading.

2 - Which of the following is the best advice for proofreading long, complex documents?

A. Use your spell checker for speed.

B. Stop your writing frequently to polish.

C. Be confident in your work. Remember that you are just making changes to perfect your document, not making major revisions.

In case you didn’t realize it, ‘C’ is the right answer!

3 - Which of the following is recommended when proofreading your documents?

A. Check for one thing at a time (spelling, grammar, punctuation, capitalization, phrasing, transitions).

B. Open your document in a different editor so you get a fresh look.

C. Both ‘A’ and ‘B’.

The answer is ‘C’. Check for one element at a time to better ensure you don’t miss anything. Also, giving your document a slightly different link will help stave off the visual fatigue that can stop you from finding mistakes.

4 - Which of the following is not an effective attitude when revising and proofreading documents?

A. Overthink everything you’ve written.

B. Wait until the last minute, then panic.

C. It’s probably fine like it is!

D. None of the above.

Of course, it’s ‘D’! You don’t want to take a lax approach to this, but panicking and overthinking don’t help either.

5 - True or false? To save time, you should thoroughly proofread a document as you write it.

False. If you happen to catch an error, go ahead and fix it. Just be sure you give yourself time to focus on getting your thoughts out without constant error checking.

6 - In order to effectively revise and proofread a document, you should:

A. Make a checklist to follow to be certain you don’t miss anything.

B. Wait several days before you start.

C. Assume you’ve caught every mistake in editing and revising.

Here the best answer is ‘A’. If you wait too long the material isn’t fresh enough. Further, you will rarely if ever catch everything in editing.

7 - When evaluating the content of a message what should the proofreader consider?

A. Is it appropriate for the audience?

B. It shouldn’t be too complex or too simplistic.

C. Have you covered every idea you intended to include?

D. All of the above.

It’s all the above. Each point ensures your document is as readable as possible.

8 - Which of the following is the best advice to follow when you proofread a routine document?

A. It’s routine! You can just phone it in.

B. Go ahead and polish right after you’ve finished.

This time it’s ‘B’. Proofreading won’t take long, and the content will be fresh in your mind.

9 - When you proofread a document, you are looking for all of the following except:

A. Grammar

B. Punctuation

C. Spelling

D. Capitalization

E. Phrasing

F. Factual errors

It’s ‘F’. Not that finding factual errors isn’t important, but that should be done when you edit and revise your document.

10 - Which of the following techniques can help you proofread more effectively:

A. Print your document to make it easier to read.

B. Don’t get distracted by social media or your phone.

C. Both ‘A’ and ‘B’.

Of course, it’s ‘C’!

11 - Select the letter of a category on which you should focus when proofreading.

A. Factual information used in your text (dates, names, figures, etc.)

B. The grade you want to receive.

C. Misspellings, punctuation errors, grammar inaccuracies.

It`s F. The other options have nothing to do with this stage of writing.

12 - Which of the following is a good rule to follow when proofreading an essay?

A. Read and correct all types of mistakes at once.

B. Read your text out loud.

C. Keep reading until the text is all perfect.

The correct answer is B. As for the other options, you should focus on one type of mistake at once but don`t put too much pressure on yourself, there`s no such thing as completely mistake-free writing.

13 - Which of the following will allow a reader to stay focused while proofreading?

A. Having your work printed out.

B. Take breaks while working.

C. Read the text backward.

Any of these options is correct.

Answer the Following Questions on a Separate Page

1 - Alexis must proofread a complex business document. What is the best advice you can give to her?

2 - Suggest a good technique for effectively proofreading your presentation.

3 - For complex documents it’s best to proofread ____________ (name the steps of the process).

4 - You proofread in order to check _____________ (name the main elements that you should pay attention to).

5 - Why you should proofread for content errors?

6 - Editing and proofreading are usually done _______ (name the steps of the writing process).

7 - Explain why it's wise to only proofread a document for only one type of error at a time.

Time for Some Exercises

You may want to grab some extra paper for these or have your editor open in another tab. These are done on the honor system but should help you get in some practice.

Take some time to do UK or US English proofreading skills test. Then, copy a random passage from an article or blog. Practice your skills. You may be surprised at the mistakes you find even in professional work.

Among other options which allow you to boost your skills is crossword solving. It will help you memorize how words are spelled in the correct way. Use a proofread crossword clue websites to check the answers.

Life Pro Tips

We can’t cover every single thing you need to know, but these tips should help you knock out your next task.

  • The writing process consists of planning, drafting, revising, formatting, and proofreading.
  • Remember that proofreading should be done after you finish revising and editing.
  • For complex documents, it’s best to proofread in chunks first. Then, check the document as a whole.
  • Ask a friend to help and provide an objective perspective.
  • Spotting errors as you proofread is easier if you use a printed copy. You can also try changing your background color and font.
  • When proofreading, taking the time to carefully look over your writing helps you catch more errors. Slow down, and give yourself time.
  • Writers proofreading essays would look for spelling, capitalization, grammar, phrasing, transitions, completion, and punctuation.
  • Have faith in your writing. Polishing is not about making big changes.

Practicing Test Online with Answers and Other Options

This is an important step. Reading Proofreading for Dummies may be fun but it will be better to take your time and use a methodical approach. Create a checklist. Break big jobs into chunks. Print out your document, or make it look different in some other way. Consider letting a friend check your paper over as well. Follow these steps, and you’ll turn in a nicely polished essay.

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It’s important to learn to proofread. The only problem is that searching for information on how to improve proofreading skills often leads to stuff that’s more suitable for school kids. Finding a proper guide or effective strategies that will help you polish your writing may be next to impossible.

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