Writer Tools for Success: Proofreading
In a perfect world, you would never have to proofread your own work. You could pass each assignment to an editor to receive insightful feedback and ideas for improvement. Your brain would delight in this arrangement as it is notoriously difficult to see your own spelling, grammar, and style mistakes. While proofreading, your brain focuses on meaning, allowing the finer details to slip by unnoticed.
Unfortunately, all too often, the real world impedes the development of great writer-editor relationships with its contract terms, deadlines and other restrictions. You do not have to head into the proofreading process alone, however. You can use these helpful apps to gain insights that help you perfect your work when you cannot hire an editor.
As you complete each project for your clients, you can use Google Docs as your first line of defense against typos and bad grammar. Their latest update greatly improved the system’s ability to catch tricky grammatical mistakes by adding machine translation techniques to the mix. In addition to catching basic word choice errors, the system may reveal incorrect verb tense or improper use of subordinate clauses.
As you type, the inline spelling and grammar suggestions appear as a squiggly line to catch your attention. You can click on them to see the suggested corrections and apply them to your work. When you are finished writing, you can run a full check of the document to spot any spelling and grammar errors you missed.
While vastly important, the update to Google Docs simply brought it up to the standards established by Grammarly. Both their free and premium versions have long used advanced machine learning algorithms to perfect spelling and grammar. With the free version, you can check your spelling, grammar, and style choices using your client’s language preferences. This version includes full explanations for the improvement suggestions plus detailed reports on your writing performance.
The premium version packs on even more features including a plagiarism checker and vocabulary enhancement tools. You can run this program through the website, on your desktop, or using the browser extensions. It is even possible to add it to your preferred word processing program for quick and easy doublechecks. Depending on how you use Grammarly, the correction suggestions may appear inline as you type or on the sidebar after clicking the start button.
The Hemingway Editor goes far beyond the utility of even the most advanced spelling and grammar checker with the assessment of readability. This app identifies complex words and phrases that increase the grade level of your work. When your clients want you to write at an eighth grade level, this is the tool you can rely on in making that happen. But even when they do not have such requests, it is wise to use this app to tighten up all your work by checking for excessive adverb use, complex sentence structures, weakening phrases, and passive voice.
To check your work, you can use their free online checker or download the desktop app for a small fee. In addition to tightening up your prose without the need for an internet connection, the paid version allows for easy custom formatting and direct publishing options for WordPress and Medium. It also lets you easily import and export your work to Word and Google Docs to minimize the need to copy and paste.
With each word you select, you convey a specific tone that can have a positive or negative effect on your audience. As an IBM Watson Developer Cloud system, the Tone Analyzer is the tool of choice in dialing in your tone to suit your audience. With a stunning accuracy, it detects sentiments in your writing by analyzing your writing style.
You can input your assignment into their online system to receive an assessment of the tone you use throughout the piece. The results will let you know if your writing is tentative, analytical, joyful, or angry, to name a few, or if it swings toward the opposite tones. Highlighted sections will show where you can make adjustments to change the emotions conveyed throughout your piece.
If your writing contains too much jargon, or specialized terminology, the message could be lost on people unfamiliar with those phrases. Unfortunately, it can be tough to see when you are using jargon in your writing. Thankfully, you can rely on the Jargon Grader to help you clean it all up. This innovative tool checks your writing for more than 700 potentially-perplexing phrases.
When you paste your work into the system and press go, it will highlight suspect phrases in the text. You can elect to change these phrases or leave them be if the context helps keep your message clear. Although this tool does not provide any helpful feedback, it is wildly helpful in simply letting you see the jargon you may use without a second thought.
Keep these helpful writing tools on hand whenever you need a little extra help with proofreading. Your clients will greatly appreciate your ability to finetune your grammar, writing style, and tone to best suit their audiences. This will help you build your client list and pack your schedule full of awesome writing opportunities. If you are not yet a part of the WriterAccess team, come join us today to find even more exceptional clients in need of your services.
Marie A. regularly produces engaging web content and informative SEO articles for small and large enterprises worldwide. She utilizes her knowledge of the online landscape to create effective content marketing campaigns for her clients. She writes shareable copy with a clear call to action that does not sound salesy or pushy. Her content always reflects the company voice and mission while adhering to the preferred style guide. Through the production of optimized webpages, articles and other works, she helps business owners speak directly to their target audiences, convert site visits into sales and position themselves as leaders in their industries.