Proofreading. What a pain.

You finish your essay and think you’re through with it, but, no. Now you have to proofread it.

It turns out that writing and proofreading are two separate skills. In fact, they use two different parts of your brain and should be done at different times.

To take this a step further, when I proofread, I print off the article and edit it at the kitchen table, far from where I wrote it. This helps me separate the writing process from the work of editing, and I catch more mistakes that way.

Write your essay. Let it rest a day or two. Then come back to it with a new perspective on what you wrote. It’s much easier to find your mistakes that way.

To practice proofreading, it’s also much easier to find someone else’s mistakes than your own. With that in mind, I’ve posted a letter to the editor written by a high school student who also happens to be a cheerleader.

Before you read this letter, understand that any number of teens could have written this poorly the first time around, before a good proofreading session. I’m not hatin’ on cheerleaders here.

It's easier to fix someone else's mistakes than your own. Take a look at this letter to the editor filled with mistakes and then use your proofreading skills.

Now it’s your turn: Read the following letter to the editor completely through one time to get an idea of what this teen is trying to convey to her audience. Then get out a colorful pen and proofread the letter. Use correct proofreading marks. Here are the proofreading marks. Help this gal express her message more clearly.

FYI, there are many correct ways to fix this letter. The way you correct it may be different from the way a friend edits it.

Click here to get and print off the letter: PROOFREAD THIS LETTER TO THE EDITOR. There’s plenty of room between the lines to give you space for corrections. And, believe me, you are going to need it.

Teachers, here is one way to proofread the letter to the editor.

Copyright © 2015 by Sharon Watson
Slightly edited letter to the editor, Kokomo Tribune, August 2002
Original image courtesy of stockunlimited.com

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Photo © Galina Barskaya, Dreamstime Stock Photos.