Determine Your Editing Level Before You Begin To Proof

Editing is strenuous work. It's always detail-oriented and often time-consuming. But not all writing projects require comprehensive editing. Sometimes your message is simple to express. Simple communications can often be proofed quickly. However, if the communication is complex— a report or proposal, for instance—comprising multiple sections that need to be evaluated individually and as a whole, proofreading is likely to be a demanding task.

As a general statement, the more complicated the communication, the more careful the proofing that's required. It's important to decide which of the following three proofing levels is appropriate for your project before you begin to proof. The three levels are:

Level One: Clarity and Grammar

Level Two: Clarity, Grammar, Organization, and Completeness

Level Three: Everything

You'll save time and energy if you don't proof beyond what is required. And you'll produce professional and polished communications if you proof as you go along.

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