Does your child incorporate proofreading as part of their written work? Most of my students think that as soon as they put their final ending punctuation mark on their writing, it’s done!

The ability to assess and correct one’s own performance is a metacognitive skill. When students have a weakness in this area, they may neglect to proofread and check their work. Some students have difficulty staying on topic and veer off in a different direction or go on a tangent, losing sight of their topic or goal. Others make careless errors by rushing through their work or not paying attention to details.

Tips for Successful Proofreading:

Build-in plenty of time to edit, revise, and proofread your work.

The time needed for proofreading will vary depending on the length of the paper and your writing skills.

Print a copy of your paper.

It is much harder to catch errors on a computer screen, and proofreading an actual paper eliminates online distractions. Concentration is key.

Read your work out loud.

Your ears will help you catch the errors your eyes may miss. For example, word omissions, duplicate words, poor or awkward word choices, and sentence structure are often heard but not seen.

Know your common mistakes and make a personal proofreading checklist.

Do you make the same mistakes each time you write? Maybe you confuse there, their, and they’re or forget to capitalize the first word of sentences. By becoming aware of your common errors, you can focus on looking for these mistakes during the proofreading process.

Review your work systematically.

Look for one or two types of errors at a time. For instance, first, check for spelling and end punctuation, reread, and check for internal punctuation and grammar. Next, check for the capitalization of proper nouns. When finished, check for formatting.

Read it backward.

Your eyes tend to read what you meant to write versus what you actually wrote. Read your text backward, word by word, to help you focus on individual words and catch spelling errors.

Use online editing tools.

Grammarly, Ginger, PolishMyWriting, WhiteSmoke, and of course, SpellChecker are all terrific editing tools.

Use a dictionary.

While SpellChecker is great at catching spelling mistakes, it doesn’t know if you’ve used the correct word. For example, if you’re unsure whether to write to the principal or principle, use a dictionary to look it up!

Take a break.

Rereading work after leaving it for several hours or days makes your eyes more perceptive.

Have someone else review your work.

Sometimes it can be difficult to view your own work objectively. Once you’ve reviewed it, have someone else look it over. A fresh set of eyes may see mistakes you’ve overlooked.

About Skills 4 Life:

Skills 4 Life Pediatric Occupational Therapy offers a broad range of pediatric occupational therapy services to help your child master age-appropriate developmental skills, become more independent, increase academic success & develop confidence. The experts at Skills 4 Life specialize in handwriting, keyboarding, and executive function coaching and work with children on social & emotional learning, motor skills, self-regulation strategies, and activities of daily living. Skills 4 Life Pediatric Occupational Therapy offers your child a safe, compassionate environment to learn the critical skills they need to be successful. Learn more about our team & services at, or you can contact our office by email at or by phone at 303.351.1828 for a free consultation.

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