Warning: The first paragraph of this post contains 4 spelling mistakes. I dare you to find them.
In an earlier blog post, I wrote about how eLearning proofreading can sometimes get tricky.
In this post, I have included 5 time-tested tips to help you become an ace at proofreading your own eLearning content.
1. Get Into the Proofreader’s Shoes
Proofreading eLearning content is boring. Trust me, it is, especially when you are checking your own work. Writing eLearning content is a lot like squeezing the last remaining drops of toothpaste out, and proofreading the same content is like pushing the paste inside the tube again. But what if someone challenged you to it? If I were you, I would take up the challenge without thinking that the task was boring. In all probability, you would do it with more enthusiasm than ever. So, why not adopt the same attitude when proofreading your own content?
Now, tell me, did you find those 4 spelling mistakes I challenged you to find? I can’t play poker, but I sure know how to bluff. I know you didn’t, because I didn’t make any! But I bet you were busy looking for them, but surely didn’t find them.
You looked for the mistakes because I challenged you to find them and then got into the role of a proofreader while doing it.
It is plain simple human nature that we tend to find mistakes in someone else’s work. Assume your content is not yours – that it belongs to that someone else. Take up the challenge and proofread your own content the same way!
2. Read Something That You Like – Everyday
You probably write something or the other everyday; at least a few emails if nothing else. But do you take time out to read? Chances are that you’ll be able to spot an error whenever you come across one.
3. Invest Time
Proofreading eLearning content such as a storyboard, a blog-post or any other document, needs time like any other activity. Your company not only pays you do your job; it also pays you to add value. And you add value by investing time not only on writing blog posts, but also proofreading them. A few minutes of cautious effort can go a big way in eliminating all those annoying distractions that an online reader despises.
4. Refer To The Dictionary
Nobody’s an expert. Everyone needs help at some time or the other. It’s always a good idea to refer to online dictionaries or handy dictionary apps like Wordweb which gives you the meaning of any word at the press of a button (well, three in this case), and don’t be afraid to ask.
5. Practice Reading Aloud
It may not always be possible, but practice reading your content aloud the way you want your learners to read and interpret it. This is a powerful proofreading tool that will help you to relate to your end users and connect with them. This seemingly simple activity will help you add suitable punctuations where you pause, replace tongue-twisters or heavy content with simple words, and get the flow right.