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1. Print out your work. Screens tire the eye, causing you to gloss over errors. Editors often print everything out so that they can catch errors better.

2. Use a blank sheet of paper to cover up all text except for one line. By looking at one line at one time, you can focus your eye on every word without the distraction of other words getting your attention.

3. Let it sit. Let your work sit for a while after you’ve written it, You will be able to look at it with a fresher eye and notice errors that were missed during your first read through.

4. Use a grammar checklist. Write out a checklist and for each point include a grammatical rule. For each read, only look for one item listed in the checklist. Note the example below.

Sample Checklist:

  • Check spelling of names: Are they spelled the same way each time?

  • Check punctuation: Look for comma splices or missing periods.

  • Check hyphenation: Is long-term hyphenated in some areas and not hyphenated in others?

If you struggle with copyediting your own work, apply these quick and easy tips to your writing process.

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