Proofreading Tips

Contact me! Your work will never look so polished as when a professional proofreader has reviewed and corrected it.

Don't panic and don't rush! You'll do your most accurate work when you can take your time with it.

Try reading your copy aloud. It forces you to slow down and notice the errors.

Pretend ignorance of your subject. If you knew nothing about this, would your copy answer your questions?

When in doubt, look it up! Don't just guess and hope that you're right! If you've got it wrong and your readers know it but you don't, you've just lost all credibility.

Don't forget to check the boring stuff: index, table of contents, table of figures, page numbers, headers and footers, citations, quotations, cross references, legal references, sections numbers, correct spelling of proper names and places, etc.

Test Yourself


  • Ten items or less
  • Ten items or fewer
  • Go lie down
  • Go lay down
  • I could care less
  • I couldn't care less
  • Between you and me
  • Between you and I
  • Since the 1980s
  • Since the 1980's


  • Does this drive you nuts at the check-out? It should be ten items or fewer. It's "less" if you weigh it, as in "one pound is less than six pounds."
  • To lie is to recline while to lay usually means to place something. You might lay a napkin next to your plate but you tell the dog to lie down. Most people tell their dogs the wrong thing but dogs don't seem to mind.
  • If you "could care less," then you care. If you really just don't care at all, then you "couldn't care less" since you already care as little as humanly possible, specifically, not at all.
  • Think of it as "between you" and "between me." You would never say "between I" so don't say "between you and I."
  • Apostrophes are possessive. Since we mean a plural, there is no apostrophe in "the 1980s." There were some bad hair styles, though.