Proofreading Suggestions for Engineers
A common temptation for engineers is to submit a technical report without sufficiently proofreading the document. It’s amazing how verb confusion or a misspelled word can discredit the finest technical achievement.
Conversely, good writing persuades and influences. Great writing is an art mastered only by disciplined practice, editing, and proofreading. Editing a lengthy report can be overwhelming. It’s easy to lose focus when checking for spelling, verb agreement, good sentence structure, smooth transitions between sections, and formatting. Using a proofreading checklist can improve your document by organizing your plan of attack. An editing checklist gives you an edge when polishing professional documents.
Proof read your document at least three times. Mark off each item in your editing checklist. By applying this editing procedure to your repertoire, your writing and professional career will be enhanced.
- My headlines are compelling and whet the reader’s appetite.
o I have included a keyword(s).
o I am telling a story.
- The message has visual impact.
o Headlines are informative.
o There is ample white space.
o Bullets, numbered lists, charts, and tables are used where appropriate.
o Sentences are limited to 25 words (There are exceptions to the rule).
o Paragraphs are limited to 8 lines (There are exceptions to the rule).
- I have reviewed the message for clarity, format, and style.
o The message will be clear to my reader.
o The message is logically organized.
o I have sequenced my message so that the reader is interested and moving forward.
o The tone is clear and simple.
- My spelling, grammar, and punctuation are correct.
o I used the spell checker.
o I checked my grammar and punctuation.