Why Proofreading Is Important & Why You Need to Learn It

You’re not finished writing until you have one more read-through. Learn why proofreading is important in this article. 

Whether you’re writing a 10-page essay or a two-paragraph email, it’s always a good idea to give your final draft a proofread before sending it off to be read.

Proofreading is essential to writing and should be the last step of your writing process. There’s a lot to be gained and even saved when you proofread your work, so knowing how to do it thoroughly and what you should look for is essential.

Keep reading to learn why proofreading is important and to learn tips on how to improve your proofreading skills. 

What Is Proofreading?

image of writer proofreading their work with a red pen

Let’s start by ensuring that you know what proofreading is exactly.

Proofreading is the last step of the writing process, where you read over what you wrote. By the time you get to the proofreading stage, you should be entirely done writing. This isn’t the time to add anything substantial to what you wrote. You should have covered all of that in the editing process.

During the proofreading process, you should check the following:

  • Grammar errors
  • Spelling errors
  • Tone
  • Paragraph and sentence structure
  • Formatting
  • Clear and concise language

You can even use our FREE checklist for proofreading for a more comprehensive list of things to check!

An important thing to note is that proofreading can be done by either you – the person who wrote the piece – or by a third party. Sometimes, there are benefits to having your work proofread by a third party, as they provide a fresh set of eyes and may be able to see things that you can’t. They can help you optimize your word choice like the difference between manor or mansion in your writing.

Let’s talk about why proofreading your written work is essential to putting your best face forward and improving your writing skills. 

Reasons Why Proofreading Is Important

There are several reasons why proofreading is essential, and you should always do it. Here are the top 5 reasons proofreading should be a part of your process. 

1. Mistakes Are Distracting

picture of author proofreading with a red marker

The first and possibly most important reason why proofreading is important is that mistakes can easily detract from your work.

You could have the most innovative and brilliant ideas in your essay. However, if that essay is riddled with mistakes, there’s a chance that your reader may be too distracted to grasp what you’re saying entirely.

One or two mistakes may go unnoticed, but a misspelled word or punctuation error combined with other minor errors may become central to your work. Just make sure you understand the difference between grammar vs punctuation as they are not the same thing!

Losing out on an opportunity or getting a lower grade because of a silly mistake that is easy to fix is the worst feeling. If you proofread your work, you can easily avoid this and catch the little mistakes before you hand in your final product. If you need extra help, consider joining the Proofreading Academy from Knowadays to learn even more!

2. Present Your Best Work

Another reason why proofreading & copy editing is essential is that you always want to present your best work. Doing so creates a great first impression.

No one’s best work should be full of spelling errors or grammar mistakes. Proofreading is an opportunity to catch those mistakes early to ensure you present nothing but your best. 

This is also why you should proofread everything you write, no matter how small it is. You never know who your writing might reach and when you’ll need to make a good first impression!

3. Looks More Professional

Proofreading and professionalism go hand in hand. 

There are many professional settings where your communication must be clear, concise, and error-free. This includes:

  • Your resume and cover letter when applying for a job
  • A professional email
  • A memo or other written communication for business

For these forms of communication, you must proofread everything you write, even a simple email. Proofreading will help you avoid simple mistakes like confusing conjunctions & interjections in your writing.

The good thing about small communications such as email is that looking over it yourself is sufficient. However, for something like a cover letter and resume, it’s a good idea to have a second set of eyes look over them and give them a good proofread, even if you have to hire a professional proofreading service. 

4. Allows You to Learn from Your Mistakes

One significant aspect of proofreading that some people overlook is how it allows you to learn from your mistakes. 

When you proofread, you’re reading your document to catch all of your mistakes. This exercise helps you better spot the errors you make the most. As a result, you’ll be less likely to make those errors in the future, which may lead to lighter and easier proofreading.

5. Improve Your Grades

If you’re a student, proofreading your academic writing will help you improve your grades. 

As a student especially, it may seem like a chore to have to read over your essay again. However, proofreading a great essay may be the difference between an A- and an A.

This doesn’t only apply to a research paper. It also applies to all academic writing, including tests, quizzes, and other written assignments. If you ever have time left after writing an exam, it’s essential that you always proofread your work to ensure that you put down all of the answers you meant to put down.

Teachers always mark for grammar, so it’s essential never to leave anything on the table when proofreading your work.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is editing and proofreading so important?

Proofreading is important for a variety of reasons. Most importantly, it makes your writing more clear and removes all technical & grammatical mistakes that can cause confusion.

Why is it important to proofread every message you send?

It is important to proofread all of your messages to avoid making simple grammatical mistakes. Excessive typos can distract from the meaning of your message & cause confusion.

What happens when you don’t proofread?

When you don’t proofread it is very easy to miss mistakes in your writing. It is especially important to proofread in formal writing to avoid making mistakes. However, it is not always necessary to spend significant time proofreading for informal writing.

The Takeaway

To sum up, there are several reasons why proofreading is essential, and you definitely can’t go wrong with looking over your work one more time. 

Whether you simply read over your work again or you enlist the help of a friend or colleague to give it a read, proofreading provides valuable insights into your writing and helps you deliver your best self.

If you need extra help proofreading your work, Grammarly is always here to help.