I can read without moving my lips,
. . . but sometimes I do anyway.
Reading my writing aloud is a proofreading technique I commonly use. I don’t suppose I’m the only one who has thought of this, but I’m glad I did. For me it is quite effective.
I have a tendency to write almost the right word when I’m dashing out the text. I find a lot of “and and” instances in my work. Often what I meant to write in a case like that is “and I” or “and as” or such. By reading the literal words aloud, I generally catch these mistakes. I’ll often leave out small, common words like articles and even conjunctions. Generally this happens when I’m typing fast. Hearing the words, even spoken in a whisper, nearly always leads me to find the omissions.
I’ll also read aloud sentences that are particularly dense or compound/complex to see how well they work. I don’t know what it is about reading aloud, but I can better understand my meaning that way, and I can better judge how well it is coming across.
Less often I’ll mix up “there, they’re, or their” but I know the proper uses of each, and they’ve become red flag words that make me stop whenever I use them to ensure I’ve done so correctly. Reading aloud doesn’t usually help me catch misused homonyms but there is a deliberate quality about the practice that probably helps with this error too.
I think at one point or another in the creation of a final draft I will have read aloud every word on the screen. Certainly this is true with the short stories I write. I know some writers will start at the beginning of their novel and read it aloud all the way through. I can understand the value of this even if I don’t always practice it myself.Explore posts in the same categories: Humble efforts
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