Use the following proofreading guide to
weed common errors. Until you use them automatically, you may find it
helpful to remember the steps using the acronym
Check each sentence to be sure it
is not a
- Run on
- Sentence that doesn't make
- Stringy sentence.
(one that contains more than two independent
- Be sure you've used the
- Avoid slang words.
(kids, homies, etc.)
- Use precise nouns and verbs.
- Avoid contractions in formal
- Be sure that subjects and
Verbs agree in number. (singular or
- Be sure pronouns agree with
their antecedent in number. (singular or
- Be sure pronouns are in the
correct case. (subjective or objective e.g.
between you and me)
- Keep verb tenses are kept
consistent. (present, past, future, etc.)
- Keep voice is consistent.
(Don't switch incorrectly from first to second
- Keep similar items
- Use subjunctive mood for
hypothetical and untrue situations.
- Be sure all sentences have
- Check to be sure questions
end with question marks.
- Use commas after
introductory words and phrases.
- Use commas after items in
lists except for the last item.
- Use a comma in a compound
sentence just before the coordinating conjunction.
- Use commas to set apart
non essential phrases, clauses and
- Omit unnecessary
- Use a comma after a
dependent clause when it comes before an independent
- Check for careless
spelling errors including poor letter
- Avoid casual spelling
such as cause for because and
gonna for going to.
- Remember that a
lot is two words.
- Begin each sentence with a
- Check homonyms to be
sure you have spelled the one you mean (there, their,
they're; where,were, to, too, two; your,
- Capitalize proper
- Eliminate unnecessary
- Check to be sure
apostrophes are used in contractions and