Fathom

How to proof-read copy

Professional steps for outputting clean, grammatically correct copywriting

Jeff Strang
Jeff Strang
Updated
Oct 21, 2020
How to proof-read copy

Quality copywriting is difficult; indeed, much harder than is often credited.

As a former editor in a typically under-resourced modern media business, I have proof-read and edited millions of words contributed by writers of every standard.

Even the best professionals seldom submit word-perfect prose. If you struggle as an amateur, take heart, here are a few tips and tools we use routinely to produce material as close to pristine as possible:

Tools Used:

Microsoft Word, Grammarly

Before starting

The quality of the content matters. Put the material first and the proof-reading second. Before starting a draft, it is usually beneficial to:

  • Research the topic
  • Plan the story’s flow and tone
  • Clearly define sections to help the reader process the subject systematically

Time to type

Write a draft in Microsoft Word

  1. Write a first draft in Microsoft Word
  2. Use Microsoft Word’s built-in spelling and grammar checking service – located in Word’s ‘Review’ tab
  3. Switch on the Grammarly service within Microsoft Word and work through the suggested changes – located in Word’s toolbar
  4. Listen to the document by using Microsoft Word’s ‘Read Aloud’ service – located in the Review tab - to pick up additional errors
  5. (If required for additional clarity, tone and reader engagement): Transfer all the copy to the Grammarly App (installed on your machine). Check the document for the required clarity, tone of delivery and reader engagement.

Steps visualised

Step 1: Draft document in Microsoft Word with Grammarly installed.

First draft in Microsoft Word.

Step 2: Review document with Word's built-in review tools.

Microsoft Word in Editor mode

Step 3: Review with Grammarly in Word.

Grammarly installed and running in Microsoft Word

Step 4: Listen to the document with Word's "Read Aloud" feature.

Microsoft Word's "Read Aloud" feature in action.

Step 5: If required, transfer all the copy to the Grammarly App (installed on your machine). Check the document for the required clarity, tone of delivery and reader engagement.

The final step if required - Grammarly native app

About the Fathom Studio

Fathom offers a full-service web and digital business development team. We leverage world-class visual development tools to strategise, design and build digital products faster and cheaper than is traditionally possible.

Go to Studio
Fathom Agency

More tips & tools from the Studio

Subscribe to Fathom
digital tools and resources for NZ entrepreneurs weekly

Coffee is on us

Need to learn more? Not a problem, there's much to discuss.
And when you speak, we'll listen.

Let's talk!

Friends we call regulars

dickey boats logoAnglers PlanetRodd and Gunn logoair purity logoStabicraft BoatsNew Zealand Underwater
Privacy Policy
Fathom
The Fathom Lab

Subscribe to Fathom

Packed with resources for any enterprise exploring digital revenue opportunities, Fathom supports start-ups, home entrepreneurs and businesses in any sector. Learn to build digital assets, implement strategy, drive campaign marketing and more.

Thank you for subscribing to Fathom's Laboratory!
Oops! Something went wrong. Please try again.

About the Fathom Studio

Fathom offers a full-service web and digital business development team. We leverage world-class visual development tools to strategise, design and build digital products faster and cheaper than is traditionally possible.

Fathom Agency