Here are a few pointers to proofing your email message (or any content really).
- Read it backwards – If you’ve read your message a few times from start to finish, your brain knows what is supposed to come next and fills in the blanks. Read the last sentence first, then the second-to-last sentence, then the third-to-last sentence, and so on. This offers a fresh perspective, and you may catch something that you wouldn’t have otherwise.
- Check contractions and apostrophes – People often mix their and they’re, its and it’s, and your and you’re. Look for these in your messages and double check to make sure that you’re using the right one. Also, don’t forget that apostrophes are never used to form plurals.
- Eliminate distractions and interruptions – Many people email while multitasking. Try to avoid this practice to prevent grammatical and punctuation errors in your emails.
- Make the text bigger – View text at 125 or 150 percent. Bigger text makes it easier to read and can slow your reading so you catch issues that you might not if the text were smaller.
- Recheck sentences after you make changes – If you change anything in a sentence, read the entire sentence again to make sure it still makes sense.
- Read your message aloud – Reading aloud forces you to say (and hear) each word.