Archived webcast: 10 tips for better proofreading and copy editing

Gamma-Ray Productions via Compfight cc
Gamma-Ray Productions via Compfight cc

As editors we are now wearing many hats—manager, social media/SEO expert, communications/PR, CMS strategist, content specialist, sometimes writer—and on and on. Copy editing and proofreading can be at the end of a long list of tasks.

This webcast goes beyond grammar and punctuation tips, offering 10 tips for the busy editor to help catch embarrassing errors in both print and digital text. Tips include identifying common problem areas in text, how to edit onscreen when you can’t print documents, and how to work with writers to produce cleaner text from the outset.

ASBPE members can view this on-demand webcast for free! (And in case you missed it, membership in ASBPE is now free for qualified B2B editors, writers, freelancers, art directors, and designers! Learn more about this change here or sign up now to be a member.)

Tips to be discussed are:

  • Print it out OR highlight onscreen. Reading on the screen and paper are not the same.
  • Read aloud and/or sound out each word (especially for front-page headlines).
  • Take care with quotes.  Our natural inclination (and maybe desire?) is to skim these, but don’t. Read through carefully.
  • Edit in parts.
  • Add up the numbers.
  • Note repeated errors.
  • Know your grammar problem areas.
  • Stick to your style guides.
  • If you don’t know, ask. BUT if you still don’t know, it goes.
  • Let it rest overnight, if possible.

View the on-demand archive

Please click here to view the webcast.

Downloads: Slide deck (.pdf) and the speaker Erin Boyle’s proofreading checklist (.pdf)

Please note: The audio starts at the beginning of this archive, and the slide graphics start after the introduction at approximately the 3 minute mark.

Speaker biography


Erin L. Boyle just celebrated 10 years as an editor and writer in medical publishing. She started her career 2 years prior to that, as a reporter for daily newspapers in New Jersey. She is currently the editor of a news service at a medical association, managing a staff of in-house and freelance writers, and overseeing the editorial process of a monthly 70+ page magazine for the association membership. As a copy editor and proofreader, Erin enjoys finding that one word out of place (although she admits it can drive her crazy, especially when reading e-books). She copy edits documents including e-newsletters, supplements, business articles, and daily newspapers produced onsite at medical conferences. She has a keen eye for detail, in both words and images, with a love for photography.


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