Proofreading – Wrong Words and Quotation Marks

A writer often has a hard time proofreading their own work.  I know that I do.

Even if you run spell check in your writing software, use Grammarly or some other proofreading software, you still probably did not catch all the errors in your work.

For instance, if use the wrong word and it is spelled correctly, a spell checker may or may not pick up this mistake.

 

Example of wrong word usage:

Did you catch my illusion to the National Geographic article?

The word “illusion” is spelled correctly, however, it means an error in perception of reality.

The correct word to use in the above sentence would be “allusion” which means “reference.”

 

What about those quotation marks?

When quoting another author, you need quotation marks to show where their words began and end.

Example of using quotation marks:

Robert Frost wrote, “Two roads diverged in a woods, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

Without the end set of quotation marks:

Robert Frost wrote, “Two roads diverged in a woods, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.  Do you see how quotation marks are used?

Since the end set of quotation marks are not in place, a reader may think that everything was written by Frost, when in fact, the question is not part of the quoted poem.

To proofread the above, I would need to add an end set of quotation marks because Frost’s poem does not include the question, “Do you see how quotation marks are used?”

The correct way would be:

Robert Frost wrote, “Two roads diverged in a woods, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”  Do you see how quotation marks are used?

 

Some authors use Beta Readers to help proofread and to catch those pesky inconsistencies in a story.  You know what I am talking about.  On page forty you read about an electrical fire and the fire department has spewed gallons of water and foam onto the structure, then on page forty-two, the structure has electricity.  Or a character dies on page fifty-five just to magically appear alive on page eighty without an explanation.  Yes, those inconsistencies.

Some authors hire proofreaders and editors.  This is not always possible, especially if you do not have the financial means to pay someone.  And if you do, you need to find the best possible proofreader and editor you can find and can afford to pay.

 

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One response to “Proofreading – Wrong Words and Quotation Marks

  1. For first proof reading one could possibly ask a good literary friend.
    But yes, editing is so important.
    miriam

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