The Most Common Editing and Proofreading Mistakes Made by Students and Writers


Every freelance writer knows time is always crucial. Clients want their content yesterday, which usually means the writing process gets condensed to the point that simple mistakes get made. We’ve compiled the 6 most common mistakes we see so that you can avoid them.

1. Only Reading the Content Silently

You read faster than you speak, 250-300 words a minute verses 150 words per minute. Therefore, it makes sense that if you read the project out loud you’re more likely to catch mistakes you’ve skimmed over during editing. Also, this is the only way to get a feel for the pace and rhythm of the words and sentences. An important part of editing is making sure the content has the flow and feel you’re looking for. This is much easier to judge when read aloud. If possible, have someone read the project a loud to you. Things will jump out at you as awkward or clunky that you might have missed by just hearing your own voice.

2. Assuming Your Words are Correct

When proofreading you should always assume that there are errors in it. The best way to do this is to use editing tools. The best ones out there are:

  • Pay for essay is a professional writing and editing service that can really help you take your writing to the next level.
  • ProWritingAid is a one of the most comprehensive writing tools available online. It catches everything from commonly overlooked spelling mistakes to overuse of similar sentence structure.
  • Cheap essay is an Australian professional writing service, and as they say “your one-stop writing solution.”
  • Smart Edit is an add on app that works in Word to help you throughout the writing process. There is also a stand-alone version for writers that don’t use Word.
  • UK dissertation writing service is a professional online writing service based in UK. It provides a full range of editing and proofreading service for its customers.

3. Trusting Spellcheck

Freelance writers and writers in general have become so dependent on Spellcheck that the most common typos we see that make it past editing are the old try and true your/you’re, to/too/two, and there/their/they’re.  To avoid making these all too common mistakes make sure you give yours copy a read, and another read, and another read and specifically keep an eye out for those words that you know Spellchecker misses.

4. Getting Too Familiar with the Content

Familiarity with your own writing is the reason writers tend to miss errors. When you read through content for the second or third time, you see what you expect to see or what you remember writing, rather than what is actually on the page. How do you combat getting too familiar with your own content? By making the familiar more unfamiliar. Try reformatting your content so that it reads differently. Try reading the project in a preview pane, cutting and pasting into an email, or increasing the font so the lines break in a new place.

5. Only Editing and Not Proofreading

Make sure that editing and proofreading are important stages in your writing process. Proofreading is a final error check, not an opportunity to rewrite the content. Don’t get bogged down with editing the text when you should be proofing it. What’s the best way to improve your proofreading? See number 2 above.

Eliminating these common mistakes, will take your work product to the next level.  Try some of the suggestions and tools we’ve included in this article and let us know what improvements you see in your writing.