National Proofreading Day, celebrated each year on March 8, is a day to promote error-free writing. We all make typos, grammar mistakes, and spelling errors when we write, especially if we are moving too fast! National Proofreading Day is an opportunity to slow down, proofread our work, and then proof it again. And if you’re lucky enough to work with an editor who proofs your work for you, National Proofreading Day is a great opportunity to thank them for always ensuring that your writing is free of mistakes.
Why We Love Proofreading (and National Proofreading Day)
A. Mistakes make us look bad
Whether we are writing a cover letter, filling out a dating profile, or simply writing an email to a friend, our words are a representation of ourselves. Silly mistakes like spelling errors or using the incorrect punctuation make it seem like we are lazy, ignorant, or simply don’t care. Proofreading keeps mistakes out of our work, and keeps our reputations intact.
B. Fixing an error feels great
You may want to skip proofreading because it seems boring, but actually, proofreading is one of the most fun steps of the writing process! Finding and fixing a mistake is so satisfying, it’s almost like playing a game. If you’re proofing off the screen on on printed paper, there is nothing quite like finding a mistake and circling it with a red pen.
C. It’s an easy way to help a friend
One great thing about proofreading is that we can all do it for ourselves, but it’s usually even more effective when we do it for others. A fresh set of eyes reading over a friend’s term paper, resume, or blog post can mean the difference between a well-argued essay and one littered in typos. Offering to read over a friend’s work is an easy way to be a good friend.
How to Celebrate National Proofreading Day
1. Proofread everything you write
The best way to celebrate National Proofreading Day is to kick off a habit of proofreading everything that you write! Before you send that email or turn in that paper, take a second to read over everything again with fresh eyes, and maybe even a red pen. Sending in error-free writing will make you feel great, and hopefully be the start of a lifelong habit.
2. Offer to proofread a friend’s work<
In honor of National Proofreading Day, offer to read over a friend’s presentation or essay! It’s a great occasion to share your love of mistake-free writing with others, and and a nice way to show your friends that you care about them.
3. Study up on common spelling errors
Are there certain words you’re always having to look up? Use National Proofreading Day as an excuse to learn the correct spelling of those words so that you won’t even have to proof for them in the future! If you can’t think of any off the top of your head, find a list of commonly misspelled words and practice the correct spellings.
Our Favorite Proofreading Resources
Common Misspellings — Oxford Dictionaries
Accommodate, achieve, across — a list of some of the most commonly misspelled words.
Proofreaders’ Marks — Chicago Manual of Style
Want to kick it old school? Brush up on these classic proofreaders’ marks.
16 Punctuation Mistakes — Inc
Commons, semicolons, and apostrophes, oh my.