Don’t just edit. Proofread your emails too!
Archived under business communication along with 0 EnglishCoach Comments
For many people the terms proofreading and editing are the same, and thus use them interchangeably. The truth of the matter is that there is a substantial amount of difference between the two.
While proofreading deals with correcting errors of grammar, punctuation, spelling and syntax, editing focuses on correcting factual errors, organising the write-up for easy reading and understanding.
There are simple steps to follow to edit and proofread your emails. Let’s look at a few:
1. Empathise with the reader
Ask yourself what your reaction will be if you were the reader of the email you’ve typed. If from that perspective your email’s paragraphing, sentence structure, facts, etc. enhance understanding, then you can go ahead and hit the send button. If not, you just have to retype.
2. Cut out all the unnecessary words
While writing, there’s the temptation to show off all the new words and phrases you’ve learnt in recent times. To ensure that your email is well edited and proofread, you must delete the pile of adjectives, phrases, synonyms that do not give any extra information.
3. Spare your recipient all the cliché
Using words or phrases that are in vogue sounds appealing, but it comes with a lot of disadvantages. It could be a turn-off. You must also try to avoid archaic and old-fashioned words and phrases; use them only as the last resort. Don’t tell the recipient of your email “Our company’s revenue is skyrocketing.” It could be, but just spare your recipient a ‘skyrocketing optimism’ with that message. Keep it simple.
4. Read aloud
They say reading aloud helps identify errors. During this process, the eye and ears are able to synchronise to identify all the errors. Before hitting the send button, read the email, and you’re sure to find a mistake or two.
5. Use the grammar and spellcheck tool
Every email tool has this feature. Once you’re done with the ‘manual’ editing and proofreading, ‘ask’ the tool to help you identify all the errors in the email. However, do not just effect those corrections; double check to be sure, and then you can go ahead with effecting the changes.
Sending out emails riddled with errors is not advisable; it could cost you. Spend a few minutes doing this fun exercise and your employer, colleagues and clients will always look forward to your emails.