Proofreading

Learning focus

To understand how to spot and correct errors in your writing.

This lesson includes:

  • two videos that explain the importance of checking your writing for mistakes

  • four activities

Learn

Proofreading is the process of looking through your work, finding mistakes and correcting them. It’s a very important part of the writing process.

Most authors, even famous ones, check and rewrite their stories many times before they are happy to let someone else read them.

Watch this short clip to learn more about proofreading.

Explore why it's so important to spot the errors in your writing.

Top proofreading tips

  • Once your story is finished, read it to yourself.

  • Pretend that someone else wrote the story, see how well you think the story is written and then rewrite it to make it better.

  • Use conjunctions to make sure your sentences flow nicely and make sense.

  • Double-check your facts.

  • Look out for spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes.

  • Look for words or sentences that you can make better by choosing different vocabulary, adding description or adding adverbs.

Now watch the following clip to see why it’s also important to proofread in everyday life.

See why proofreading and editing are important in everyday life.

Practise

You may need paper and a pen or pencil for some of these activities.

Activity 1

Practise your proofreading skills by highlighting the mistakes. Can you spot all three?

Activity 2

Now have a go at correcting the punctuation mistakes.

Activity 3

Read 'Diary Extract 1'.

It’s a good start, but the spelling, punctuation and grammar needs proofreading. That's your job!

You could print the extract out and edit it by crossing out mistakes and adding in corrections, like your teacher would.

Or you could write a list of all the mistakes you can spot on a sheet of paper instead.

Top tip!

Look out for:

  • spelling mistakes

  • punctuation mistakes (such as missing full stops and capital letters)

  • grammatical errors (such as missing words or words not in the past tense)

Diary Extracts 1 and 2
activity

Activity 4

Now read 'Diary Extract 2'.

Again, it’s a good start, but the quality of the writing could still be better.

Rewrite the extract, improving the quality by adding more detail and description.

Top tip!

You could:

  • add more impressive vocabulary
  • add adjectives
  • add adverbs
  • add more detail

For example: 'We went to a farm' could become 'We visited a beautiful farm, surrounded by green fields'.

Where next?

In this lesson you have learnt about how to spot and correct errors in your writing (proofread).

There are other useful articles on Bitesize to help you improve your writing.

There's more to learn

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