Proof check one - Context, audience and purpose

When reading through your text, check that it meets the needs of the context, audience and purpose of the task.

In terms of context:

  • Does the text look and sound like the type of text that you are writing? Think about its layout, the level of formality or informality, vocabulary choices, sentence lengths and variety as well as paragraphing.
  • Does it have all of the different features that a reader would expect to see, that is, the right 'genre conventions'?
  • If you have missed features, such as headings, subheadings, facts, opinions or quotes, this is the time to add them. Remember that you do not need to use columns or draw pictures.

In terms of audience:

  • Is the language suited to the reader? Can you change any words to ones that are more appropriate?
  • Have you used writing techniques that will engage the reader or do you need to add them?
  • Is the language convincing? Is it emotive enough if it needs to be?
  • Have you repeated key words too closely together where a synonym would be better? If so, look in a thesaurus.
Think carefully about your word choice when you use a thesaurus. It is tempting to use an impressive looking word to enhance your writing, but using a word without knowing the full meaning could change the tone of your writing and potentially mislead your audience.

In terms of purpose:

  • Imagine you are your reader. Now, read back your writing as if you hadn’t written it. When you read it, does it engage your attention and interest you?
  • Have you stuck to the point? If you have added information that is not relevant, this is the time to take it out.
  • Have you explained your ideas giving just sufficient detail so that your writing remains lively, but your reader is able to understand them? If you haven’t, add extra information – but keep the style and tone lively and engaging.