Proofreading – an important part of Writing

Why proofread? Proofreading anything you write, but especially YOUR EMAILS, is extremely important – it shows RESPECT towards the person who would be reading that email.

How to proofread:

  1. After you finish writing, take a break. It may be a minute or ten minutes – it’s important that your brain has a bit of time to ‘forget’ what you have just written. When you come back to your email/essay, you will have ‘fresh eyes’ and will be able to notice your mistakes.

2. Read it out loud. And read it slowly.

3. If it is something very important, like your resume, print it and read it with a pen, line by line.

4. Remember that Spellchecker program on your computer doesn’t know if you mean ‘too’ or ‘to’, ‘there’ or ‘their’.

5. Check capital letters at the beginning of your sentences and all the names.

6. Check for letter ‘s’ for plural nouns and 3rd person verb endings (‘three time’ and ‘he take’ are not correct).

7. Check that you put full stops at the end of your sentences and commas where necessary.


Usual problems:

its, it’s

your, you’re

were, we’re

their, they’re

then, than


to, too

an, and

for, four

from, form

lose, loose

maybe, may be


In Canada, we spell it with ‘u’:   colour, honour, neighbour, humour, favourite, behaviour

In USA, they spell it without ‘u’: color, honor, neighbor, humor, favorite, behavior


In Canada, we follow British spelling for: centre, litre, fibre, theatre. (American: center, liter, fiber, theater)

In Canada, we would write: licence and travelling (American ‘license’ and ‘traveling’)


When you are not sure if a word or a phrase is correct, use a dictionary or Google it. Type the sentence you have doubts about in quotation marks in Google. If Google cannot find it (or finds very few results), it means it’s not correct. Google will also show you results for what it thinks you mean (the more correct version).