Tips to proofread legal documentsRaghav Shekhar
Proofreading legal documents
There is no foolproof formula for perfect proofreading legal documents every time. Not only will proofreading eliminate embarrassing and careless spelling or grammar related errors, but it will also provide edits for clarity and comprehension. You have to make sure that proofreading should be error-free and ready to be delivered to the clients. Mistakes and faults will not obstruct your reputation as a proofreader but can also have severe consequences for those who sought your service in the first place. Proofreading legal document is the process of reviewing a completed written document of legal stream for spelling, grammar, inconsistencies, punctuation errors, formatting mistakes, and typos. Both are integral, interrelated parts of the drafting process. Here we discuss some of the tips which will help you see your errors before anyone else does.
Spell checker is the most amazing and helpful tool for Proofreading legal documents. It is equally amazing the number of times professionals forget to run it! This should be the first step in the proofreading process, whether for any activity. At the same time, even spell check can make mistakes, so watch it with a keen eye. Always beware of incorrect corrections. The spellchecker can help you catch iterating words, reverse letters, and many other common slip-ups.
Double Check: Facts, figures, and proper names
In order for proofreading legal documents for correct spelling and usage, make sure that all the information in your text is accurate and of course producible when needed.
Take care of the headings
The content of your document may be perfect, but an unclear or misspelt heading will immediately reduce the confidence of your reader in your overall competence.
Formatting is an important element
You need to remember to check the formatting of the document, use of punctuations, page numberings, headers, and footers, etc. all of them should be an integral part of your Proofreading legal documents. Moreover, look for misspellings, long sentences, and paragraphs and refer to a dictionary or style guide if necessary.
Backward Order Proofreading
Another way to catch the errors is to read back, from the right-hand side to left-hand side, starting from the last word in your text. By doing this will help you concentrate on individual words rather than sentences. By correcting the last sentence first, proofreaders can actually examine the grammar of the document, as opposed to being distracted by its meaning. Checking grammar from back to front will also allow proofreaders to read more slowly and thus more carefully.
Review a hard copy
You need to take a print-out your complete text and proofread it line by line: re-reading your work in another format may help you pick the errors out that you previously missed. While this activity you need to check for commas, apostrophes, unclosed quotes, parentheses, full stop, and other punctuations.
Search for categorically of problems at a time
Just read through all your text multiple times, starting with sentence structures, then word choice, following spellings, and finally punctuation for better proofreading legal documents.
Trust on Grammar check
These days, all word processors come with grammar check. And, like spell check, this technology can make mistakes. However, if your grammar check is highlighting a sentence fragment or mismatched conjugation, give the phrase a second look which is good for Proofreading legal documents.