Effective communication in the workplace
Effective communication in the workplace

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Effective communication in the workplace

4.1 Proofreading

Described image
Figure 4 The importance of proofreading.

An essential part of written communication is proof reading what you have produced. This is to ensure that you have not made any mistakes in your text.

In everyday life, it is common to skim read texts to identify what you are looking for in a piece of written communication. This means that you may not always read entire words and sentences, but you still understand the gist of what is being said. This is a different skill to proofreading.

Sometimes the words you have used are not incorrectly spelled, but are not the correct words in that particular context. For example, if you were skim reading you may not notice that you have written ‘reminder’ instead of ‘remainder’. It is important not to rely on technology to pick up errors as spell checkers wouldn’t see this as a mistake. Therefore, proofreading involves focusing on each word to ensure that it reads correctly in the context of the rest of the text.

How many times have you written an email or a text message and realised after you sent it that there was an error, such as a spelling mistake or the wrong date? Reading your text with a ‘critical eye’ will help to minimise these errors. Even if you are in a hurry, it is worth the extra few minutes taken to read through your communication. The implications of a mistake could be quite serious. Imagine that you have sent an email to your line manager which has a number of spelling and grammatical errors. Your manager may conclude that if you cannot write a clear and coherent email you may be poorly representing the company.

As Rebecca explained in the video, one spelling mistake in a job application could be enough to put you on the reject pile.

Have a go at the activity below to practice your proofreading skills. Remember that proofreading is not only looking for spelling errors, but grammatical ones too, including the appropriate use of punctuation and tenses.

Activity 4 Practising your proofreading skills

Timing: Allow 15 minutes for this activity

Can you identify the errors?

Proofreading task:

Most people take their digital cameras within them when they go on holiday or shoot quick snaps on the mobile phones. But, more often then not, the results can be dissappointing. This is because most cameras aren’t set up correctly, the subject is poorly framed, or the flash is set to Automatic when it should be Disabled. Fortunately, a few simple techniques, can help you take better photos the next time you travel.

Discussion

Most people take their digital cameras with them when they go on holiday or shoot quick snaps on their mobile phones. But, more often than not, the results can be disappointing. This is because most cameras aren’t set up correctly, the subject is poorly framed, or the flash is set to Automatic when it should be disabled. Fortunately, a few simple techniques can help you take better photos the next time you travel.

As well as more formal types of written communication, such as reports, you may be required to engage with informal formats such as social media posts. This will require a different writing style altogether. You’ll find out more about those in the next section.

COM_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371