Proofreading Your Message for Spelling, Grammar, Accuracy & Clarity

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  • 1:00 Spelling & Grammar
  • 2:30 Accuracy & Clarity
  • 5:03 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Lombardo
One of the final stages of completing a business message is to proofread the communication for spelling, grammar, accuracy and clarity by completing different review options. Learn how to proofread in this lesson.


Most business employees are under a time constraint when completing work-related reports. Unfortunately, there still needs to be time set aside to complete proofreading of all business communications, whether it is a text, email or report.

Proofreading is a process of examining a document to search for writing mistakes and omissions. This lesson will cover how it is critical to proofread all messages for spelling, grammar, accuracy and clarity.

One area of business where proofreading is especially significant is with public relations. Those workers have to guarantee that all documents are correct before releasing them to the public. Kelly works for Pear Products' public relations department. She has been working on press release documents and sales pieces for release of their new mind-reading product called Thought Genius. She will walk us through her process of proofreading her work.

Spelling & Grammar

It is critical to revise your messages by eliminating spelling and grammar errors, or mistakes in spelling or faulty usage of words. There are three key methods that Kelly prefers to use to check her work.

The first method is to have a peer review of any written work. This is where a writer has a colleague proofread a written document to look for spelling and grammar errors. Kelly first asks her co-worker Jean to read over her work to look for any mistakes or suggestions for improvements.

Kelly's second option is to conduct her own personal review, which involves rereading her work a few times to search out any misspelled words, grammar mistakes, clarity issues or sentence structure mistakes.

Lastly, Kelly runs her document through the spelling and review option and the thesaurus option that comes with her word processing software. The spelling and review option helps eliminate any typos or misspellings and makes suggestions to improve grammar in sentences. The thesaurus option suggests alternative synonyms. Kelly likes to use the thesaurus to create a fresh document or help her overcome using the same words again and again. For example, in her press release for the Thought Genius, she kept using the word 'excellent' to describe the new product. With a quick check via her word document thesaurus, she was able to consider 'brilliant,' 'exceptional' and 'outstanding' as choices to improve her sentences.

Accuracy & Clarity

A document also needs to be reviewed for accuracy, or the degree the information represented is correct. Depending upon what the document contains, it is a necessity to check the facts before sending it for dispersal.

Kelly needs to guarantee Pear Products' press release information is correct. For example, Kelly realized that in her press release there was an incorrect quote from a manager that stated that there is not an issue wearing the Thought Genius 24 hours a day. Kelly had medical studies retained by the company that showed that headaches could develop if the users wore the headgear more than eight hours a day. She quickly altered the quote to report the correct consumer information.

The last part of proofreading focuses on determining the clarity, or coherence, of a message. There are some key items that should be avoided in order to create a clear, organized and direct message. Kelly suggests that you:

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