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  • Writer's pictureA. Hampton

Sneaky Proofreading Error Hotspots

Updated: Oct 31, 2020

Since even the smallest error can cost big bucks, thorough proofreading is of utmost importance for workplace professionals, writers, editors, and anyone tasked with handling important written documents. Although many balk at the idea of proofreading a document three times, double-checking the following elements during each pass can save lots of frustration and money, especially on book-length projects.

Proofreading Checklist for Error Correction

First Review: Check Formatting

  • Headings, subheadings and headlines

  • Headers and footers

  • Page numbers

  • Font style and font size

  • Spacing: between sentences, words, and around the page

  • Chapter titles, book titles, article titles, author names

  • Alignment: paragraphs, bullet points, numbered or alpha lists

  • Legal or other disclaimers; copyright statements

  • Table of contents: page numbers in TOC must match chapter pages

  • Index: consistently use lowercase or title case; index entry page numbers must match their location in the document text

Second Review: Images & Graphics

  • Photographs

  • Illustrations/cartoons

  • Company/Business logos

  • Graphics: charts and tables

  • Captions: correct text and alignment; description accurately identifies image

  • Image clarity and readability

  • Wording on or around images: typos or misspellings

Third Review: Body Text

  • Grammar errors

  • Spelling errors

  • Typos; missing words

  • Numbers

  • Proper names

  • Telephone numbers

Quick Proofreading Exercise

Can you find any errors?

  • Miss Anne R. Taylor (704) 883-3227

  • Miss Anne R. Taylor (704) 833-3227

Discover how to get started in proofreading with our proofreading books and online courses. Sharpen your proofreading skills with more challenging exercises! To get started as a proofreader, take the online proofreading class, Proofreading Power: Become an Effective Proofreader. Also, purchase your copy of "Proofreading Power: Skills & Drills". For a full list of resources that focus on becoming a professional proofreader, visit the website: and download the free proofreading test.


Ashan R. Hampton is a long-time English instructor turned entrepreneur. Through her company, Onyx Online Education & Training, she offers digital courses and print books on grammar, proofreading, business writing and communication for personal and professional development to individuals and corporations. To find out more about Ashan's work, visit


© 2015-2020 by Ashan R. Hampton, Onyx Online Education & Training. All rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons BY 4.0 license.

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