10 Proofreading & Editing Tricks

Improve the clarity and power of your writing with these tricks: 

10. Use hard copies to proofread. Errors jump out on paper in a way they don't onscreen.

9. Read your work with a ruler.

8. Read your work aloud.

7. Read your work backwards (start at the end).

6. Be extra careful of missing small words: a, an, the, or.

5. Use a more sophisticated grammar/spell check program than the one available in Word.
I like WhiteSmoke.

4. For major revisions, edit your work in a new document. 

3. Omit needless words. From The Elements of Style: 

owing to the fact that since (because)
in spite of the fact that though (although)
call your attention to the fact that remind you (notify you)
I was unaware of the fact that I was unaware that (did not know)
the fact that he had not succeeded his failure
the fact that I had arrived my arrival
2. Reckless comma usage leads to choppiness and difficult reading. Commit some time to learning the difference between a punctuation rule and a style choice. Start here. And watch this. Don't believe the old adage about using commas where you'd pause for breath - you'll end up overpunctuating. 

1. The most misspelled wordYour - You’re (one solution: stop using you're altogether. Use only you are.)