Earlier this month, the Excellence Department participated in a business writing workshop and picked up these useful tips. Try these out as you work on your accreditation and MAP reports so you make a good impression on the receiving museum and the Accreditation Commission.
- Put the report aside. After completing the draft, give yourself 24–48 hours to rest before re-reading it. This will allow you to review the report with fresh eyes.
- Read one line at a time. If you’re reading the report on printed paper, use another sheet to hide everything below the line you’re proofing. If you’re reading on a computer screen, move each line to bottom of the screen for the same effect.
- Read it aloud. This helps catch run-on sentences, awkward phrasing, and other grammatical issues.
- Read a line backwards. Sometimes we miss errors like misspellings because our brains see what we think we mean, as opposed to what we actually wrote. Reading backwards helps catch those issues.
- Mark the end of each proofread line. When you have accepted the line, mark the last word with a marker (or highlight the word on your screen). If you have to leave and return to the report, this will also help you find where you left off.