Proofreading Checklist

There are many things which you need to check for during the proofreading stage. Some of these will be specific to you, while others will be more general.

Here, I'll present a checklist that you can print and use when you are proofreading your own document.

Often you'll be given a style sheet to follow or you'll need to write and present your information in a certain way. Do that and then use this checklist as well.


  • Your name or contact details as needed
  • Title
  • Page numbers
  • Formatting
    • Font and size
    • Line spacing
    • Margins
  • Word count
  • Have you used bullet point lists correctly – should any lists be added or removed?
  • Have you written a suitable introduction?
  • Does each paragraph contain only one main idea and supporting points?
  • Do you have a suitable conclusion?
  • Is the reference section complete?


  • Check special terminology
  • Check for typos – form/from, on/of, you/your
  • Is the correct word used – to/too/two
  • Correct usage – effect/affect, there/their
  • Contractions used appropriately
  • Have all abbreviations been defined?


  • Apostrophes
  • Commas
  • Colons
  • Semicolons
  • Quotation marks
  • Full stops
  • Question marks
  • Capital letters


  • Complete sentences with correct use of subjects (nouns or pronouns) and verbs
  • Subject and verb agreement e.g. singular subject + singular verb
  • Correct verb tense is used
  • Sentence length – not too long, but with some variation
  • Included all prepositions which are needed


  • You know the meaning of all the words you've used and they're used correctly
  • Has the same word been used too often – find an alternative
  • Your language is appropriate – use of slang or colloquialisms (appropriate or not)

Numbers and Formulae

  • All numbers are correct – decimal point in the right place, do they make sense with the rest of the text
  • Used numerals or words correctly – 10, 21 etc. or one, eight etc.
  • All formulae are correct – any symbols used will print correctly

If you need any help or would like to ask some questions you can visit the Excellent Proofreading and Writing Facebook page where I’d be happy to help you. You can also keep up to date with all new additions to this site at my Facebook page.

Or you could visit the page about my proofreading service.

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By Jolyon Dodgson, copyright © 2011-2020. - Proofreading and writing help for excellent first impressions.