Read Your Work Aloud

I have recently learned, again, how important it is to hear your work read back to yourself. I turned something into a professor, that I thought was perfect, only to read it and realize how many mistakes there were. Silly little errors that could have been caught. If I had just read it aloud.

I loathe doing this, with a passion, it is so monotonous and time-consuming. 

However, there are many reasons to do this; you hear the flow of your work, see how clunky it is. You will know if there is a misplaced comma or period. You will hear where you can make changes to your work to make it better. To sum that up: Your writing will be better.

When you read in your head, you probably do what most people do, myself included, correct the mistakes. The problem is that you know what you want to say, your reader will not.

For me, this is something that I struggle with, even reading it out loud. I’ll catch a lot of the mistakes but not all of them. If you are like me and don’t like reading out loud and don’t want to ask someone else to read out loud to you, because that’s a very strange request, I would like to share my workaround.  

Here is my Writing Hack.

If you have Microsoft Word, a newer version, there is a feature called “Read Aloud.” This will read the page to you. Just click in that little box with the magnifying glass that says “Tell me what you want to do” and type in “Read Aloud” it’s really that easy.

The downside is that you can’t make corrections on the document while it reads to you. It will stop reading or delete words. And you can’t make corrections while it’s reading on another document. It will stop reading as soon as you click out of the active document. If you have two computers, this may be a fix. (Unless you’re like most people and only have one.) Or you could go a long way and pause it every time you want to make a change.

A second idea that only requires an internet connection. Google Translate. English to English. This will read paragraphs to you, and you can correct them on your document while it reads.

The downside to this is that you will have to copy and paste the paragraphs in. And google translate can only hold so many words. So, you can’t keep going for pages and pages. But you can make changes on your copy while its talking.

Both options have their upsides, and they both have downsides.

If you have a different way, let me know in the comments.

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