Reading aloud has many benefits. Most people have more experience speaking and listening to the English language rather than reading and editing writing. When an individual reads their article aloud the brain processes information in a different way, and things may be noticed which were not seen before.
When reading aloud, it gives the author the opportunity to hear how their writing flows. A well-written article flows and has a rhythm. A piece has got to make sense, as the reader can not flip back and forth from pages to find needed information or to make sense of things. When one hears how the paper is written, the writer can re-arrange information or realize there are gaps in thoughts. When listening, transitions can be added to help flow from one idea to another.
The writer, when reading their finished work aloud may hear errors in sentences, such as leaving a word out, grammatical mistakes, or leaving things which have been cut and pasted in the article. Errors such as these are difficult for the eye to see. Reading aloud is a powerful proofreading tool.
Sometimes, while a sentence is not grammatically incorrect, they can still be awkward. It may be repetitive, too long, or convoluted. These things are often difficult for the writer to see by reading it but can be easily heard. By listening to the paper, the writer can hear if the tone is correct. Often hearing what was written instead of reading it can give a more objective perspective regarding the impression the writer is trying to create. When hearing the article, it puts the writer into the position the reader would have as they are reading the text.
People tend to engage more in-depth with a subject, and their memory is improved when more senses are involved. When words are seen and heard, those words resonate deeper.
The writer should not rely on spell and grammar check tools or software. While useful, they are not a substitute for physically proofreading.
Strategies For Reading Aloud
Reading the article one wrote aloud has many benefits, but it can also present with challenges. One issue depends on how the writer reads their article. It is very simple to read quickly. Sometimes the brain will automatically fill in words or make corrections without being conscious of it happening.
If one does not read properly what is written in the article, an accurate sense of what is written cannot be obtained. Some strategies of reading aloud effectively are:
- When possible work from a printed copy of the article. This permits the writer to physically mark an area that does not sound correct and that section could be returned to at a later time.
- When reading the article, follow the sentence with a finger. This helps to remain focused and not skip a section.
- Read the article at a moderate pace.
- Block everything except the section which is being read to help with concentration.
Reading aloud may take some time for the writer to become accustomed to. Once it becomes second nature, it can help make the revision process faster.
Written by Barbara Sobel
University Writing Center: Reading Aloud
University of Minnesota: Editing & proofreading strategies
Voices.com: 7 WAYS READING ALOUD IMPROVES AND ENRICHES YOUR LIFE
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