Blame it on your Brain – Why it is so hard to proof your own writing

An important part of my job as an instructional designer is writing. There isn’t much I can do without writing. I write everything from instructional design documents, storyboards, scripts, user guides, to presentations, and let’s not forget emails. What’s more is I often find myself writing under tight deadlines and even though I am human, mistakes are just not acceptable. This is especially important in the digital world where the quality of your writing is an important way you establish credibility. That is why I am searching for ways to improve my accuracy with proofing and editing my own work. Ideally, I would always have another pair of eyes review my work, but yet and still I am usually the last person to see my work before I hit send or publish. Thus, I am searching to find the best tools and systems for proofing and editing your own work. This is my first learning challenge of 2014.

To figure out the best tools and systems for proofing, I think it is best to start with understanding why I struggle with proofing my own work. So far I’ve found that the wonderful magic of our brain is the culprit. It is sort of a blessing and a curse. Check out this video that explains how our brains are the ultimate auto-correctors.

Not convinced? Try reading this sentence that has several mistakes.

Tihs is a smaple snetecne to tset yuor brian’s abiltiy to corrcet mitskaes! –


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So now the hard part is figuring out how to circumvent the brain’s auto-correct process… (to be continued).



Why do we make Mistakes? Blame your brain, the original auto-corrector

Brain Auto-Corrects Grammatical Errors