Combatting dyslexia in your copywriting

man working on computers photographed from behind

As a marketing professional with over 5 successful years’ experience, it often surprises people to find out I am dyslexic. The truth is that copywriting has always been an area in my job role that I’ve struggled with. Because of this, I have developed a number of methods for tackling the obstacles that crop up when I’m working.

Spell Check, Spell Check, Spell Check!

More often than not, my copywriting starts its journey on Microsoft Word. MS Word has several powerful writing tools that if taken advantage of, can improve both the spelling and grammar in your writing. My favourite of these is the well known “spell check” feature. This feature highlights potential spelling and grammatical errors in your word document and provides suggestions on what needs to change.

Top tip: To avoid confusion, ensure you have your word document set to the correct language, for example, English (UK).

I never publish copy without running it through spell check, and neither should you!

Listen aloud

Another Microsoft Word function that I love is the “read aloud” feature. As someone who lives with dyslexia, proof-reading can be a lengthy and unpleasant experience, particularly when it comes to blog posts or press releases. The “listen aloud” function allows you to review pieces of text in an audio format, saving time and discomfort. Listening to your work also provides a new avenue for review, often picking up strange sequences in text that are sometimes missed when reading (especially if you’ve been re-reading your copy numerous of times in a short period of time).

Google is your friend

If I’m uncertain about a phrase, spelling, or definition, I google it. Google is bustling with the answers that often stump me when I’m writing.

“Should this word be hyphenated”

“Where does the apostrophe go?”

“Should this word be capitalised?”

“What does this phrase actually mean?”

If in doubt, double check! Valuable time can be spent drafting and redrafting important copy because simple errors go unchecked. I am an avid believer of the “check twice draft once” mentality.

Take your time when proofreading

Speed reading has always been something I have struggled with, but it works in my favour when it comes to proofreading. Don’t be afraid to read and reread your work until you are certain that your sentence structure, wording, and grammar is correct. It can be stressful when you are working with tight deadlines and quick turn arounds but trust me, it is a lot quicker (and less painful) to spend extra time proofreading your copy than it is attempting to correct mistakes post-production.

Have colleague (or friend) read it over

When available, I always like to have someone else review my copy before I publish it. Not only can this act as a final check for errors but also allows for a fresh perspective that can highlight areas of your text that may need more attention or read as overcomplicated. Luckily for me, I am surrounded by expert writers when at work, however even in my personal life I often run important emails and letters by my partner or friends before sending them.

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