Whether you are writing a headline, brochure copy or a novel—read it out loud. Then edit it and read it out loud again.

Back in the day when I worked in a cubicle at an agency in Chicago, I used to drive the poor guy who shared a cardboard partition with me crazy. If I changed a word or even a comma (probably switching it to an em-dash) I would read it out loud again.

I’ve always found that when I read something out loud, my ears hear mistakes that my eyes didn’t see. That’s always been my opinion, and my dad recently explained why it’s scientifically true.

When you simply read something on the paper, it goes like this:

  1. Eyes see it
  2. Brain processes it.

But when you read something out loud, this happens:

  1. Eyes see it.
  2. Brain processes it.
  3. Brain tells mouth to read it.
  4. Ears hear it.
  5. Brain processes it again.

Not only are you exposed to the same material 5 times instead of 2, but your brain has two chances to process the information and catch any mistakes.

So science proves it, read your work out loud!

About thishammer

Alison Hammer is an advertising writer/Creative Director and an author currently seeking agent representation. She has lived in 9 cities, studied at 2 universities and 1 “Circus”, worked at 8 ad agencies, sailed on The Rock Boat 15 times and watched over 120 Gator football games (including 2 national championships). She loves words and the challenge of bringing them together to inspire, to sell products and make people feel something. She has experience writing in every medium for clients ranging from telecom and retail to the Military and hotels.
This entry was posted in Advertising, Editing, Fiction. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. lhelms96 says:

    This is the best advice, and sadly, no one follows it!!! Go you!


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