If you write monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual commentaries for use in marketing tools, MRFPs, fund sheets or newsletters, this post is for you. It’s a proofreading checklist tailored for all us financial services commentary writers.
As we’ve written before, there’s nothing better than having your work reviewed by a professional editor or proofreader (like those at Ext. Marketing Inc.). But we also know that’s not always possible. So keep this checklist on your desk and catch any sneaky errors that may have slipped by you.
- Do a thorough spellcheck (and double-check whether it’s supposed to be in Canadian or U.S. spelling
- Check grammar for consistency (in document and across all commentaries)
- Check that sentences read correctly and paragraphs make sense from a structural standpoint
- Verify reporting period
- Confirm data in tables is correct
- Verify benchmarks, fund names and portfolio managers/advisors
- Confirm that performance numbers are correct and in the right currency
- Verify addresses, phone numbers and any other important contact information, if necessary
- Keep a running style guide. If you decide to use an upper case “F” on “Fund,” for example, write it down in your style guide so you never forget that rule
- Circle obvious widows and orphans (widows are single words that dangle alone at the end of a paragraph, orphans happen at the beginning of a page)
- Check text and paragraph alignment, removing frequent word breaks
- Verify the fonts used are correct
- Make sure any publication names are italicized and headings are bolded properly
- Verify colours (or gray scale) are correct and consistent
- Check overall alignment of all elements, including tables and graphs
Writing commentaries is a lot of work – editing them shouldn’t be. With just a few extra minutes – and this list by your side – your commentaries will be cleaner and easier to read!