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Preparing Minutes
Put these items in order to create a brief set of minutes.

Report on pie eating contest
Next Meeting: July 25, 20xx, Boardroom, Acme Company Headquarters
June 26, 20xx
Minutes of May 20, 20xx, Meeting
Treasurer’s Report
Letter from Pepe LePew
Follow-up on company picnic planning (per motion of May 20)
Boardroom, Acme Company Headquarters, Desert City, Nevada
Discussion of summer events  (new business)
In Attendance: Elmer F. Fudd, Wile E. Coyote, John F. Doe, Jane C. Smith
Absent: T. Devil, Bugs Bunny

Editing Minutes
People are either good spellers or they aren’t. Most of us have a few words that we regularly forget how to spell. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t produce letters, memos, and reports that are perfect.
Here are some tips for making your documents the best that they can be:

  • Use a dictionary.
  • Use spell check on your computer, but don’t rely on it totally since they often miss homonyms.
  • Use the Internet or a telephone book to check spelling of names and addresses. However, there are sometimes errors in these sources, too. If you are not sure, simply call the office of the person you are contacting and ask.
  • Proofread your work. When possible, have someone else proofread your work.
  • Learn some little tricks to help you, like “i before e, except after c.”
  • Make a list of your most common spelling errors and learn how to spell those words correctly. Keep that list posted so you can refer to it when you need to.

Proofreading carelessly can spoil a writer’s best efforts. Proofreading is classic evidence that writing looks different to the writer and to the reader. Our brains really think that everything we do is correct, so we have a hard time recognizing our own errors.
To the writer, typographical or spelling errors may not mean all that much. So your finger slipped, or you always put two t’s in “commitment.” For the reader, an unfixed typo can transform the writer from a smart person into a careless writer in the twinkling of an eye.
It is impossible to read about “fist class work” or “shot meetings” without interrupting the flow of what you are reading. It may be unfair that proofreading matters so much, but it does.
If you can put yourself in the reader’s position, you’ll proofread obsessively, gripped by the fear that a mistake will turn you into a laughingstock! Learning some specific techniques, however, will help alleviate that problem as you become better at proofreading and create better documents.
Proofreading errors are different from punctuation or spelling or usage problems, and you fix them differently. Punctuation, spelling, and usage are knowledge problems, and you fix them by learning. Proofreading problems are usually a matter of seeing, and you fix them by learning to look.
The better you read, the worse you’ll proofread, unless you are consciously aware of what you are doing. Good readers and fast readers guess what the words are as they read the text, and they just check in now and again to see if they are right. The more they can guess, the less they have to look and the faster and more efficiently they read.
To be a good proofreader, you have to go back to being a child again, or pretend that you are just learning to read in English. Look at every word as it comes along.
Here are some principles to guide you.

  • Ignore content. As soon as you start paying attention to what the text is saying, you’ll start assuming and stop looking.
  • Assume that there’s at least one typo to improve your focus.
  • Forget what you meant to say. Read the minutes as though you never saw them before.
  • Read backwards. This destroys comprehension and your eyes can’t trick you as easily.
  • Don’t try to do something else when you proofread.
  • Take your time. When you hurry, you guess and skim, and that usually doesn’t work.
  • Proofread a second time, paying attention to content. This is where you find those things spell check and reading backwards did not catch, such as, “The little cap pulls off it you put enough effort into it.”
  • Read it out loud. It is more difficult, but still not impossible, for your eyes to skip over errors when you read aloud.
  • Try to have someone else proofread your work, particularly if the document is important or going public.
  • Make proofreading a game. Score points for yourself when you find an error!