What is Proofreading?
Proofreading is the process of correcting mistakes like grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and punctuation in an article. Proofreaders also sometimes, point out problems with structure, terminology, and accuracy of use, which are corrected by copyediting.
The term “proofreading” originated in the printing industry. Publishers used to print a “proof” copy of a text until digital printing became widespread. A proofreader was responsible for catching any grammatical, spelling, or layout mistakes or discrepancies during the final analysis of the proof.
There is a difference between proofreading and editing. Proofreading mainly is the final quality check of an article or paper to eliminate all the errors. It increases the impact of your writing by removing anything that detracts from your writing piece. Proofreading and reading a text from a reader’s perspective is extremely important.
Trained proofreading jobs employ proofreaders who work as a second pair of eyes, going through every detail of the text. The proofreader will not only do a final reading of the text but will also serve as a review reader and give feedback.
While there are many online proofreading jobs, it is best to employ a proofreading service that specializes in your field of work for effective and reliable proofread. To know how many types of proofreading are there and which one will appropriately suit your field of work, check out our article “different types of proofreading”.
What Kinds of Errors are Generally Fixed During Proofreading?
A text should have been revised by the time it is set to be proofread. This implies that the material is already well-organized, well-written, and simple to comprehend.
Although editing often means correcting mistakes, it is more concerned with ensuring that the text as a whole makes sense. Proofreading, on the other hand, is the process of identifying minor and significant mistakes that were either overlooked or added during the editing process.
Proofreaders ensure that the final copy of the text is free of all grammatical, formatting, and typographical mistakes. For example, incorrect word choices, incorrect spelling, subject-verb agreement problems, and improper usage of punctuation. They also ensure that the text follows the specified style guide.
Document proofreaders, unlike traditional proofreaders in the printing industry, are not limited in the number of modifications they can make on a document and there is usually no additional expense involved with making further changes.
However, if proofreaders discover that the majority of the document still needs significant corrections, they can suggest that it be re-edited.
Why is Proofreading Important?
We don’t want sloppy mistakes to divert our readers from what we’re trying to suggest when we’ve worked hard to formulate and express our thoughts. Many people overlook the value of proofreading and want to ignore it, mostly due to time constraints. People don’t know that a thorough proofread will be the difference between an excellent and a mediocre article.
If we’re writing for publishing or business, presenting documentation that hasn’t been proofread will hurt our credibility because it would almost definitely contain errors. Good proofreading is critical for the creation of high-quality academic and technical papers.
Proofreading, when performed properly, accurately, and extensively, will make the difference between writing that effectively interacts with its intended audience and writing that does not. Without editing, reviewing, and revising what he or she has written, no author can produce a complete text.
Your writing says a lot about you. Proofreading is necessary, be it, writing your CV to get your dream job or increasing the chances of your writing being published. Thus, proofreading is immensely important.
Essential Tips to Make your Proofreading Flawless
Here are some of the most essential tips for you to keep in mind while proofreading:
Concentration: Minute concentration is the key to a successful proofreading session. There should be no scope of distractions present when you sit down to proofread.
Print out: Print out a copy of your writing and start reading aloud. Reading on paper and screen makes a huge difference.
Know your Pattern and Typical Mistakes: You must be aware of the common mistakes that you tend to make and put more focus on such mistakes. Search for the typical kinds of mistakes that you generally make and fix them.
Read it Backward: When you read a sentence backward you focus on the surface mistakes rather than getting caught up in the context of your sentences. This helps in spotting mistakes.
Proofread with a Fresh Mind: For example, in the morning. But the timings vary from person to person, you should just do it with a clear mind.
Read from a Reader’s Perspective: You can also ask someone else to read it out loud and ask them if they find any sentence hard to understand.
Look for Homonyms, Apostrophes, and Contractions: Switching accept for except or complement for compliment may be tragic, so be careful. It’s and its, your and you’re, and so on are always interchanged. A common blunder has the potential to weaken the value of your article.
Search for One Type of Error at a Time: If commas are the most common issue, go over the whole document and double-check that one problem. Then go back and proofread for the next most common error.
Verify: Verify all the names, the spellings of names, places, and business companies. Also, verify dates, days, and timings. Try to use authentic information as much as possible.
Spot out Repeated Information: Proofreading is always a great way to discover details you’ve already mentioned. Make an effort to convey the message as briefly as possible. Your reader would enjoy the fact that you are considerate of their time and value it.
While a proofread is less thorough than an edit, it is vital to prepare a piece of work for someone to read, since mistakes may create misunderstanding or be seen as unprofessional. It’s important to remember that editing isn’t just about fixing mistakes.
At this point, you should polish your sentences to make them simple, interesting, and understandable. Long sentences can be avoided because they could be less straightforward than shorter, more direct sentences. Pay attention to the flow of the content and strive to use different lengths and types of sentences. -Isabell S.