If you have been thinking about hiring a proofreader, but are not sure what they do or if that is the service you need, then read on.

A Worded Life: Writing and Editing Services

What is proofreading?

Proofreading is the final stage of text preparation and the last chance to fix errors.

While there are several different kinds of editing, an editor may be concerned with such things as content, structure, writing style and tone. A proofreader, on the other hand, is concerned with consistency and accuracy of such things as spelling, grammar and punctuation.

In traditional publishing, once a manuscript has been edited, it is sent to a typesetter who ‘sets’ the type as you would then see it once the page is actually a printed book. The typeset manuscript is called page proofs – which are then proofread. Proofs are sometimes compared against the manuscript or might be proofread on their own (this is called blind proofreading).

At this point, corrections are costly, so generally the proofreader picks up errors that may have slipped in during the typesetting stage and making other minimal urgent corrections aiming for accuracy and consistency.

Why hire a proofreader?

• To give your manuscript or document the best opportunity possible – at publication, at making the right kind of impact, at being effective.
• You can’t see the woods for the trees – you are often too close to your own writing to see the errors.
• To ensure your document or manuscript is error-free and the best it can be.
• A professional proofreader ‘knows their stuff’ and will be more effective than a friend or relative.
• To take the last chance to fix any errors in your text.
• To have a professional check for errors that computer spelling and grammar checkers can miss.
• Engaging the services of an expert will bring you peace of mind.
• To ensure your ideas are effectively and correctly communicated.
• To ensure your writing receives a better response from your clients, teachers, investors, customers, readers, professors – meaning: better results for you.
• Poorly written documents are not well-received and can damage your reputation.

What does a proofreader do?

Proofreading is usually the last stage – the final draft – and as such, the text has already been revised, edited and typeset (if traditional print). Proofreader corrections, therefore, are usually minimal.

A proofreader will check the work of author, editor and designer/typesetter, looking at words, footnotes, images, graphs, tables, etc. They look for misspellings, omitted words or word endings, punctuation or grammatical errors, rather than overall meaning and sense – which, ordinarily, is the realm of the editor.

I offer proofreading services as part of my freelance business A Worded Life. To discover what kinds of documents I proofread, visit my How Can I Help You? page.

For a quote for one of the services offered, contact me at A Worded Life.

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