- What is proofreading?
- Why is it important?
- Tips for effective proofreading
- Professional proofreading and editing services
What is proofreading?
The definition of proofreading as per the Oxford English Dictionary is “the action of reading (printer’s proofs or other written or printed material) and marking any errors”. Proofreading is often confused with editing, which is usually a much more in-depth review of a text, where multiple improvements are made, both grammatically and stylistically.
Why is it important?
Proofreading is a vital part in the process of creating any kind of written content. It is not only an essential skill for those in language services and creative writing professions, but also for anyone who is required to create high-quality written content as part of their day-to-day job role. The quality of your written content will directly affect your customer’s decision to buy!
Here are some quick tips from professionals on how to proofread more effectively:
Tip #1 - Always run a spelling and grammar check
Most software packages nowadays are bundled with a built-in spelling and grammar check function. Simply by clicking a button, it’s possible to check an entire document for spelling mistakes and common grammatical errors. This should always be the first step in your proofreading process. The spell check is able to pick up all kinds of mistakes, including mistyped or duplicated words, multiple spaces, etc. It is an incredibly useful and very simple proofreading tool.
Tip #2 - Read through your work multiple times
It’s very important to read through your text multiple times. It’s very easy to miss an error while writing or in your initial review. Many language professionals and writers find it useful to take a short break from a document or leave it overnight, before proceeding with a final check with ‘fresh eyes’. This often helps in spotting any mistakes overlooked in previous reviews.
Tip #3 - Take note of common mistakes
If you regularly proofread your own work, it is often very useful to take note of any common errors you may spot. This will help you to be quicker and more efficient with your proofreading in future, and will also serve to improve the quality of your writing.
Tip #4 - Read it out loud
It can often be useful to read a piece of writing out loud during the review stage. This can help highlight any parts of the text that perhaps don’t sound quite right, and the act of reading out loud often leads to mistakes being spotted which may otherwise have been missed.
Tip #5 - Ask a colleague for a 'second pair of eyes'
It can be very helpful to ask someone else to read through your completed text for you. For example, if you are a translator, writer or blogger, you might arrange with a colleague to check one another's work. This arrangement can work well, as it is often much easier to spot a mistake on an initial reading of a document than when one has been immersed in its creation for some time.
Tip #6 - Use an advanced proofreading tool
There are various advanced proofreading tools available on the market, which may be very useful for those who regularly review their own content. These tools often perform a more in-depth check than standard spelling and grammar checkers, and some can look at various basic stylistic features of your text. Grammarly is a popular proofreading tool, and offers desktop applications and browser extensions to check your content wherever you write. For a complete stylistic review of a document, however, it's best to use a professional editor.
Professional proofreading and editing services
If you regularly create written content, it may save you time and money to use professional proofreading and editing services. Most service providers will agree rates on a per word or hourly basis, so you'll always know how much it will cost. Working regularly with a proofreader or editor you trust means that you can concentrate on creating your content and running your business, confident in the knowledge that your text has been reviewed by a professional. Please get in touch via the 'Contact' page if you would like more information on proofreading and editing services.
In conclusion, we can see that proofreading is a vital business skill for those involved in the creation of written content. However, we have also established that there are various techniques and resources which will help you to proofread your work more effectively. You can also use professional proofreading and editing services, so that you are able to concentrate on your content and leave the rest to the professionals!