“Proofread my paper please! I’ve read this over and over and I can’t see straight!” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this request. My friends know I have an eagle eye and a knack for finding text errors, so they always rely on me to proofread their documents. They are not alone in their need for an eagle-eye to go over their documents, everyone should use the services of a proofreader.
Why should anyone hire a proofreader? Isn’t spell check sufficient enough to catch any errors? It may be easy to presume this, but having a fresh set of eyes to review your writing is essential to presenting your best-written work to help get that passing grade, that job, or that contract.
It is a fact that people from all walks of life benefit from the services of proofreaders when they need to make a memorable impression via the written word. Whether it’s college students writing their final thesis, young entrepreneurs needing a pristine business plan, or job seekers looking to knock out the competition, all should employ the services of a proofreader if they want to make a good impression with their written material. Read on to find out more.
What is proofreading?
What exactly is proofreading? According to the Merriam-Webster definition, to proofread means “to read and mark corrections in something such as a proof.” This definition isn’t too clear so to make it plainer, to proofread means to examine written material with a fine-tooth comb to find, mark and/or correct all errors in the text.
Proofreading essentially polishes your written material to make it suitable for publishing or external audiences. Proofreading is often coupled with copy-editing which according to dictionary.com means “to edit (a manuscript, document, text, etc.) for publication, especially for punctuation, spelling, grammatical structure, style, etc.”
Proofreading and copy-editing are powerful tools for authors, bloggers, businesses, and anyone needing to produce documents that convey competence, knowledge, and professionalism.
Isn’t spell check good enough?
How many times have you used spellcheck in Word only to find that it missed obvious things like a name or an alternate spelling or grammatical point? It’s frustrating, isn’t it? You’re relying on the technology to save you an extra layer of work, but it still falls short of the human eye.
The fact is, spellcheck is no match for the human eye because a computer cannot determine nuance, meaning, or even names. So, while spellcheck can give you a basic spelling or grammatical check, its ability to spot errors is limited. A human proofreader should always have the last look at any important document before official release or publication.
Why you need a proofreader
Imagine what would happen if a college student presented essays or papers riddled with spelling and grammatical errors to their professor? Or, say an entrepreneur pitching a proposal full of errors to potential investors? It doesn’t take any imagination at all. The student will fail and the entrepreneur will not win any funds from investors.
There is a steep price to pay when anyone does not take the time to carefully proofread any documents that can make a significant difference in their life.
A proofreader can be the difference between making a great first impression or not being taken seriously. This is especially true for anyone who may have an issue reading and correcting great blocks of text. It’s also good to have a fresh set of eyes to review text and spot errors you may miss.
How do proofreaders work?
Proofreading is a pretty straightforward profession that has become somewhat easier with the advent of email and the internet. Traditionally, proofreaders received a hardcopy of the document needing proofing. They then carefully reviewed the text using a series of special marks to note and/or correct all errors. The proofreader returned the marked-up document to the client for review.
Depending on the work (manuscript, essay, blogs, proposals, etc.) having to proof in the traditional manner wasted a lot of paper and took much longer than it does today. Still, the basics remain the same. After reviewing the proofreader’s marked-up draft, clients can choose to receive it as is or accept all changes and receive a clean document free from typos and other errors. Most clients choose to accept all marked changes and receive a clean document that they can use immediately.
Who should use a proofreader?
As a copy-editor and proofreader, my most frequent clients have been business executives, college students, entrepreneurs, and job seekers.
College professors expect their students to produce well-written essays, papers, and other assignments. A student can have the best ideas but may have difficulty meeting these requirements. They can use a proofreader and copy-editor to help them present, clear and error-free written work. A proofreader can be a student’s secret weapon for getting that A.
Businesses also need proofreaders to review their websites, brochures, blogs, and sales collateral. Entrepreneurs need impeccable business plans to present to potential investors. A proofreader can make the difference in getting that startup check.
How about needing to revamp your resume? Or maybe writing that grant proposal to fund that important project? The fact is, anyone can benefit from having a proofreader review their important documents.
Let me proofread your document!
At Editing by Dawn, I make it easy to proofread and/or copy-edit your document. All you need to do is send me 4 pages of your document to receive a free quote. To expedite things, you can fill out this form to tell me more about your project.
Once we agree to work together we’ll discuss your document and what level of revision is needed. Armed with this information, I get to work correcting all typos, grammatical and spelling errors. If needed, I may throw in a bit of copy-editing to help structure the written material. At the end of the process, I present you with an error-free document that is ready for publication.
Do you need help with proofreading your document? Contact me today and let’s work together to polish your words!