Proofreading

Proofreading

Why do you need the proofreading service?

Proofreading means carefully checking for errors in a text before it is published or shared. It is the very last stage of the writing process, when you fix minor spelling and punctuation mistakes, typos, formatting issues and inconsistencies.

Proofreading is essential for any text that will be shared with an audience, whether it’s an academic paper, a job application, an online article, or a print flyer. Depending on your skills and budget, you can choose to proofread the text yourself or to hire a professional.

Proofreading vs editing

Editing and proofreading are different steps in the process of revising a text. Editing can involve major changes to content, structure and language, but proofreading focuses only on minor errors and inconsistencies.

Basic proofreading skills are important for anyone who writes. For everyday texts, such as business reports, blogs, or college papers, there are some techniques you can use to proofread efficiently and effectively before sharing your work.

Before you get to the final stage of proofreading, make sure you’ve thoroughly revised and edited your work. There’s no point spending time fixing minor errors if you might later remove whole sections or rewrite paragraphs. Only proofread once you’ve got a completed final draft that you’re happy with.

When you’ve been reading and rereading the same words for hours or days, it becomes much harder to notice mistakes. Before proofreading, set your work aside for a while so that you can look at it with fresh eyes.

Ideally you should wait at least a day or two before final proofreading, but if you’re on a tight deadline, even a half hour break can help.

Seeing your words on a printed page is another useful strategy for noticing things that might have escaped your attention on the screen. If the final version will be printed, this is also a good chance to check your formatting is correct and consistent on the page.

Pay attention to the errors that keep recurring in the text. This can help you avoid them in future.

Knowing what to look out for is the most challenging part of proofreading. You’ll probably notice obvious typos, but subtle mistakes in grammar and punctuation can be harder to recognize. The table below shows some of the most common errors to look out for.