Proofreading: What is proofreading?
- Proofreading is the close and detailed checking of a document or publication in order to check and correct spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar, and consistency errors, as already covered on the benefits of proofreading page.
- As a proofreader I can also alert you to the use of clichéd and stale writing and inconsistencies of language, layout, formatting, and presentation of facts and data.
- I can also test the hyperlinks in your document to ensure they are functioning.
- I will also comment on awkward and ambiguous wording, and offer solutions where possible, but not to the extent of full copyediting.
- Changes, queries, or suggestions will be marked on Word documents using the Track Changes tool or on PDFs using Adobe Acrobat editing tools.
If you are unsure of the difference between proofreading and copyediting, see the page proofreading vs copyediting on this site. I do not handle copyediting. (Please note that I only handle proofreading on screen, not on paper. This is more environmentally friendly.)
Sometimes your budget or schedule will not allow you to have a document both copyedited and proofread. I can offer a hybrid solution where I can carry out a light edit while I am proofreading – improving readability, clarity, and flow. This will cost a little more and take longer, but it may be the way for you. This service is more suited to documents rather than longer books, especially those that are fiction or academic. It is not a substitute for full copyediting.
What can you expect from proofreading?
Not perfection, but as close as is humanly possible perhaps.
Please note that proof correction does not include:
- copyediting (please see the page proofreading vs copyediting for the distinction between them)
- copyright permissions
- literary appraisal or criticism
- page design and layout
- rewriting and development editing.
Other editorial services
These services will be charged at higher rates than simple proofreading as extensive writing skills will be called upon. As with proofreading the changes will be tracked in a Word document for your consideration – the final decision to accept or reject them is yours.
You may be concerned that what you have written is too close in wording to original sources, so to avoid accusations of plagiarism, however unintended, sentences can be rewritten or paraphrased. Or some material you have written may need to be rephrased so as to avoid repetition or staleness. In both cases the original meaning or arguments will be retained but the wording will be changed so that they are expressed differently.
You may want to condense your document to reduce the word count, to change the tone (for instance from active to passive voice for a journal article submission), or to reduce rambling sentence lengths to make them sharper.
“I’ve engaged Stephen as a proofreader on a multitude of projects over the years. He has worked on higher education and further education textbooks as well as online resources for me, and has always delivered on time to a very high standard. …”
(Testimonial from educational publishing client)
All proofreading carried out will be subject to my Terms and Conditions of Business.