It’s true that every written project probably does not require a professional proofreader or copy editor. You could be looking for a novel proofreader or assignment proofreader; an ebook editor or a correspondence editor; the question at the end is the same – will proofreading or editing your own work result in perfection?
Why you shouldn’t proofread your own work
Contrary to popular belief, proofreading is not confined to hitting the spell-check button; it also includes correcting the writer’s grammar. It delves into correcting and assessing punctuation, use of prepositions, and errors in tense and verb usage.
Independent proofreading is absolutely necessary! When a writer or self-publisher proofreads their own work, they are reviewing subject and content that are extremely personal; particularly if the content is a novel, short story or ebook. Similarly, students may find it difficult to find those tiny errors within their assignments or papers, because they are so familiar with their research base. Most of our clients who are tertiary students often comment that its the errors in their references that they miss because they just don’t see the errors anymore.
It may be possible for the writer to distance themselves from their work, but it is almost impossible to be completely objective during your proofreading exercise. As an independent proofreader I have no emotional connection with your content and have not invested the time, energy, effort and passion into writing the piece. Therefore I can be absolutely meticulous without any room for errors by omission.
How a professional proofreader works
Professional proofreaders review work after it has been edited but before it is published or printed. A proofreader is essentially looking at the document, novel, paper, assignment, or ebook to ensure that it can be printed error-free.
As a professional proofreader I look for spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors, along with formatting errors (I make sure tables don’t break cross pages and appropriate headings appear at the top of pages, etc). As a professional editor I will delve into a document in more detail to correct any readability and clarity issues as well.
You will know your proofreader is good at what they do because they have an eye for detail and they can concentrate for long periods of time. They will also have a high command of the English language and ideally would have completed some further education or have professional experience in the writing industry.
Read about our experience here before you decide to contact us to find out how we can help you today.