The Process of Proofreading
It is the last stage of the editing process when the text is ready for publication focusing on punctuations, misspellings and grammar mistakes. All other editing processes are completed before proofreading takes place. Any text such as an online article, academic paper, job application etc., to be shared with a particular audience should undergo proofreading.
An individual can proofread the work themselves or hire a professional if they can afford to pay them. Getting a proofreader has got two options to send documents to a proofreading and editing company or hire a freelance proofreader.
Relationship between Proofreading and Editing
Proofreading and Editing are two different processes involved in revising any text that most people find difficult to differentiate. Editing involves making changes in the sentence structure, content and language. At the same time, proofreading focuses on inconsistencies and minor errors. However, both processes undergo some common stages before the text is ready for publication. They include:
Content editing – involves revising the initial draft by adjusting sections through adding, moving or deleting them.
Line editing – Revision of language at this stage is essential to communicate your ideas and stories through restructuring paragraphs, changing phrases, words and sentences.
Copy editing – At this stage, sentences are improved to ensure stylistic consistency, clear syntax and correct grammar.
Proofreading – The final stage of checking the remaining errors such as misplaced punctuations, stylistic inconsistencies, etc. The text from this stage is ready for publication.
Useful Tips for Proofreading
To identify a conducive working environment – Ensure you are in a secluded place away from distractions since the work needs your full concentration.
Editing – It is the first stage before proofreading where writers should ensure they have thoroughly revised and edited their work. At this point, minor errors are eliminated, and wrong paragraphs are rewritten.
Taking a break – Staying for long hours stuck on one text reading and rereading the same content. It is recommended to take a day off a break before proofreading to feel like you are handling a new text.
Change the lookout of your document – Alter the color, size, fonts, and style of your text to trick the brain it’s tackling a new document it is not familiar with.
Proofread a printout – Print out a drafted document so that you can notice major errors you made on the computer. Using a hard copy will provide you with a good opportunity to check the page’s consistency and if the format used is correct.
Using digital shortcuts – Reading from a printed document will help you spot errors and fix them efficiently through word processing software such as a PDF editor that will help you edit PDF. The software helps in identifying inconsistently capitalized terms and repeatedly misspelled words. Be careful not to click the `replace all` by ensuring you check through every replacement.
Learn from mistakes – Be on the lookout for the common recurring errors to avoid them in the future. Sometimes it is hard to recognize punctuation and grammatical errors.