What is English Proofreading?
Proofreading is a critical part of the writing process that involves scrutinizing a written document to identify and rectify grammar, punctuation, spelling, and vocabulary errors. There are many professionals providing proofreading services, online and offline, and each proofreader has his own specifics and skills.
In particular, for non native speakers, the proofreading process can significantly increase the quality of the documents, since it can correct many language errors.
Good writing always involves modification and revision, and proofreading is a fundamental part of this process. Proofreaders generally have one primary objective: to ensure that a written document is absolutely perfect in terms of grammar, syntax and vocabulary.
To achieve this, the providers of editing services verify accuracy in the following areas:
- Sentence structure
To be effective and professional, you should check, correct and proofread both printed and digital texts.
Professional editors and professional proofreaders offer their services to make a revision of your text. All the sections are analyzed and revised, sentence by sentence, in all the aspects. The editing process can take from a few minutes to several weeks, depending on the length of the document to proofread.
What does a proofreader do?
Professional English proofreaders will correct mistakes in grammar, perform spell checks to find spelling mistakes, and review grammatical errors, to make sure that all the rules of the proper English language are respected.
Some people ask for help in proofreading to a friend or a relative that is fluent in English. However it is better to let a professional proofreader perform the editing on your draft, since they have all the set of skills to perform this task, which is far from being easy.
As the author of the text, you have a complete idea of the message that you would like to convey to your audience. However sometimes writing in English is not that easy, in particular if it is not your first language and you are a non native speaker.
Several times it can happen that your ideas are not well expressed, and your sentences may contain typos (typographical errors) and spelling mistakes. In addition, the grammar and the fluency of the text may not be perfect. For this reason, services like TextRanch give an answer to the request for professional English proofreading.
Are There Different Types of Proofreading?
As we have established, all proofreaders, regardless of what industry or niche they operate in, will be concerned with findings and correcting mistakes. English proofreaders and editors can work for editorial services, can be dedicated to the correction of emails and professional documents or can perform basic proofreading.
While the proofreading definition is relatively universal, there are different types of proofreading.
Let’s look at the most common ones.
General Media Proofreading
Media proofreaders work with documents that are intended for print and online publication, e.g., books, newspapers, blog articles, cover letters, marketing literature, etc.
These Proofreaders look for a range of errors, including formatting, grammar mistakes, spelling, syntax issues, punctuation, and typology. In some settings, they may also be responsible for fact-checking. They analyze every sentence and correct it before sending back the revised text to the author.
Translation proofreaders operate in a slightly different way to other types of proofreaders because there is more than one language involved.
A translation proofreader will perform all the tasks of a general proofreader, such as correcting grammatical and punctuation errors. He will also take meaning into consideration. He will ensure that the language reflects the one that a native English speaker would use. Therefore, it is not a single stage process. The proofreading service starts with a translation. As a consequence, being fluent in two languages is in this case a must-have requirement.
Typically, Academic proofreading involves checking academic documents, such as dissertations, reserach papers, theses, essays , or assignments, for errors.
Academic proofreaders also have expert knowledge of academic style guides. They know the published guidelines and rules that students must adhere to within their papers and books.
Academic proofreaders will check the formatting, citations, references, and general presentation of the final documents against these guidelines. They need to ensure that the paper is in full compliance with requirements, and to match the expectations of the author.
What’s the Difference Between Proofreading and Editing?
It is very common for people to perceive editing and proofreading as interchangeable terms.
However, they are actually two completely different processes. Each stage of the publication process requires a different service.
Both proofing techniques require attention to detail, patience and care. Anyway, they focus on totally different aspects of writing and, therefore, necessitate different approaches.
Editing is a technique that comes before proofreading. You should perform it when you have finished the first draft of a written document.
In addition, Editing involves re reading through the entire document to see how well-organized and coherent it is. Editing is also about the readability of the text, to make sure that it is fluent and logic. It is about the meaning of the text.
As you progress through the re reading of the document, an Editor will make changes. They aim to improve the language choice, structure of arguments, flow, and readability. At this stage of the review process, he will also check for spelling errors, grammar, style, and punctuation mistakes, along with formatting the text in a coherent manner.
If you use a professional English editor to perform editing on your behalf, he will help you improve your writing. He will ensure that your text is consistent and logical. He will address all the kinds of errors and mistakes, and check the correct format of the text. This ” Editing” is also called ” Proof Editing” .
Essentially, editors will help you transform your written English from good to great while maintaining the author’s writing style and tone.
The Proofreading process comes after editing and is the final stage of the editing and writing process.
Proofreading involves correcting, style, typography, formatting, and punctuation mistakes. It also includes grammar checking and the revision of spelling errors.
One crucial skill for proofreaders is patience. They need to read through your final document, review each phrase, each section, to find all the errors that you have missed.
You may be tempted to rely on automatic grammar and spelling checkers to perform proofreading on your behalf.
However, this is far from a good idea as these systems are not reliable. They cannot truly understand written English in the context for which it was intended. Whether you need a proofread of a professional email, an academic document or an article for a blog, it is always better to rely on professional proofreading services.
We, at TextRanch, offer professional proofreading and proof editing services.
Remember that proofreaders can put fresh eyes on your piece of writing, and you should take advantage of such a professional service.
When you should order proofreading services:
You should consider proofreading services if you notice that your written English needs more than a basic check for mistakes.
Note that your text benefits from the input of a professional English editor who can assist you to restructure the copy and improve the effectiveness of your writing.
If you deal with businesses located in native English speaker countries, remember that the use of proper English is crucial.
Finally, when you want a final check for any spelling mistake, grammatical correction, or punctuation errors you should avoid performing the proofreading by yourself and let professionals take the lead.