Are proofreading and editing the same thing? The answer is no, but we understand that it’s all a bit confusing. That’s why we’ve taken the time to gift you with the answers you need, why it’s so important to do, and how to find help.
So, what is proofreading? We’re going to talk about two things as we explore the term. Let’s start with the formal meaning of the word.
An expert will define proofreading as the final check of a written draft to fix any spelling, grammar, and formatting mistakes. Punctuation proofreading and other checks for errors are usually conducted just before the paper is readied for submission.
Now for the other, more common uses of the word. When many people say proofreading they actually mean editing or revising. Essentially, they use this as an umbrella term for any sort of function you do to fix errors and make sure your paper is the way your instructor wants it.
We’re not picky here. You can use the term however you want, but you should make sure that you understand what your professor means when he gives you a task. In fact, always pay close attention to your assignment rubric. It may even have the proofreading definition in writing.
The Importance of Proofreading
Let’s talk about why it matters. Why is it important to proofread your writing? Have you ever had your grade reduced from a B to a C because it had too many spelling and grammar mistakes? That’s why you should always take time to polish the text.
But, wait! That’s not all. If you truly care about the subject of your essay or research paper, shouldn’t you communicate clearly? Poor grammar, inaccurate word choice, clumsy formatting, etc. are all things that make your writing hard to read. Poor writing also reduces your credibility and shows a lack of attention to detail. Do better! Carefully review your work so it’s as good as it can be. That`s totally okay if feel uncertain doing it for the first time. Practice proofreading constantly and it`ll get much better.
Are There Different Kinds of Proofreading?
There are different types of proofreading. Here’s the 411 on what they are.
One of the most common forms of proofreading is for academic work. This includes spelling and grammar checking and may also include checks for academic style and citations. There’s also something called a sense check. This is when your data and conclusions are reviewed by a fact-checker.
This type of check is needed for writing intended for publishing. Any professional who writes books, newspaper articles, or online content may have their work checked for mistakes. Their proofreader may also suggest some style changes and other polishing.
Proofreading translators check for mistakes in writing. They’re also there to make sure that there is no meaning lost in translation.
What You Should Notice and Fix?
The only way to become a good proofreader is to practice. In fact, that’s why you should proofread a first draft. Even if you get someone to help you with your final draft, this allows you to train, and improve your eye for finding mistakes. So, how do you know what to look for when proofreading? You can use this checklist!
How to Proofread?
- The basics: spelling and grammar
- Proper verb tenses
- Capitalizing proper nouns
- Sentence structure
- Paragraph transitions
- Figures of speech and idioms
- Flow and clarity
- Passive voice
- Adverb overuse
- Unclear pronouns
Those are some basics to remember while learning to proofread tips and techniques. Keep in mind that there are additional things to consider. The importance of these will depend on things like your grade level, academic discipline, even the type of writing assignment. For example, you’ll perform different validations for a simple ‘English 101’ essay than you will a Biochemistry research paper that you’re trying to have published in a journal. This is where data checking and source validation might be important vs. simply checking for proof reading errors.
Revising vs Proofreading
We`re often asked, what is the difference between revising and proofreading. Here is the answer. Revising has to do with the overall organization, the points you make, and whether your writing is appropriate for your audience. The latter digs down into the details.
Is Proofread One Word or Two?
So, how do you spell proofread? Is it one word or two? Is it proofreading or proof reading? First, just remember that it’s all one word. If you forget, no worries! Google will know what you mean. You’ll also find several sites that use both spellings interchangeably.
There are some synonyms for proofread, but none of them are 100% accurate. These include analyze, edit, rearrange, refine, and rephrase. If you understand, ‘what does proofread mean’, you know that all of these words partially define the term. None of them mean exactly the same thing.
Here are some interesting facts. Did you know that most employers would think twice about hiring you if there are spelling and grammar mistakes in your resume? If you’re considering a career in proofreading, you could make about 40,000 dollars per year.
Finally, you may not be the best choice when it comes to proof reading your own writing. The truth is that we are better able to find mistakes in someone else’s writing than we are our own.
Can You Get Help Online? Is it Free?
So, you’ve decided you want some extra help with your document. What now? Can you find proofreading online for free? The answer is yes, sort of. Some people choose to use online tools for very basic tasks. Just keep in mind that these aren’t very in depth. Further, they don’t understand the context of your writing and can miss quite a bit.
Pretty certain how to spell proofread but still unsure about how to go about your own paper, you should think about hiring an online service. Yes, you’ll spend a bit of scratch to make it happen, but as long as you find a reputable company to help you, then it’s worth the investment.
Posted by Chris M.