You have read many articles and must have come across grammatical errors or wrongly spelled words. The moment you notice a mistake, you lose the focus and the flow of reading breaks. A well-written article helps you making a pleasant picture of the author, on the contrary, when you see a mistake, the impression of the author tend to get deteriorated. Human beings tend to judge people too early. You must have seen famous people making grammatical mistakes while speaking on the television, and instantly we form a negative opinion and the critics even start mocking people.
For writers, proofreading is all the more important because their readers get to know them through their creation. For students, proofreading is an exercise, which helps them write excellent essays and reports. As kids, we were being asked to revise our papers after finishing it. Some of us followed that practice, while most of the people consider it a waste of time. Proofreading is nothing, but revising what you have written.
Proofreading is similar to business communication what icing and embellishing is to cakes: One little flaw diminishes the entire cake, affecting the whole impression to suffer. Proofreading is more than poor grammar and spell-check. In fact, it is a duteous and demanding job and is even more important than writing the content. A proofreader is required to be more dedicated and keen as his job is to keep up the quality of the content.
Proofreading is different from Spell Check
Proofreading is a process that helps in finding the errors in a document. Many people think that proofreading is same as spell check, but the fact of the matter is proofreading is a more comprehensive analysis of a text. Grammatical errors and spellings can be verified using automated tools and applications, but proofreading requires thorough manual intervention.
A proofreader has to observe:
- Whether the intent of the author is conveyed clearly or not.
- Whether the words used in content are appropriate or not.
- Whether the punctuation is done correctly or not.
- Check if sentences are too long to understand.
- Ensure proper formation and development of content.
- Numbering, indexing has been done sensibly or not.
- Whether the images inserted are suitable for content or not.
The work of a proofreader is most critical, as any mistake on his part can change the entire meaning of the sentence. The changes made by him should not change the intended meaning of the original text. A proofreader cannot put his ideas into a document but has to see things from the eyes of the author.
By now, you must have understood the significance of proofreading. Proofreading a document is not only important for students, but it is an ongoing process. Once you start working, you have to proofread official documents, status reports, etc., therefore; here are a few tips that you can use to become a good proofreader.
- Proofreaders have to be good readers, as their jobs require them to read content again and again. Develop the habit of reading and try to learn new words regularly to improve your vocabulary skills.
- Do not proofread your document right after finishing it, rather take a break and allow the content to get cold. Start proofreading with a fresh mind as it will help you to spot errors easily.
- Read your content loudly and slowly. Read each and every line and then repeat the exercise. Proofread the document at least thrice; once for grammatical errors, once for spelling mistakes and once for punctuation.
- While proofreading someone else’s documents, make sure you know the intent of the writer. Get into the shoes of the writer and see things from his perspective.
- Learn the use of proofreading applications as it helps you proofreading a document. Do not rely on these software applications completely, but you may use these applications once or twice along with manual proofreading.
- Keep a dictionary handy, while proofreading any document, and refer to it now and then to assure that a word is used correctly in a sentence.
Proofreading is a critical process and needs to be done thoroughly. The job of a proofreader demands more attentiveness and focus. A proofreader cannot let any sentence pass through his eyes without scrutinizing it. Proofreading is an art, to become a good proofreader, continuous efforts are required. Any person can be a proofreader as the skills of proofreading can be cultivated over a period.