What Does Proofreading Do? Your Questions Answered
  • 4-minute read
  • 10th February 2023

What Does Proofreading Do? Your Questions Answered

If you’re a student writing essays, you’ve probably heard your instructors talk about proofreading. Whether you want to proofread your work yourself or you’d like to have it done by a professional, it’s important to know exactly what proofreading is (and isn’t!). Read on to learn all about it.

What Is Proofreading?

Proofreading is the process of checking your work for grammar, punctuation, spelling, and formatting errors and inconsistencies. It’s the last thing to take place before a document is ready for publication or submission.

Proofreading doesn’t happen until someone has finished all the writing and completed any final adjustments to the content and structure. Think of proofreading as the final polish to make sure a piece is error-free and ready to go.

Why Is Proofreading Important?

Although minor issues may seem, well, minor – they’re not! Even the smallest errors and inconsistencies with spelling, grammar, and punctuation can distract from your message and undermine your work. They can also prevent your readers from understanding your meaning.

In professional and academic writing, errors can detract from the credibility of your work, causing your audience to question your qualifications for producing it. In marketing and online copy, inconsistencies can erode readers’ trust and confidence in your brand.

It may seem like a pesky chore, but prioritizing a proofread of your document will save you time in the long run. Catching any lingering issues will prevent problems that could pop up later in the publication process.

How to Proofread

If you’re proofreading your own work, you have a few options. Certain proofreading software can catch a decent number of mistakes, while manually proofreading (i.e., reading through your work line by line) will pick up things that a computer won’t. You might opt to do a combination of these techniques.

When proofreading, set yourself up for success by ensuring a quiet and distraction-free environment. Focus on grammar, punctuation, spelling, and formatting. Using a checklist can prevent you from missing something. If you find yourself wanting to make bigger changes, then it’s not time for proofreading yet – go back to revising!

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Proofreading is the last thing you’ll do before submitting a document. It’s the process of checking written work for grammar, punctuation, spelling, and formatting errors and inconsistencies.

It’s a crucial step to making sure your writing is high quality and easy to understand. Errors are distracting and will undermine your work, so catching them during this final polish will help you in the long run.

You can proofread manually, use proofreading software, or do a combination of both. We recommend using a checklist so that you don’t miss anything. To ensure the best results, though, consider having a professional do the job for you!

Frequently Asked Questions

How does proofreading differ for professional vs academic writing?

While proofreaders check for mechanical errors and inconsistencies in all writing, in academic writing, they’ll also ensure that it has a formal and objective tone and that referencing styles are used correctly. In professional writing, depending on the purpose of the document (e.g., online copy, business memos), proofreaders will make sure the voice is consistent while paying attention to effective SEO and branding.

How does proofreading affect the credibility of your work?

Small errors in punctuation, spelling, and grammar can alter the meaning of your writing, and even seemingly inconsequential mistakes can undermine your readers’ confidence in your qualifications as a writer on your topic.

Where can I hire a professional proofreader?

Our experts will ensure your writing is free of errors – big and small ­– and they’ll check it for inconsistencies and referencing requirements, too! Submit a free sample today to try us out.

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