Have you ever been told by your professor to proofread your work? You surely have. But do you know what proofreading is? You may find it difficult to believe, but many students turn out not to really know what proofreading entails. So, are you sure you actually know what proofreading is and you do not confuse it with editing? Because if you have doubts, just tell us “proofread my essay,” and you will have your paper proofread by our writing experts.
Okay, you may know that proofreading presupposes comparatively minor adjustments of a text and that it differs from editing. But this knowledge is somewhat superficial and not enough to properly proofread a paper. So, if you want to get a deep insight into the essence of proofreading, read a more detailed explanation below.
In simple words, proofreading is the last stage of editing, in the process of which a proofreader checks a paper for mistakes in spelling, punctuation, grammar, and formatting and corrects them. After proofreading, a piece of writing is supposed to be absolutely ready for submitting, publishing, etc.
Interestingly, proofreading may mean different processes in different spheres of activity, which only adds to the general confusion and misunderstanding around this word. For instance, a specialist in the publishing field will give you a different definition of this word than a professor at a college.
Like in its general meaning, proofreading is also defined by those who work in the publishing industry as the very last stage of editing prior to printing and publishing of some work. However, the difference lies in what exactly these proofreaders mean by ‘the last stage.’ So, at this stage, the comparison of ‘proofs’ and the edited copy takes place. A proof here means the already printed version of the work that has headers, page numbers, and all other formatting elements that have to be incorporated in the final work. This comparison is important because it helps one to see mistakes that can be made in the process of printing. Well, this is not quite an explanation you would expect, right?
A confusing thing here is that proofreading has got a definition that significantly distinguishes it from the initial role it has been assigned in the publishing industry.
Mostly, people understand by proofreading the process of correcting mistakes in grammar, formatting, and/or typography. The common ground here is that proofreading always means the final stage before a piece of writing is published, submitted to a professor or as some application, or in any other way shared with the target audience.
As has been earlier indicated, proofreading is the final stage, so it should come after editing that includes making the content perfectly organized, easy to follow and comprehend, and overall well-written. At the stage of editing, errors also can be corrected, but its main focus should be ensuring that the whole text makes sense.
In its turn, proofreading involves correcting mistakes that were overlooked or appeared at the stage of editing. After the proofreader is done with work, it should be completely free from any grammatical, typographical, and formatting mistakes. One more proofreader’s responsibility is to check if the work follows the specific style guide.
In contrast to proofreaders working in the publishing sphere, ordinary proofreaders may have an unlimited number of revisions to improve the piece since the work does not presuppose any additional proofreading cost for correcting more mistakes. Nevertheless, a proofreader may request additional editing in case he or she believes that a significant part of the text still needs major changes.
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