Tag Archives: proofreaders

10 CHARACTERISTICS TO LOOK FOR IN PROOFREADER

Proofreading is one of the most critical steps for effective writing. A text or write-up is considered to be accurate when it is free from various errors including grammar and spelling mistakes. To make sure that the content of the text is error-free and accurate, it is important to review it carefully with a view to correct mistakes if any. However, proofreading is the most tedious and challenging task, but it is essential for improving the quality of the text. One needs to have various types of skills and qualities so as to proofread effectively and efficiently.  Apart from having the knowledge of subject matter, proofreader also requires some specific skills.

Proofreader Characteristics

Below mentioned are some major skills and characteristics to look for in proofreader:

Good computer skills: It is important for a proofreader to have effective computer skills. In the era of technological advancement, most of proofreading is done on-screen, hence it is essential for proofreader to have better understanding of varied computer applications and tools related to proofreading and editing such as Track Changes in MS Word, insert comments, etc. Moreover, there are different types of online proofreading tools such as SlickWrite, Grammarly, Ginger, Proof Read My File and so on, are available that helps you to review your text for mistakes and error, and corrects them. For using these tools, it is important have detailed knowledge of computer programs as well as The internet.

Have patience: Proofreading is considered as a tedious task, as it requires a detailed analysis of the text in order to identify grammar and spelling mistakes, word choice errors, sentence structure, punctuations errors and correct them. For in-depth analysis of the content, one needs to have patience. So before hiring a proofreader to review your document, you must ensure that he/she has the patience to review lengthy text with a critical eye. As well, proofreader should be able to comprehend what a writer wants to say, despite ambiguous writing. Only then, he/she can identify the mistakes in writing. Many professional suggests double reading, reading aloud and backward reading of the text to find minor mistakes. Therefore, proofreader should have enough patience level and skills to do a detailed review to manuscript assigned to him/her.

Love Reading: Proofreader should be a good reader. He/she should enjoy reading different forms of writing such as books, journals, essays, newspapers, magazines, web content, articles and blogs, and even business letters. Reading skills is one of essential qualities that a proofreader should have. This characteristic will aid in finding the errors in grammar, spelling and sentence structure, etc. easily and competently without any hassle.

Good English and grammatical knowledge: For finding the grammatical and spelling mistakes, wrong use of verbs and tenses, word choice, typos, etc. in the text, it is imperative for proofreader to have good command over English language. In addition to this, proofreader should also be aware of various grammar concepts and rules so that he/she can correct the grammatical errors and typos effectively. He/she must be competent in rectifying mistakes including wrong word usage, word order, punctuation and other grammar related errors. Better understanding of English and grammar is essential for proofreader in order to make the write-up clear, well-structured, as well as grammatically correct.

Aware of varied stylebooks: There are different types of style guides such as AP style guide, AMA Manual of Style, Chicago Manual Style, APA and MLA Style guide and so on. Proofreader should be familiar with most popular style guides in order to review every detail of content carefully including style of writing and Style Guide Compliance. Understanding of various Style Guides also aids in identifying the citations or Referencing errors so as to make the content correct and accurate in all aspects.

Have formal training: An individual need to have some kind of formal training which can include high school courses in Literature and English, which will give a foundation in basic proofreading and language. In addition to this, certain diploma courses such as Marketing, Human resources, finance or any other subjects are also essential. It is crucial for a proofreader to possess knowledge of varied subjects in order to analyze effectively the content.

Good observational skills and Consistent: Even a small mistake such as the wrong use of exclamation marks, can make a big difference. Wrong use of commas, full stops, and semi-colon can change the meaning the sentence completely. If a word is omitted, or double space is left between sentences, a proofreader should be able to catch it. An individual needs to be detailed-oriented as well so that he/she can scan the minor mistakes in the text. Therefore, it is important for a proofreader to be well observant and good with details in order to review effectively the write-up as well as to make it precise. Furthermore, he/she must be prompt with regards to complete the proofreading within specified deadline.

Effective communication skills: Good communication skills are essential for the proofreader. If there is doubt about any sentence or content, a proofreader should be able to communicate freely the query and clear it with the client. Any miscommunication on the part of proofreader can affect the writing to a great extent.

Enough time to check: Proofreading is a challenging task, it requires adequate time to print the text, analyze the content, markup the errors, and correct them. Proofreader should have adequate time to perform all these tasks. Reviewing the text only online is not enough to make the text accurate and error-free. Multiple times of reading and checking is of paramount importance for effective writing.

Feel free to use a dictionary or any other kind of help: The good proofreader is one who is afraid of using a dictionary, grammar reference book or Style guide to review the content. Furthermore, he/she should not feel humiliation in consulting or taking help of others.

            These are some of the main characteristics that one should look in proofreader before assigning them the work. However, this is not the comprehensive list, but it mentions some of the basic skills that proofreader should possess.

10 TIPS TO DEVELOP YOUR PROOFREADING SKILLS

If a writer wants his/her readers to understand the text clearly and accurately, it is essential to make the text error-free and precise. In order to make the writing effective in all aspects, proofreading is a must. Apart from having good writing skills, one also needs to have adequate proofreading skills so as to enhance the quality of content and make it readable. Proofreading is a most challenging task; constant effort and practice is required to develop skills to review a text effectively.

proofreading skills

Following are some important tips to develop proofreading skills:

Work on your weaknesses: To have efficient proofreading skills, a proofreader should always analyze his/her weaknesses regarding Grammar and should read more and more related documents so as to learn various vital forms of grammar. Also, the priority should be given to vocabulary and to strengthen it by reading newspapers and other rich documents. Spelling mistakes are also very commonly made a mistake and the proofreader should be capable enough to detect such mistakes and rectify them with his knowledge. Admitting your shortcomings and working on them will prove to be beneficial in enhancing proofreading skills.

Eliminate distractions: Proofreading is the mental activity, careful analysis of content needs to be done to find the mistakes. It is important to stay away from all type of distractions when proofreading the text. You need to have clear and peaceful mind while reviewing the text for grammar and spelling mistakes.

Develop habit of multiple reading: Proofreading is not a simple task, it requires enough time to read the content carefully and check it for any kind of spelling and grammar mistakes, word usage, wrong punctuation, misuse of verbs and tenses, sentence structure and the like. To correct these errors, it is important to read the text with a critical eye. There are several small mistakes that writer makes knowingly or unknowingly. These small errors can make a big difference; it can change the meaning of the text. Therefore, it is important to eliminate these grammar mistakes and typos.  One time reading will not help in identifying the minor mistakes, hence it is advisable to develop habit if multiple reading in order to proofread the manuscript effectively.

Develop habit of reading: With a view to develop good proofreading skills, one must work on developing the habit of reading. It is important to read a variety of writing styles such as books, journals, newspapers, magazines, business and formal letters, etc. to enhance knowledge. This will also aid in augmenting understanding of different fields.

Have patience and good observational skills: Proofreader should be very patient while reviewing the text. As re-reading the content and checking the mistakes is a critical task, one must have good patience level. In addition to this skill, one also needs to have great observational skills to identify minor mistakes as well. Proofreader should check the grammar and spelling errors, typos and other mistakes with a critical eye.

Develop knowledge of different subjects: Apart from having good command of English language and grammar rules, it is imperative to have good understanding of varied fields such as finance, Marketing, medicine, art and so on. Knowledge of various topics will aid in checking the relevancy of content with the respective subject matter. One should have a solid grasp of the topic he/she is proofreading in order to identify mistakes in content. Reviewing the text without having any knowledge of the subject will prove to be no good as one will not be able to check the relevancy of facts written in the text. Therefore, it is essential to develop knowledge of varied subjects to improve the quality of the text.

Work on computer skills: In the present era, computer skills are very important for proofreading, because documents are nowadays made on computer text editors (for ex. MS Word, notepad, etc.) and followed by automatic proofreading by the respective editors. As well, to prepare the documents you should be familiar with their working and important tools like shortcut keys and key special features. Also, if not through the text editors, you can also make your way with online proofreading sites. All you need to know is how to use the features efficiently and effectively. Even if you choose to proofread manually any document, at some or the other point, you will feel forced to use the modern day magician ‘INTERNET’ for which the only prerequisite is to know how to use Computers

Read aloud: When writing a text, we know what message it is trying to convey, so we read it the way we think it should be written rather than the way it is supposed to be. In such cases, we tend to neglect the mistakes we have made while writing. Therefore, it is important to read the text literally with close attention to every detail. Reading the text aloud helps you to identify the grammar and spelling mistakes, wrong word usage, and punctuations mistakes easily. You must try to read the content slowly and accurately to find the minor errors.

Use dictionaries and books: Many times, it happens when we forget how to spell a word. At that moment, it is good to use dictionary or reference book. One should feel humiliated to use dictionaries, style guide or reference books to proofread the content competently. One should also make enough use of grammar guides and English language book to check the errors in grammar and spelling.

Proficiency in Grammar and English language: The principle of proofreading relies upon the ability to rectify any kind of mistakes in a document after it is complete. A proofreader should have enough knowledge of grammar so as to proofread effectively. Proofreading completes and complements your article and makes it more error-free, but if the proofreader is not having enough knowledge of Grammar, then he/she won’t get an accurate output of proofreading.

Grammar Checking – Proofreading Services for Students

The grammar of any language, irrespective of its national or regional identity, forms the foundation of the language. The grammar forms the logical and meaningful base of the language. The more you are perfect in using right grammar at the right place in your writing, the more will be the clarity and objectivity of your message. The way of conveying your message with unambiguous and grammatically perfect writing is the essence of written communication.

Importance of grammar checking in content writing

Naturally, in the academic career, grammar plays a key role in deciding the quality of answers of the students as well as their grade points. This one is true at all levels. However, we will be discussing about the essence of grammar in case of college or university students, who are required to write various assignments and homework topics, given by their institutes. The performance in the college or university level, cast a direct impact on the forthcoming professional career of the students. Grammar check is not only important for these students but also for the students who write research papers to get PhD or other higher degrees.

Grammar is the logical thread of the writing and if a student fails to use perfect grammar, the entire writing could be turned out to be ambiguous before the examiners. There are various aspects which you have to check to make, your assignments, homework or the research papers, free from any grammatical errors before submitting those to the examiners. For checking these grammatical aspects of your writing you should have strong grammatical concept.

grammar checking

However, it has been found, that the grammatical concepts of the students are either not very strong or they commit some mechanical mistakes in grammar, and these mistakes usually take a toll on their academic performance, by affecting the quality of their assignments, homework or research papers. Here comes the importance of the services of the professional proofreaders. The language experts of these organizations can simply make your written piece of work completely error free before submitting the same to the examiners. The proofreaders will help to:

  • Rectify the inconsistency in using tenses, if there is any, in your writing. Very often it is found that students use tenses arbitrarily which make their presentations unprofessional and logically incorrect. Proofreaders, with their year long experience and expertise, will help you to make your writing completely free from inconsistent use of tenses. Moreover, usually various parts of the assignments or research papers should use different tenses consistently. This means, it may happen that you are using present tense consistently while discussing your main body whereas, use of past tense is appropriate for the conclusion. However the use of tenses in such a way depends upon the nature of the content. Proofreaders will help you to ensure that you put perfect tenses consistently in different parts of the assignments or research papers so as to make those more meaningful.
  • The use of subject-verb is another place where students commit some common mistakes. Proofreaders will help you to get rid of those mistakes.
  • In writing, it is always suggested to use the active voice to give the presentation more professional look. But very often students are found to use the passive voice instead of the active voice, even when it is possible. The proofreaders will help you to identify those sentences which could be written using active voice rather than a passive one.
  • Sometimes, some sentences when combined in an effective manner gives your writing a form of fluency and makes the entire representation brief and concise. Proofreaders will help you to achieve this fluency by identifying the sentences which you can combine to make your presentation smooth and more precise.

In fact it has been found that the best performers, in their respective fields, are all excellent in using grammar properly while communicating their written message to the intended audience. While doing your academic work, it is true that you may not have enough expertise to make your written communication grammatically accurate. But at the same time, you do have the services of the professional proofreaders to make your work free from any grammatical errors. While taking their service to make your assignments or research papers flawless, you can also learn from them how to use grammar to improve the quality of your writing and, that lesson will help you a lot to communicate your message in the most proficient manner in the forthcoming future.