Proofreaders and editors are those professionals who give final shape to any piece of writing in the professional writing world. They are known for their skills and ability to bring necessary corrections and changes to the written assignment or project. They are the neutral readers other than the writer who has actually written the work. Therefore, they have those sharp skills and instinct to check various things that keep the work from getting marked to as the best work. They read and mark the corrections on the written work that should be made to make it error free. Certain skills are required to become a proofreader or editor:
- The quality of content checking: The proofreaders or editors should be knowledgeable and well-equipped people. They should possess a good amount of knowledge and reasoning as a writer themselves only then, they will be able to find out the quality of content of writing. They should be able to judge the level of quality of writing depending on the writer and place of submission or use of the writing. This will help them to mark corrections and point out the errors to be corrected. This way these professionals help writers to maintain the quality of the content of their type of writing.
- Reading skills: Proofreaders or editors mainly should possess good reading skills. The work most comprised of their profile is reading. Only reading can help them find out errors and mistakes in the work. They should be fast readers and good grasping people who understand the volume read with the speed they perform reading. This is because the work can range from a single page article to hundreds of pages dissertation or thesis of Ph.D. The faster they can read and process more is the volume of work they can handle with accuracy.
- Writing skills: These proofreaders and editing people should themselves be good writers. As is well said set a thief to catch a thief, which means only the person who knows to write well can be able to read and find out the mistakes. The proofreaders and editors are experienced senior writers, and they possess due training to mark the various types of errors in a form of code that is understood by the similarly trained writer at the time of making corrections. And an experienced writer can only be able and eligible to become a good proofreader.
- Good linguistics: The proof readers and editing people are expected to possess good knowledge of language and well a good grip of the rules and laws. This is because, the one who possess this knowledge or must be said as the expertise of language, will be able to point out mistakes relating to the formation of the sentence, grammatical error, the tense used, and many more. The one who possess knowledge can only be able to find out errors simple as that. Therefore, these proofreading people or the editing professionals are not just good writers and readers but also an expert of the language to a reasonably well level.
- Analytical skills: these skills help the proofreaders to diagnose the problem and mark the error in the piece of writing. The skill to arrange the content in a systematic form and understandable manner will only enable these editors to see whether the content is properly arranged and if not what are the issues and what should be done to correct the same. Interpretation is the art to find out the difference between a meaningful sentence and group of words.
- Time management: The roof readers should possess the skill of time management to keep themselves away from the risk of workload and stress. When these editing people are able to manage their time based on their priorities and importance they will be able to finish the urgent work first, avoid procrastination, eliminate stress and create balance in their lives. Since, allotting time to various tasks is necessary to feel finally satisfied and at the same time finish the first thing first. This will help them to meet deadlines as well.
- Control over stress: The proofreaders and editors have to be ferocious readers and graspers, therefore, they must possess skills to remain happy and stress-free. Since doing a similar work over and over again not just build up frustration and boredom but also increases the tendency to lose interest. Therefore, these professionals should plan some other things in addition to this work that keeps them rejuvenated and excited. Also some physical form of activity that also helps them to adopt healthy working habits for a strong and disease free life.
- Ability to prioritize: These proofreaders should be able to analyse the time available to them and the time needed to finish off the work. With this, they will be able to allocate the time needed for the various task. This will keep them away from feeling burdensome and over occupied with their long and tedious reading work. Also, they will be in a position to prioritise the tasks based on the urgency. Setting priorities eliminates the risk of missing deadlines and getting worked up. This also helps us to stay multitasking and focussed on the work.
- Expression and flow of thoughts: These editors and proofreaders should possess the instinct of arranging the data in the form of information. They should be able to mark the areas in writing where the flow is not proper in terms of misarranged information. The primary focus of these editors is to bring out and mark errors so that the message that the writer wants to convey to the reader is clearly derived from reading. Marking about the flow of content will enable the writer to arrange the content in a more organised and orderly fashion.
These are particular skills that are expected and searched for in an efficient and experienced proofreaders or editor. Inculcating these will enable any person to develop the qualities of good proofreading and prosper as a career or hobby.