Whether you’re a seasoned wordsmith in the industry or a new self-publisher looking to land a big break, every writer—be it an author or content writer—needs a proofreader. Proofreaders are the unsung heroes of the editorial process.
Their job entails examining the final draft and edited version of a document or text to ensure it is entirely free of errors. This includes spelling mistakes, misuse of punctuation, typos, or incorrect usage of regional English and other dialects. As crucial as proofreaders are to the editorial process, they are often underappreciated and even forgotten. Some people even fail to understand the difference between proofreaders and copy editors, using the two terms interchangeably.
Although both play important roles, there are a few important distinctions that you should know. Whether you’re looking to publish an engaging blog post or captivating website copy, consider having someone look over your work to make sure that it is the best that it can be. If you aren’t sure whether you need a proofreader or a copy editor, keep reading to find out how the two are different and why you should hire a proofreader for your work.
What Is the Difference Between a Proofreader and a Copy Editor?
A proofreader is a person with a keen eye for details, as he or she is able to detect extra spaces after a period and know when a compound adjective is missing a hyphen. Unfortunately, many people often confuse a proofreader for a copy editor. Although both professionals improve copy, the latter entails editing the writer’s work and adding necessary changes to improve the narrative.
This can include improving the flow of ideas, adjusting the tone, adding or removing sentences to make the piece succinct yet powerful, and even rewriting a complete phrase altogether. A proofreader, on the other hand, tweaks the syntax and diction of a piece to transform it into the most fluid content possible. In essence, a proofreader ensures that the material is free of any typographical, grammatical, spelling, punctuation, syntax, and formatting errors. This literary expert plays an essential role in your editorial process.
Have you ever wondered why they’re so important?
Here are three reasons:
1. A Proofreader Saves You Time and Money Instead of spending hours reading, editing, and proofreading your draft, a professional proofreader can take it out of your hands and help you transform your content into the best possible product. The best part? Proofreaders are experienced in this field and can do it promptly, so you can expect your written works to come out free of any grammatical or stylistic errors. Moreover, cutting corners and publishing your content without a proofreader can have detrimental effects if you’re not careful. If the work is littered with errors, however minor it may be, you may be pushed to pull your book or any written piece from sales to have it fixed. To that end, investing in a proofreader would save you the trouble in more ways than one, mainly when it comes to saving money in the long run.
2. A Proofreader Ensures Your Work Is Professional There are many spell-checking and editing tools available online, but none of these applications can determine the level of professionalism of your work. Not to mention, not all spell-checkers can catch specific errors, such as misspelled names or the inappropriate use of certain words in a sentence. A proofreader, on the other hand, has years of experience and skill within the industry, so you can be guaranteed that they can help you with every trick of the trade.
3. A Proofreader Can Improve Language Use A proofreader will know how to edit your work in a way that allows your ideas to be communicated as effectively as possible. Beyond what online tools like Grammarly can provide, a professional proofreader has knowledge on a wide array of language-related concerns, from enhancing word choice to improving common ESL errors.
If you’re looking to hire a proofreading service, we’re just what you need! Get started today by signing up for a trial account and have your first 1,000 words edited for free!