getting it right
Proofreading is the final quality check before written text, in any form, is published. It's the last opportunity to correct errors and clarify meaning before other people see it.
When proofreading your document, I will:
ensure that is spelling and punctuation is correct and applied consistently – in line with your style guide, if you have one
check for grammatical sense.
But there is more to the role than correcting spelling, punctuation and grammar ...
In larger, more complex documents, I will also:
review layout and formatting for consistency and conformity with your house style or personal preferences
check the positioning and labelling of figures
cross-reference the contents page against chapter or section headings
confirm that all numbering sequences (headings, page numbers, etc.) are correct
ensure that cross-references and other references within your document (e.g. to websites and print publications) are correct
check the content of headings and footers.
making it better
In traditional publishing, the cost of late corrections means that proofreaders only make changes where necessary, and strictly in line with an agreed brief.
Proof-editing allows for a greater degree of editorial intervention than proofreading. It’s a process of improving a written text, going beyond error-correction to address matters such as clarity, style and voice.
When proof-editing I can suggest changes to word usage and sentence structure, helping you to make your words hit home.
How I work
I can tailor my working methods to suit your needs. I work on screen or on paper, 'blind' or against copy. I am proficient in the use of British Standards Institution (BSI) proof-correction symbols.
I mark up Word documents using Track Changes and Comments.
For PDF mark-up, I use Annotations and Comments and/or BSI proof-correction stamps.
It's your work. You have the final say
You retain full control over which of my changes to accept and which to reject.
Every job, however small, will be returned to you with a style sheet explaining the reasons for my decisions.
Reliability and respect
I will follow your brief to the letter and respect your authorial voice.
I only undertake work that I can complete to a high standard. Many proofreaders have specific subject-area expertise. If I can't help, I'll help you to find someone who can.
I keep regular office hours but I can work flexibly to get the job done. If you need a fast turnaround, let me know.
Honesty and integrity
If I feel that your manuscript or document would benefit from more extensive editing, I may suggest that you seek the services of a trained copy-editor.