What is proofreading?
Have you ever sent an email, looked it over one or five times to make sure everything looks right, sent it, and THEN noticed something was wrong? Maybe you used the wrong form of your/you’re; perhaps you forgot to capitalize the word president (or you’re questioning if it should be capitalized at all); or it’s possible you used an em dash and—wait, what’s an em dash?
A proofreader will help you with all those problems! Spelling, grammar, and punctuation are checked to find all those little mistakes that get looked over after you’ve read and reread your work one too many times. These mistakes are not just for emails either. Proofreaders can be hired to proofread books, school papers, websites, resumes, social media posts, blogs, legal documents, and anything else that has been written.
What is the difference between editing and proofreading?
For someone to edit your work, they would look at the syntax of your sentence; words would be rearranged, taken out, added in, and essentially your work would be potentially made completely different once an editor is done with your work.
That is not what proofreading is. While proofreading is a form of editing, proofreading specifically should be the very last stop before publishing/turning in/launching your work. You wouldn’t believe how many misplaced commas or to/too mistakes I have found in work that has already been looked at by a writer and an editor!
Will you also edit my work?
No. Editing takes a different set of skills than proofreading as well as a completely different way of looking for mistakes. To do both at the same time would be a disservice to you. I have been specifically trained in proofreading. I want to make sure you get the best work from me based on what I can offer.
Why do I need proofreading?
Let’s face it… words are hard. It doesn’t matter how long you have spoken, read, or written a certain language, there are always opportunities for mistakes. Grammar rules often change (You are loved, Oxford comma) and new words are constantly being added to our vocabulary. How can you keep up with it all?
Not to mention, once you have written something and reread it a few times, your mind starts to trick you into believing you are seeing what is already supposed to be there.
Do you know the difference between principle and principal? Bear or bare? Or how about effect and affect? For any of the reasons mentioned (plus MANY more!), I can confidently say everybody needs a proofreader!
What types of work do you proofread?
For an easy way to remember what types of work I proofread, you can remember the acronym AWE:
A – Academic papers
W – Websites
E – eBooks
If you are a student, business owner, blogger, or author, then I can definitely help you! I have chosen to focus on these three areas, instead of proofreading anything and everything, because I want to offer you my best work. I had heard it said once that it is better to be excellent at a few things rather than be “just ok” at many things. You deserve the best!
Is there anything you won't proofread?
Aside from anything that does not fit with the AWE acronym, I also won’t proofread anything that isn’t within my personal moral principles (essentially nothing more risqué than PG-13). For any further questions or clarity, you can contact me with a summary of your work.
What software do you use to proofread?
I use two different programs and which one I use will depend on your preference and your file type. I use iAnnotate and Google Docs’ Suggest Changes feature.
How does iAnnotate work and what will my work look like when you're done?
iAnnotate is my absolute favorite and my first choice. It is an app for proofreading pdfs. One of the things I love about it is that even if you have a file that is not a pdf (a Word document, for example), iAnnotate easily converts it to a pdf. I have had clients choose this over having changes made on their document directly (like with Google Docs or Microsoft Track Changes) because it is so clean and easy to see. The other programs do have the feature where you can quickly make all the changes I have made without going through every single one, but consider the benefit of comparing a pdf annotated version of your work to the original: every time you study each proofreading mark from me, it makes you a better writer. With time you will start to see patterns in the mistakes you make (like my husband… that man is comma happy!) and eventually you won’t make those changes anymore! I don’t want to encourage you to improve so well that I’m out of a job, but I do want to see you succeed and that’s even with the quality of your own writing!
iAnnotate has a feature to also convert web pages into pdfs so I can send a clean document to those of you who want your website proofread.
An example of a written document proofread with iAnnotate:
How does Google Docs work and what will my work look like when you're done?
Google Docs has a simple feature that allows changes to be made directly to the document. This is a good backup for those of you who don’t want to see your work converted into a pdf.
An example of a written document proofread with Google Docs:
What resources do you use?
I used a number of resources to assist me in proofreading your work:
Chicago Manual of Style (for authors)
Purdue Online Writing Lab (for students; however, I won’t be checking for formatting or citation issues)
Grammar Girl’s Quickanddirtytips.com
The Best Punctuation Book, Period by June Casagrande (my personal favorite)
Is my work safe?
Yes! I am the only person who will see the work you send me and it will stored locally until my work is complete. Thirty days after your work has been returned to you, or once you verify satisfaction, whichever comes later, I will permanently delete it from my files.
Help! My deadline is tomorrow! Can you proofread my work before then?
I would love to help you! Please see my price table for expedited jobs and contact me immediately so I can see what I can do for you!
What if I am not satisfied with your work?
I want to give you the best results possible with your work. If you are unhappy in any way with the service I have provided, I want to fix it! Contact me so we can work together to find a resolution.