You’re looking for someone to proof your text. Proofreading is the common term people look for when in need of this service. I will understand that to mean copy editing, which is the more accurate term as defined below. Whichever one you are searching for, I can assist you.
As a copy editor I correct errors. This is a collaborative process, and I will make comments and ask questions if I don’t understand what you have written. Once you’ve helped me understand what you intend, I can then incorporate your preferences. I can offer some suggestions to aid your thinking, but I want to communicate your thoughts. So I will expect to work with you.
- Correct bad spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
- Fix incorrect word usage (such as can instead of may).
- Ensure consistency in hyphenation, numbers, fonts, spacing, and capitalization.
- Confirm parallel structure of sentences and bullet points.
- Question unclear or incorrect statements.
- Improve sentence and paragraph flow for readability.
- Suggest—and implement when agreed to in advance—additions and deletions, pointing them out for author’s approval.
Many people use the term proofreading when what they are actually looking for is copy editing. The definition of a proofreader is a person who marks pre-published or typeset copy word for word against a manuscript, identifying mismatched text. Proofreaders may also review copy to ensure an attractive presentation by checking font size and consistency, margins, word spacing, and the like. Usually the copy editing and proofreading tasks are done by separate individuals. Given enough time between the tasks, I can provide both services.
Proofreading of text after the graphic designer or page designer has completed the work is important. Errors can creep into the product during that phase, and designers doing the page layouts may not be aware of the problems. This can include correcting errors such as misspellings, typos, misnumbering or mislabeling, subject-verb disagreement, and improper word usage.
If I see quotations, statistics, or other verifiable information that looks a little “off,” I will do some brief research to confirm what is written. After all, I don’t want to be the cause of incorrect information or the beginning of an urban legend! If your work has already been verified, let me know.
Interested in more information? Send a note to me using the form on the Contact page.