Proofreading is the process of reading and editing a document to correct faults or improve clarity.
Proofreading examples or errors to look for include grammatical errors, spelling errors, and clarity issues.
A reputable proofreader must have a good eye for recognizing such errors due to the nature of the work. And the ultimate purpose of proofreading is to ensure that your paper is free of technical errors and conveys your content clearly.
Things to Look For When Proofreading
- Things to Look For When Proofreading
- What Does A Proofreader Do?
- How Much Can You Make From Proofreading?
- How Do You Become a Proofreader?
- Tools for Proofreading
- Proofreading for Money Summary
Here’s a list of 11 things to look for when proofreading:
- Basic grammar and spelling – I’m surprised at how often I receive an article with spelling errors throughout. Consider a free proofreading tool like .
- Examine the spacing between concluding sentences and paragraphs for consistency.
- Fonts and font sizes can be generated when working with multiple writers and word processors.
- Ensure sure all of the bullet points are aligned and have the same design. In a list, the numbers should be in order. Make sure there are ten examples listed if you say Top 10 Proofreading Jobs at Home.
- When importing lists and tabs from multiple documents, word processors sometimes construct different justifications for them.
- Are the contents organized in a logical and accurate manner for the reader?
- With the right tone, you can engage your readers. If you’re a technical person, you want to come across as knowledgeable. If you’re writing a family blog, you want to come across as relaxed and perhaps even humorous.
- Country-specific jargon and spelling – If your readership is mostly in the US, call it the “subway” instead of the “tube.” Spell it “color” and not “colour.” Here is a list of American and British English .
- Citation of sources Make a note of where a statistic or statement came from so the author isn’t accused of plagiarism.
- Are all of the hyperlinks functional? Is there any internal linking or referencing of content on the writer’s website?
- Are the photographs and diagrams correct and presented in the proper places? Do you have the image and data attributions?
What Does A Proofreader Do?
It’s easy to get confused between proofreading and copy editing, as well as other terminology. As a result, some clients may offer you proofreading projects that aren’t proofreading work but pay you proofreading rates. So I included this part to make sure we all understand the difference between proofreading and other sorts of editing.
Proofreading vs. developmental editing
Developmental editing is a term that is frequently confused with proofreading jobs. Developmental editing entails more than just looking for mistakes in a document. Instead, it entails delving into a document’s scope, concept, and logic.
A developmental editor would look for contradictions in concepts like characters, narratives, and dialogues in a work of fiction. They’d strive to find story flaws and, in the end, assist the writer in ensuring that what they’ve written is exactly what they intended.
A developmental editor, on the other hand, would examine a nonfiction piece to ensure that the arguments are clear and that the logic behind each point is sound.
For developmental editing, you should charge a different rate.
Difference between copyediting vs. proofreading?
In the industry, the word “copy edit” refers to a wide range of services. In its most basic form, the work entails mostly editing basic mechanics such as language, punctuation, and spelling.
Difference between proofreading vs. line editing?
Line editing is similar to proofreading but not the same as developmental editing. A line editor would go over a text line by line, tightening up every word and improving the rhythm, while a proofreader goes through it looking for grammatical and spelling issues. Line editors’ responsibility is to ensure that each sentence is delivered with the right amount of energy while remaining brief.
How Much Can You Make From Proofreading?
On average, experienced proofreader rates range from $20 to $45 per hour. Proofreading jobs online for beginners to intermediate rates range from $15 to $25 per hour. places the average annual proofreader earnings in the USA at $52,569 (September 2020).
However, depending on the niche you proofread, your hourly rates may be higher or lower than the national average. Because of the disparity in specialty demand, this is the case.
Some niches are in high demand, yet editing and proofreading services are in short supply. Academic proofreading and specific niches such as insurance, legal, court transcripts, and finance are more specialized and therefore cost more for a professional with experience in the field. As a result, proofreaders in this field tend to be more expensive. Similarly, to assist them compete for business, entry-level proofreading tasks online tend to start in the more prevalent sectors and charge less.
How Do You Become a Proofreader?
It may appear that becoming an online proofreader is simple. You simply browse through the document looking for problems. Isn’t it simple? That’s incorrect.
A work as a proofreader is not as simple as it appears. Before you can call yourself a professional proofreader, you must have certain abilities. Fortunately, these abilities can be learned in a matter of weeks and refined on the job.
Hence, if you want to learn proofreading as a full-time career or as a side business, follow these steps:
1. Learn proofreading skills if you don’t have them
Overlooking the smallest error could cost a company a lot. Did you know that grammar blunders in copies could dent a company’s image? Here is a list of the most expensive typos worldwide due to . So imagine what you would cost your client if you made errors in your proofreading.
The ability to pay attention to the smallest details and notice problems quickly is the first skill you’ll need. It may take some time to develop this skill if you are just starting out as a beginner proofreader. It makes sense for you to take your time with the materials.
You’ll also need excellent grammar skills. Your grammar skills must be impeccable. Depending on your audience, you’ll need to know how to add punctuation where it’s essential and whether to use American or British spellings of words.
You’ll need more than simple grammar editing if you’re going into a technical niche like court transcript proofreading. You’ll need to understand how to write legal transcripts so you can follow their laws and requirements.
Where can I find a free proofreading test?
There are a lot of online courses on proofreading. Could you help yourself to them? Definitely. Go to the site and download their free proofreading test. Download the answers to see where you stand after you’ve completed it.
Where can I find proofreading exercises with answers?
For practice, below is a set of exercises with answers:
- It includes 20 free exercises with solutions in the style of a short article. You can subscribe to their emails to get more practice.
- I enjoy how the tasks with answers are divided into sub-categories, like as grammar, punctuation, spelling, sentence structure, writing numbers, and ESL. If you’re looking for ESL proofreading jobs, the last exercise will come in handy.
- Word order, verbs, ergative verbs, prepositions, nouns, spelling, articles, adjective/adverb, punctuation, correct word, and mixed are among the proofreading tests available. It is helpful in identifying your poor grammar abilities.
- They provide ten questions in the form of sentences to assess your editing abilities. It kept me guessing until I received my final result.
- There are 14 separate spelling, grammatical, and punctuation problems in five recent New York Times articles. It’s entertaining because they’re real-life instances from a widely circulated publication. The articles are a great way to learn how to proofread.
2. Choose a niche
This section is vital since it has the potential to make or damage your proofreading career. Stick to niches that you are comfortable or familiar with doing as a job as a rule of thumb.
Consider proofreading 20 pages of a document in a field that irritates you to no end. It would be extremely simple to leave out inaccuracies in this document. Assume, however, that you were reading an article about your favorite topic. From the beginning to the conclusion, every word you read would be like music to your ears. And any out-of-tune parts would be easily identified and corrected.
Academic proofreading, transcript proofreading, proofreading translations, print media proofreading, and legal transcript proofreading are all popular proofreading specializations. When it comes to reviewing and approving content, each of these niches has its own set of rules and regulations that you must follow.
3. Search for proofreading jobs online
This is the final phase in the process. After you’ve decided on a niche, you may look for proofreading jobs for beginners online. Regardless of your ability level, several platforms give proofreading jobs online that require no experience.
Tools for Proofreading
Working for a proofreading company prior to the last two decades would have been extremely difficult. It would take a lot of your time to correct an error-ridden document.
But now is the best time to learn proofreading. Not only can you , but there are a lot of free proofreading tools online that help you spot errors in your text automatically.
The tools will assist you in tightening up your work by proposing better wording. These tools have evolved into what the pen (or keyboard) is to a professional proofreader.
We recommend the following three tools:
- It can be used to assess the readability of publications such as blog posts, articles, and essays. Because there are no formatting options for Hemingway, he is less useful for books. You can use the free edition to try it out, but you won’t be able to import or export your work unless you upgrade to the full version.
- Is simple to use, precise, and powerful. It isn’t as good as Grammarly, but it is less expensive. Users can only write 500 words in the free version.
- Is my favorite and the one I use for all of my articles, including this one. It does everything you’d expect, plus it proposes alternative sentences, checks for plagiarism by comparing each sentence to billions of web sites, and connects with Microsoft Word and Outlook. They provide me a weekly email with information about my word count, how my writing compares to other Grammarly users this week, and suggestions for how to improve my most common errors. It has helped me become a better writer!
Bloggers, authors, content marketers, academics, students, business people, and all writers will benefit from all of these online proofreading tools.
Proofreading for Money Summary
For beginners, online proofreading work from home might be a good side hustle that can help them make some quick cash. If you take it more seriously, you might be able to make a living out of it. Proofreading jobs aren’t going to make you rich, but they can be a good backup plan.
If you want to work as a professional proofreader for a long time, be cautious. Recall that the tools listed above are making it easier and better for writers to accomplish it on their own. Clients may soon want to pay for proofreading software rather than hire a human to do the job.
So, till then, learn to proofread online and earn money.