Why use a proofreading service?

Proofreading is an essential service for writers, businesses and academics. There is nothing worse than a badly presented manuscript - that is guaranteed to be rejected, bad spelling on a company brochure or a dissertation that is really turgid.

Where to find a proofreader

But where should you find your proofreader? Locally using Yellow Pages? Via the SfEP? Through Google searches for proofreading? There is no simple answer. If your book is targeted to a local audience, probably finding a local proofreader is a good idea. If your manuscript is aimed at a wider audience, finding a proofreader via the internet can be a good thing. Check out their services, ask if they will do a sample proofread of a few hundred words. Reputable proofreaders will usually be happy to do the latter.

What is Proofreading

Proofreading is much more than just correcting typos, it is the process of correcting grammar and expressing a message clearly.But it stops short of editing, that is very different.

What can you expect from a proofreader?

A professional proofreader will improve all aspects of your written words. For example,excessively long sentences reduce the readability of the final product, whether it be a report, book or essay. A professional proofreader will make suggestions as to how the longer sentences can be broken up, either by using shorter sentences, commas or colons and semicolons.

But remember, the suggestions made by your proofreader are not set in tablets of stone, the final decision is yours. But on the whole most writers will accept the changes and thereby improve their work.

Proofreading is not just for professional writers. If you are writing a job application, your potential employer will expect a nicely written and grammatically correct letter of application or, if the application is via a standard form, any statements will need to put your message across succinctly and clearly. This is also a job for a professional proofreader, however choose one with experience in the job seeking market. 

But choosing a proofreader is not an easy task. You will ultimately only know how good or bad they are after the return of your work. The more reputable ones will offer a sample proofreading of a short section of your work. Remember also that if you search for proofreaders on the Internet, the ones at the top of the searches may or may not be the best, they are probably the richest who have the most money to throw at search engine optimisation, all it means is that their site is the most search engine friendly and they may be there by hook or by crook. Always take a good look at several alternatives, you will soon see who has the passion and who has the hype. Go for passion not hype!