The presentation of your document speaks volumes about you as the author. Whether you've written a brochure, book, business document, or blog, your work will leave an impression upon the reader. In order for that impression to be solely about the information you wish to impart, your text should be free from distracting errors. Grammatical mishaps appear unprofessional and (justly or otherwise) can reflect poorly on your knowledge, skill, or attention to detail.
What Proofreading Includes
Your text is reviewed for:
- Spelling – including consistent use of alternatives and international variations
- Punctuation – correct and consistent
- Subject/verb agreement
- Pronoun/antecedent agreement
- The use of capitalisation, italics and bold face
- The use of en and em dashes
- Tense and voice
- The use of homophones (compliment/complement and allusive/elusive/illusive)
- Formatting consistency
- The use of abbreviations and acronyms
- The treatment of special elements (heading, lists, tables and graphs)
How Recommended Corrections Are Incorporated
Typically, I use the Track Changes function in MS Word. Track Changes is a standard function of the Word software package and is simple to use. You will receive a Word document which clearly shows all deletions and insertions that have been made to your text. You will then have the option to either accept or reject each of these suggested alterations and incorporate them into your document.
When Proofreading Should Occur
Proofreading is the final stage in the production of any document. Your proofreader is the last line of defence against sneaky, embarrassing slip-ups before your work is published, posted or emailed.