The proof is the finalized draft of a text. After you have written and edited your text for factual correctness, structural integrity, grammatical accuracy and getting the correct message across, there is one last step before sharing it with an audience: proofreading.
Proofreading is the minute examination and correction of your text for typographic, grammatical and formatting errors. It also focuses on consistency in style, layout and typography. Proofreaders review the general page and chapter layout, the table of contents, the index (if there is one) and the text on the back cover (blurb).
Proofreaders also ensure that if there is such a need, then the text follows a specific style guide, such as The Chicago Manual of Style (primarily in literary print publications) or The AP Stylebook (used by newspapers and journalistic publications).
The true goal of having a proofreader is to guarantee that errors introduced or missed at the editing stage are corrected, and the whole text displays stylistic, layout and language consistency. The proofreader is the last person to see your text before it is published.
What does a professional proofread involve?
Some of the things that proofreaders will be on the lookout for in your text:
- Spelling errors
- Comma usage
- Subject-verb agreement
- Homophone confusion (e.g. were/where)
- Preposition misuse (e.g. proud in/proud of)
- Apostrophe misuse
- UK/US/other convention inconsistencies
- Inconsistent capitalization
- Incorrect references to illustrations, tables or graphs
- Inconsistent formatting of quotations, paragraphs and spacing
- Misplaced headers and footers, in-text references and page numbers.
Keep in mind that even after proofreading, your text will possibly not be 100% error-free. Proofreaders are human, too, and may miss things. However, a good proofreader will clear 80% of any errors left after a good edit.
If you are looking for a proofreader, drop me a message through the Contact Form and we can discuss your needs.