A proofreader has a keen eye for grammatical, spelling, structural and other common writing errors. She can also improve the flow of sentences. In other words, a proofreader does light editing as well. Her goal is to make you look more professional. Let’s discuss seven types of people who can benefit from hiring a proofreader.
- You may be interested in hiring a proofreader to double check transcribed work. I actually triple check my own transcribed work, but many transcriptionists may not check their work at all. A professional native English-speaking proofreader can check the transcribed work of a non-native English-speaking transcriptionist to be sure spelling, punctuation and overall context is correct. For example, a non-native English-speaking transcriptionist may not be able to detect the speaker’s shift of thought in mid-sentence, which can make the sentence sound awkward.
- Allow a proofreader to carefully examine your resume or CV for any errors you may have missed. Small errors on either of these documents may decrease your odds of getting the job you’re applying for.
- Blog articles and web content should be error-free in order to make you look professional to site visitors. Poorly written content will make readers feel that you aren’t as knowledgeable in your field of business or expertise as you claim to be. This includes professional or personal websites or blogs, EBay or Etsy listings or any other written content.
- Whether you e-mail newsletters or print newsletters and mail them through the post office, the copy should be error-free. More people will purchase your products or services if your spelling, punctuation and grammar are correct.
- Nothing implicates you as an amateur faster than e-mails full of typos, incorrect spelling and improper placement or omission of punctuation. Sentences should begin with capitalized words and should include correct subject/verb and gerund/verb agreements, as well as, the correct use of past participles versus standard verbs. I see these errors so often in emails.
- Students, be sure you get the best grade possible by hiring a proofreader to scrutinize your term papers. I regularly see non-English speaking students who are going to school in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. or Australia request this service. This is very wise! Regardless of your native language, it’s worth paying someone else to spend a few days carefully reading your work and correcting errors you may have missed.
- Writers, journalists, authors – be advised that just because the internet makes it possible to publish quickly these days doesn’t mean you should do so. You, in particular, need to produce professional, quality work. When I read a magazine or newspaper article, a how-to piece or intriguing fiction, I get very upset when I see an ‘s used for a plural word. This is the most frequent error I see when I’m reading, and it frustrates me to see a professional make this mistake. For instance: The cars are in the driveway indicates more than one car is in the driveway. Many people would write this as: The car’s are in the driveway. Car with ’s should indicate possession or that it’s a contraction for car is, such as: The car’s headlights are dim (possessive use) or The car’s in the driveway (contraction use).
Even if you’re certain you have written everything carefully and your word processing program or Google document isn’t reporting spelling or grammatical errors, you might still consider hiring a proofreader. She may catch an awkward sentence structure or an incorrect spelling of a word that is spelled correctly but not for the use in a particular sentence, such as two, to or too. While driving the car, the dog got car sick is an example of an awkward sentence structure. Dogs don’t drive cars. That could be corrected to read: While driving the car, I noticed the dog was getting sick. I, being a human, can drive a car, so the last sentence is correct.
As you can see, there are many reasons that many women may need to hire a professional proofreader. To get the best results from the proofreader you hire, be sure to allow her ample time to perform a thorough proofread. Obviously, 100 words can be proofread the same day, whereas 100,000 words may require a couple of weeks or so to be carefully proofread.
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