Here are some of the main skills and techniques that proofreaders require to do their work. Proofreaders need to:
- Scrutinise documents in minute detail in order to identify errors
- Identify the common proof errors that are often missed by writers and editors
- Use a structured proofreading process to ensure error-free copy
- Mark up copy using the classic proofreading correction marks
- Proofread long documents patiently and without losing concentration
- Spot and correct mistakes in grammar and punctuation
- Spot and correct errors in capitalisation and hyphenation
- Recognise a wide range of words and identify when they are used or spelled wrongly
- Use agreed (or house) style rules to ensure consistency
- Judge when to change something and when to leave it as it is
- Query decisively and effectively when there may be an ambiguity in the text.
Do you have any tips or techniques for effective proofreading?