Now that spell and grammar check are so commonplace we tend to think that we don’t need to have our work checked over. Nevertheless, these systems are not foolproof and unfortunately when checking your own work, neither are your eyes, you will see what you think is there, not what is actually on the page.
While having your work looked at by a proof-reader may seem an unnecessary step it is the best way to make sure that your presentation is of the highest standard and looking completely professional.
I notice and correct mistakes automatically, I can’t help myself- I like things to be right. I am the person who will stand in line and point out the menu misspellings or the misplaced apostrophe to my friend standing next to me. I sit in meetings and correct the agenda. I desperately want to take to incorrect signs with a red permanent marker- but so far I’ve refrained.
I also have an eye for detail when it comes to page formatting. I notice that extra space; I see the heading that is slightly out of alignment or the font size that has gone awry. I know that looks aren’t everything; on the other hand being able to spot that errant apostrophe at twenty paces means that your documents will look good.
Do You Need Proofreading or Copyediting?
"What is the difference between proofreading and copyediting?" is a question I’m often asked. What I find is that, usually, when people say proofreading they mean copyediting.
Proofreading is minute quality control, but copyediting is overall quality production.
When I proofread I check for grammar, punctuation and spelling, as well as overall visual consistency, such as text alignment, font size and spacing within your document. Proofreading looks at the details in a document, this makes it tricky to also focus on the overall picture. It is difficult to see the forest when you are focussing on the leaves.
Copyediting is required if you want your message to make sense, and focuses on gaffes, inconsistencies and phrasing that could potentially confuse your audience: I will ensure the language and style are uniform throughout your document. This is a far more inclusive role and is usually summarised by the following: the job is to make your message clear, correct, concise, complete, and consistent.
After having a document copyedited it is a good idea that a final proofread is done to ensure that all corrections have been taken in and that no new problems have been created during the editing process.
Fees and Charges
I base my prices on an estimate of the time it will take to complete your document. If your document has been carefully checked and there are fewer problems, it will cost you less than if you send me your first draft. The fairest way to price the job is for you to send your work to me (or at least a sample) so I have some idea of the scope of the work needed.
Once an agreement is in place, I will check your file and send it back to you with suggestions. You decide which suggestions you wish to take on and modify the document accordingly. Then send it back to me and I will do a final proof to ensure that nothing has been missed by either of us and that no new problems have been created in the process of making the corrections.
Accepted File Types
For the fastest turnaround on your documents please send as either:.doc .txt .pdf (unencrypted)
I am also happy to work on hardcopy sent via regular mail or fax. Please contact me for details of how to send hardcopy.
My standard references are The Macquarie Dictionary and the Style Manual for authors, editors and printers, sixth edition. I can also mark-up to your in-house style guide as supplied.
Proofreading and language quality control services are inexpensive compared with the benefits of a professional image for your business. The negative impact of poorly written documents or marketing materials on your bottom line is greater than most people realise.
Proofreading & Copyediting Services