The principles of Proofreading
For people who might be unaware of the specific nature of proofreading as a technical art, it might come as a surprise to realise that there specific principles which form and shape the methods used. Furthermore, in the United Kingdom, there are codes of conduct, professional organisations and even guidelines for payment, although these are negotiable dependent upon the company or organisation used. In order to appreciate the quality one can hope to achieve by engaging a proofreader (or proof reader), it is useful to research the methods and principles used.
In addition to becoming more knowledgeable about the practices used, a better understanding of the techniques employed, will lead to lead to a higher level of respect for the skill that makes a proofreader a gifted professional.
The professional Example of Proofreading excellence
The Society of Editors and Proofreaders sets out the criteria by which they believe a professional proofreader should be judged. This helps anyone thinking about engaging the services of a proofreader to understand the skills they might expect to find in this professional.
While formal training is highly desirable rather than mandatory, there is a level of skill and education that a professional should possess. Although many people believe that it is possible simply to possess a highlighter and red pen for correcting mistakes and marking out errors, there is a great deal more skill attached to the practice. The British Standards Institution sets out certain criteria, as well as standard markings that practitioners adhere to, and these can act as one of the quickest indicators as to whether a proofreader is a professional with the necessary experience or simply a person who is good at English.
Though it goes without saying that having experience in a particular field does not necessarily indicate an aptitude for it, there is a great deal to be said for a string of happy clients. Many proofreaders will be able to detail their success and experience, and even provide examples of their work in a before and after format. This allows prospective clients to understand the full spectrum of what the proofreader is able to offer to them and their written work.
The specialist Example of Proofreading
While many proofreaders have a good knowledge of the target language and principles of proofreading, others might specialise in particular areas. This can be particularly beneficial to clients who deal in highly technical language or jargon-heavy content, copy with which an educated, but inexperienced or general proofreader might struggle. Many companies offering proofreading services might offer technical and non-technical specialism to encompass all prospective clients who needs their services.
Although a good command of the English language might seem a rather obvious requirement for a proofreader, that this skill is possessed should never be taken for granted. Additionally, it is essential for any professional to have good communication skills in order to convey their ideas and fully understand what is expected of them.
A proofreader should also be able to exercise restraint when presenting their ideas and findings to a client. If they are too forceful with their own ideas, the original tone or message of a piece of writing can be lost or forgotten. This can result in a loss of personality, leaving the copy bland, or even worse, reflecting the tone of the proofreader instead of the writer.
Example of Proofreading from Precise English
Whether the need for proofreading is for personal or business copy, technical or generalised, there are many benefits to be gained from using a professional example of proofreading.
Contact the friendly team here at Precise English today for examples of our proofreading. Call 0845 224 1337 or send us an email.