Who needs editing and proofreading?
There are several contexts where proofreading can be useful:
Using an editing and proofreading service has several advantages:
- Mistakes spoil the first impression of any piece of work, undermining your credibility.
- Any fresh pair of eyes can spot more mistakes than the author can see. A trained proofreader is looking for mistakes.
- Automated spell-checkers may draw attention to obvious errors and mistyped words, but if you relying on this method you will not pick up all the errors. Technology is a wonderful thing, but your computer is just a machine. If you have used the wrong word but spelled it correctly, the error won't be highlighted. Misused words can cloud your message. This poem is an example of the problems that can arise.
- Mistakes can be costly. If you have printed a large run of flyers before you notice the lack of a phone number, you have a choice between re-printing or spoiling the professional image by writing the number on every flyer. Can you afford not to use a proofreader?
- To reach your target audience you need to express the message clearly and concisely, using the right words.
- Proofreading and editing are skilled tasks which require time, experience and concentrated effort. It makes sense to use your own time, or the time of your employees, for what you do best, and use a professional for these tasks.
- If you are using a Graphic Designer they may spot some errors, but they will not spot all of them. They are concentrating on making the result look good, which is an entirely different task.
- Proofreading is a small part of the cost of producing a document, but it is an important part of the process. If you are tempted to minimise the cost by using a proofreader charging very low rates, check carefully that they have appropriate training and experience.
- In 2005 Royal Mail published a survey that showed 74% of their sample wouldn't trust a business that used poor spelling and grammar.
"I worked with Sarah for a number of years. She was always able to edit and improve documents, making them clearer, more precise and easier to read. She met deadlines and was always good to work with."
Dr John Gallacher, Deputy Principal, Royal Northern College of Music.