National Proofreading Day

Welcome! I’m Jessica Andersen, a trained proofreader with a love for words and an eye for errors. My company, Andersen Proofreading, helps writers perfect their final drafts so they have peace of mind before they publish.

Here on the blog, I will be posting about proofreading—notably with my upcoming series, A Casual Reading—along with related topics, especially about the work-at-home life.

What better day to open this blog than today, March 8, National Proofreading Day?

In order to celebrate National Proofreading Day, here is your crash course in proofreading. We will cover the basics:

  • What is a proofreader?
  • What does a proofreader do?
  • Why do you need a proofreader?

Let’s get started.

What is a proofreader?

First and foremost, a proofreader is a person—a living, breathing human being. A proper proofreader is NOT a machine, computer, or software program that will promise you perfection for free (if it sounds too good to be true, it usually isn’t). In fact, computer-assisted language services quite commonly turn out a product that is not error-free. As sophisticated as we can make our computers, they will never replace the most sophisticated of all: our own reasoning brain.

You need a person to proofread your work, and you need a person other than yourself. Why? A second pair of eyes more easily catches mistakes, and unlike a computer, a human proofreader uses reading comprehension skills to correct the text to make sure that what the author wants to say gets said, not words on a page that may be grammatically correct but inaccurate to the contextual meaning.

What does a proofreader do?

A proofreader does a very specific job, but unfortunately, the job of a proofreader seems to confuse some people.

To demystify the job of a proofreader, let us first examine what a proofreader does not do. A proofreader does not:

  • translate (though if you are interested in French to English translating, please contact me)
  • make sweeping edits/revisions
  • try to change your ideas
  • take over your writing

A proofreader is always examining the final draft of your writing. This means that your writing has already been edited/revised (either by yourself or by a copyeditor).

My job is to correct your grammar, spelling, usage, formatting, and layout mistakes. My job is to make sure your ideas stand out because they are free from distracting (even sometimes embarrassing) errors and typos.

Why do you need a proofreader?

When we make mistakes in our writing, we are not doing it on purpose. It can be for one of many reasons:

  • writing too fast, or reading it over too fast
  • uncertainty of correct grammar and usage
  • unfamiliarity with a particular style guide
  • lack of time

I can guarantee you that your writing has suffered from at least one of the above areas in the past. Fortunately, you need never worry again that due to any of these factors, mistakes in your writing have unwittingly slipped past you into a published work, because as your proofreader, I am here to help!

If you want peace of mind after you publish, you need to invest in your writing. You need a second pair of human eyes to catch all those annoying little mistakes you know you make when you write, but don’t have the time or the know-how to correct yourself. Contact me today for a quote and discover how I can help you reach perfection on your project.

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