What Is Proofreading? We Know The Answer!



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August 27, 2021

August 27, 2021

All students, regardless of their major, deal with written assignments. You can write essays on English literature, laboratory reports on chemistry, case studies on management, etc. Each year, all students deal with coursework that covers all of the material learned in the course. And if you want to get a degree, you need to prepare a thesis.

Anyway, you cannot completely ignore these assignments as they affect your academic accomplishment. Moreover, it is important not only to write and deliver the paper but also to make sure that it meets your professor’s requirements. This means that you will need to pay enough attention to proofreading in addition to the research and writing part.

What is proofreading? We are ready to provide you with an informative guide. Here you’ll find all answers to your questions. However, if you know that you’re lack time or just want to spend it in another way, you can hire a professional proofreader. The person with appropriate experience can complete this task faster and with a guaranteed result. But let’s start from the early beginning. 

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Proofreading Meaning and Importance

The first thing you need to understand is the proofreading meaning. As you can see from the word itself, it consists of two parts: “proof” and “reading”. So, it is not so hard to get to the point.

In fact, proofreading is the last writing stage before you deliver the piece to your professor. It is a stage of verification, where you make sure your text is free of grammar and spelling errors; you’ve conveyed your ideas correctly; the content is coherent. It is also important to ensure that you’ve written a document that meets all expectations your professor has provided you with.

The meaning of proofreading is impossible to underestimate. You can perceive it as salt for a meal. You can have the best ingredients ever and outstanding cooking technologies. But the final result will be terrible if you forget about the salt. The same thing is proofreading. You may have conducted amazing research, developed convincing arguments. But you’ll not get an A-grade if your piece contains a lot of grammar mistakes. 

That’s why you may need some professional proofreading tips and tricks. It is not the easiest process. 

What Is the Difference Between Editing and Proofreading?

You may have heard about such services as editing. It is also necessary to make your paper flawless, improve your academic performance, impress the professor, etc. But what is the difference between editing and proofreading? Why are there two different terms if they have the same meaning?

The point is that they don’t. Let us provide you with a short comparison.

Main Proofreading Features

If you read some best proofreading tips and try them in your paper, you will understand that it is a kind of science. It is the process of finding and eliminating all errors, whether they are grammar, punctuation, or spelling. The proofreader also needs to take care of terminology, referencing, and formatting. 

In other words, the main task is to ensure that the final draft is appropriate. There are particular standards, depending on the educational institution, discipline, concrete professor, the future of this piece, and so on. And the proofreader should provide a document that meets all these standards. 

Main Editing Features

If you compare proofreading to science, editing is an art. The editor can get rid of some mistakes, but one’s main task is rather conceptual. It is important to make the paper the best it can ever be. It is a more creative process that is oriented not on the academic standards primarily but on the audience, people who will read and evaluate this paper. 

Of course, editing proofreading tips have a lot in common. These two stages have differences, but they are both intended to make your piece better. 

You should understand that it is ok if you don’t have enough time for editing. Skip this part. However, you can’t just ignore proofreading since it affects your academic accomplishment. You can get a good grade without a bright title for the section. But if you haven’t eliminated typos, your professor won’t appreciate it. 

What Is Not Involved in the Proofreading and Editing Process?

When you’re writing a paper yourself, it doesn’t matter what you will call your stages. You can combine them as you wish. But if you’re going to order professional proofreading services, it is better to understand in advance what is not involved in the proofreading and editing process. Don’t expect too much since there is a concrete job to be done.

For example, you shouldn’t wait that your editor or proofreader will write a piece for you. You can’t just send a document with your ideas and receive a completed paper for a song. These professionals work with ready drafts only. They don’t write, don’t create. They polish. It means that the final result depends on you, on your research and writing skills, creativity, etc. If you want someone to come up with the paper from scratch, you should hire an author, not a proofreader or an editor. These professionals work with the piece you provide. 

What Is the Best Advice for Proofreading a Complex Document?

As it is a guide with useful information, you may be wondering what is the best advice for proofreading a complex document? Of course, there is not just one piece of advice. However, we can come up with it. Be attentive. If you understand it is not enough, read the following tips for proofreading and editing. We’ve done our best to choose the most useful information for you. 

Take a Rest

Most likely, you think that you need to finish the document as quickly as possible in one go. But it would be a mistake if you want to come up with a really decent result.

So, it is the first of our proofreading tips: set aside the assignment for a while. If you have time before the deadline, you can even distance yourself for a few days. Such a pause enables you to see the test anew. You’ll mention more details you haven’t seen before. A fresh perspective is usually more constructive. 

Choose the Time Correctly and Get Yourself Organized

There are also some perceptual tricks proofreading. What does that mean? Your brain doesn’t work the same way all day long. Sometimes it is more creative, and then it becomes lazy, then you can do a physical job, but not the intellectual one, etc. If you need to proofread the document, choose the time when you’re efficient and can concentrate easily. There are morning people and night owls; you surely need different approaches. 

The second thing you should know about yourself is what distracts you. Get rid of all distractors that can take your attention from proofreading. It is important to create an atmosphere around you that inspires the work process. 

Print a Hard Copy for a Better Perception

The cut edge is perfect, but traditional approaches are the best sometimes. When you have a sheet of paper with your text, you can manually highlight mistakes and write down new ideas. Additionally, you receive the opportunity to see how your piece looks in the printed version. It is not the same thing as with the computer. 

Use Computer Checkers, but Don’t Rely on Them

Many students think that they don’t need proofreading tricks since they have various computer checkers who can do this job. Although Grammarly and other programs are really useful, they are only helpful if you control them. Artificial intelligence’s opportunities are constantly developing, but people are still smarter. Sometimes computer checkers mark correct words and phrases, and they also may ignore mistakes. They can work according to particular patterns, but they definitely don’t feel your text, your ideas, and their meaning. 

Ask Someone for Feedback

Let’s be honest: you’re biased. When you spend several days or even weeks with your text, you perceive it as if it is your creation, your brainchild. It is difficult for you to assess the disadvantages and advantages soberly, to make some drastic changes.

This is why you might need help. If you want an unbiased opinion, ask your friend to read the text and comment. If you are writing for a specific target audience, it would be great if you get feedback from a member of that group.

Analyze Your Mistakes

Obviously, some of your mistakes will be accidental. Even the most seasoned authors deal with typos and other flaws. But if you write a few papers and proof all of them, you will notice some trends.

Each student has his challenges. Perhaps you are not very good at structuring paragraphs. Or punctuation is your weak point. You need to understand the moments in which you are wrong so that you can work on yourself and get rid of these mistakes. You may be spending a little more time now, but you will definitely improve your skills. What is proofreading skills? Read in the next paragraph.

What Are Proofreading Skills?

If you want to become a good mathematician, you need to develop your critical thinking skills. Future artists work on their creativity. If your task is to get the best grades for all writing assignments, you should practice them all the time. Besides, you’ll definitely need some proofreading skills tips to make this process easier and more pleasant.

But what is that? What skills exactly do you need to succeed? There is a list of them:

There are students who are good writers since they know how to generate ideas and convey them with words. But some people don’t create content, but they can make it flawless with ease. Don’t think it is not about you. You never know until you try. The main secret is always the practice. You can’t achieve any goals if you don’t do anything for them. 

What Is Copy Editing vs Proofreading?

You may think that you know everything on this topic by now. But there is one more question: what is copy editing vs proofreading? And how does copy editing differ from editing?

Don’t worry; this term has the same meaning. The only difference is that it is intended for copies of papers that are used for advertisement purposes. The editor works with senses and ideas with your audience. Finally, you’ll receive a flawless copy that meets your expectations.

How to Understand That I Need to Hire an Expert Proofreader?

Of course, it is impossible to hire a professional proofreader each time when you have a writing assignment. It can just break you. However, there may be situations when you can’t ignore expert assistance. Let us provide you with a list of them:

As you may understand, each writing process is important. It is impossible to say that the research or proofreading is less important than the writing itself. So, planning your schedule, ensure you have enough time to make your paper really flawless!

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