Proofreading and editing are different. Copy editing can be lumped into either category depending on the level of copyediting. Light copyediting may be part of the proofreading, as the service I provide is. Medium to heavy copyediting is editing. Heavy copyediting is sometimes referred to as line editing. With all of these different options, how is the average person to understand if proofreading is the service that they need? What is proofreading?
Unfortunately, each service provider will include different features in their service packages. You will need to thoroughly research each potential proofreader and editor to get your needs met in your expected price point. Here is what proofreading includes if you use the Stefanie Gary proofreading and copy editing experience.
What is proofreading?
Proofreading includes many detailed steps that may be time-consuming if the writing still needs a lot of cleaning up. A professional proofreader will take the time to read the content multiple times if the deadline permits it. What do proofreaders look for?
The proofreader will identify and correct mechanical errors such as consistency of: hyphens and dashes; capitalization; treatment of numbers; quotes; abbreviations, acronyms, and initialisms; italicization, underscores, and boldface type.
They’ll identify and correct consistency of parts such as in: footnotes and endnotes; photographs and illustrations and their captions; table of contents and page numbers; charts, graphs, and maps and their keys; placement of page numbers, headers, and footers.
Proofreaders identify and correct grammar and usage errors such as: sentence fragments and run-ons; subject and verb agreement; inconsistent parallelism; confusing pronoun references, incorrect pronoun cases, and uncivilized pronoun use; essential and nonessential clauses; apostrophes run amok or missing completely; errant or missing capital letters; spelling and punctuation.
A professional proofreader provides emphasis in areas other editors are more likely to miss: alignment; alphabetized lists and sequences; captions; columns; dates; headlines; numbers; and spelling of names.
What does the light copy edit include?
This is why if you hire a copywriter, unless you get a separate proofreader with your contract, hiring a professional proofreader is advantageous to your business. The many rules and style preferences can be difficult to understand, differentiate and use appropriately without the proper training.
Copy editing includes all of the above proofreading features and more. I only provide up to a light copy edit and will speak to this only. If more editing work is needed a different copy editor or a line editor may be the professional to seek out for your writing.
For my clients’ light copy editing needs, I include content editing such as identifying or adjusting: diction and tone for the intended audience; presentation organized rationally or appropriately; layout is logical; quotes or other borrowed content properly attributed.
I will also clean up content to clarify message by trimming: cliches and other figures of speech; euphemisms, business-ese, and other jargon; redundancies; inconsistencies; and passive voice.
What is proofreading? The Stefanie Gary proofreading and copy editing experience will identify and correct mechanical errors, consistency of parts, grammar, and usage errors providing an emphasis in areas other editors are more likely to miss. I make sure to provide content editing and clean up the content for message clarity. Now the question lies with you, is a proofreader what you need?