Choosing the Right Proofreader
By DALE JACKSON
Having dedicated endless hours and invaluable research to your article, the last thing you need is to send it to a publisher or employer and have it tossed aside because of petty grammatical errors. Someone said that right is quiet but wrong is loud and while your readers won’t applaud you for lack of mistakes, they will certainly criticise you for them.
Having said that, we know that there is a myriad of people who can put up a website and claim that they offer professional proofreading services.
We need to understand that proofreading is different from editing. Proofreading takes place after editing but before publication. However, you need to get the services of a professional to ensure that the message you had in mind has been communicated effectively.
The following are some of the key points that should be considered before you choose a specific proofreader.
When in the market for a proofreader, give yourself time to ask around before you make a decision. Contact several proofreaders and find out what they specialise in. Some will offer to provide a sample so you can gauge their quality.
Another important factor is to ascertain the potential proofreader’s experience and the degree of comfort with your project language; for example, if you need a law dissertation proofread, it is unlikely that a reader specialising in children’s books would be the best choice.
While some individual proofreaders will deliver, you cannot always be certain that they will complete your work on time. When such a thing happens there is no-one else to take responsibility as is the case with a company.
We can’t stress enough the need to work with a company as far as availability is concerned.
There are other factors to consider as well; for example, if you are in Asia and you need these services, a native would best understand what you are trying to communicate and use the right words to capture what you want to achieve.
A company will also have a pool of people from different backgrounds, who can each add their input to your article to get the best results.