This is a question that many people will ask when recommended they use a proofreader to check over their documents and it is a perfectly understandable one. After all, a proofreader simply checks that there aren’t any spelling mistakes or typos, don’t they? What can a proofreader do that you can’t do yourself?
In regard to proofreading business documents, a proofreader will indeed:
• Check for spelling mistakes
• Check for typos
• Check for incorrect punctuation
But will also:
• Check to root out inconsistencies - such as a word being hyphenated in one sentence and being written as one or two words in another
• Check that the text is readable, allowing the reader to easily follow it
If you have a document that is intended for publication, where it matters what a document looks like, then a proofreader will also check that it meets the brief in terms of layout and format.
Yes, you can check your documents for all of these things yourself and spare yourself the cost of a proofreader, but there is a caveat. If you are the person who has written the document, it is likely you are so familiar with the content, that your brain skips over any mistakes made, basically auto-correcting the spelling and punctuation errors that may have cropped up. A proofreader will also look for the errors that you won’t have been trained to look for, such as incorrect spacing between sentences that will make your document appear gappy.
Still don’t think a proofreader can add value to your documents? Think again. You may be surprised at the results.
If you would like a proofreader to check over your business or personal documents, such as white papers or manuscripts, then get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07481 922206.
I am a Copywriter, Proofreader, Virtual Secretary and Author.