How much do we know about proofreading services? Most of us probably think that it is just correcting misspelled words and inserting missing commas. However people who work at professional proofreading services can tell you that it is a real craft, which requires pinpoint accuracy. Proofreading service demands a colossal amount of concentration, patience and attention to details than an average person is able to offer. Thus it is strongly recommended to order professional proofreading services if the paper at hand is of high importance for you and even your future success might depend on it, like an essay, dissertation or another academic paper. Although it doesn’t mean you should not try to proofread your own writing. In one of the previous posts about proofreading services we discussed some helpful techniques how to perfect your papers. Today we will talk more about professional proofreading services and how checklists can help you to revise more thoroughly.
Why You Should Use Proofreading Checklists
First of all, let us understand what a proofreading checklist is. In fact, proofreading checklist doesn’t differ much from the rest of existing checklist. It is a list of items, each of which you check in after going through with it. To put it simple, it is like a shopping list. Once you put something from your list, say a bottle of milk, into your basket, you cross it out from the list. Checklists keep things organized, prevent us from forgetting something, and what is very important keep the stress away.
Everyone who ever wrote anything and afterwards edited it, can tell you how stressful writing can be. Having a checklist in front of your eyes can greatly reduce anxiety of forgetting something. It also serves as a road map of your writing, and in our case proofreading, letting you know how much you passed and what is yet in front of you. When everything is so organized and predictable, you don’t have to worry anymore trying to keep all the things in your head at once. When you have a good proofreading checklist before you, you can forget about anxiety and fully focus on the work at hand one step at a time.
The professional proofreaders who work in Royal Editing all use multiple checklists. Moreover, possession of such checklists for editing, revision or proofreading is a sign of an experienced organized professional, who has during the years of work build up a list of items that need a particular attention. If you look for proofreading services, you can surly rely on Royal Editing team, because they know how to make the best out of your papers. Furthermore, some of the proofreaders have generously offered us some advice on how to work with checklists and how to create one for yourself.
Techniques for More Effective Proofreading
Before you begin revising your paper in accordance with your checklist, there are some techniques that can help you to make the whole process more effective.
- Change font, size and spacing. Changing the formatting of your document from the one you wrote it in originally can help you to look at it in a different way. Make the letters bigger; choose a different font style, although not any sophisticated elaborate fonts, because they will steal your attention from the written mistakes. Make the double spacing between the lines, so you could later write down your marks and comments there;
- Print out the paper. You must have heard this advice hundreds of times, nonetheless it still remains extremely useful for all beginning and experienced writers. Our mind perceives the information differently on the paper than on the computer screen. It is guaranteed that when you print out your document you will spot many new errors, which you didn’t notice when proofreading from the screen;
- Read backwards. When you have your paper printed out in front of you and start checking it against your proofreading checklist, it is a good idea to do it backwards. The advice might seem strange and hard to do, but in fact it helps a great deal in spotting mistakes. Reading backwards will prevent your mind from perceiving the whole material as one single flow of text. You will be able to look and focus on each separate element of your writing with more attention.
Proofreading Checklist Sample
The length of proofreading checklist can vary from half a page to three or even five pages. It all depends on personal preferences of a proofreader and his professional level. The more experienced an editor is, the easier it is for him to keep all the items in his mind, juggling them on his way of proofreading a text. Less experienced proofreaders are advised to use more detailed checklists in order not to forget any language aspect they must check and to keep them more focused on one particular task at a time.
If you decided to use a proofreading checklist for your paper there are a few options you could consider. You can browse the web, choose a ready proofreading checklist that suits you the most and download it. If you are quite advanced in grammar and know what kind of errors you tend to make in your writing, then you can make your own personalized proofreading checklist. However be prepared to work closely with a dictionary and thesaurus. Here are some basic points you might consider including in your checklist:
- Consistency. Make sure that throughout your paper you follow the same rules and concepts, such as:
- Grammar. The grammar list would probably be the longest one. Here are just very few elements you might include in your proofreading checklist:
- Tighten up. Fixing these problems would make your text more readable and concise:
- British English or American English. Avoid mixing the words and word usage of British and American styles in the same paper;
- Oxford comma. If you use Oxford comma, use it everywhere throughout your text;
- Double or single quotes;
- Capitalization. Some words such as the Internet can be used capitalized and not. Stick to one of the ways in your paper.
- Commonly misused homophones: its, it’s, their, they’re, there, your, you’re, etc;
- Subject and verb agreement;
- Consistent verb tenses.
- Change passive voice into active where it is possible;
- Replace long words with shorter ones;
- Delete adverbs or try to replace them with nouns or verbs that would convey the precise meaning.
Proofreading of academic papers requires pinpoint accuracy, precision and patience. To proofread well a person needs to have excellent grammar knowledge and attention to details. Therefore, proofreading checklists can help less experienced proofreaders to spot errors and to concentrate on one particular task at a time. If you think you possess all the necessary skills and knowledge, then you can try to proofread your own papers. However for very important texts, such as academic papers you should consider using professional proofreading services. Royal Editing team can provide you with such services of exceptional quality and for very reasonable price. Moreover, if you order for the first time you are guaranteed to receive a decent discount. In addition, you can read a lot of grammar and editing related post on our blog and even get free samples of essays. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us any time by simply filling the form at the bottom of the page.