When the final draft of a written document has been completed, the job of a professional proofreading services is to review it before it is presented in front of an audience or an adjudication board.
What exactly does it mean to proofread something, though?
And what are proofreading services?
To answer the first of these questions, it is worth exploring in greater detail what we mean by the term “proofreading”. The first thing to note is that the term contains two smaller terms: “proof” and “read”. This implies that, broadly speaking, proofreading involves error-proofing a piece of written content. We can achieve this by reading through a document carefully.
The definition given by the Cambridge Dictionary closely reflects this. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, proofreading is “the process of finding and correcting mistakes in text before it is printed and put online”. Thus, the basic idea is to identify and correct errors in a piece of writing.
As for the second question given above, a proofreading service is an action which involves doing proofreading work for someone. That is to say, services of this kind focus on error-proofing the document that a customer submits. Sometimes, a friend will offer to provide such a service free of charge, or in return for a favour. In most cases, though, a professional will charge a reasonable rate.
So, now we know, at least at a definitional level, what these services are concerned with. However, to get a clearer view on this issue, it is worth considering what the differences between proofreading services and document editing services are. These services are similar in many ways, but identifying how they differ can illuminate more clearly what a proofreading service actually is.
At the same time, knowing what the key points of difference are between these types of services can help you to make an informed decision about which one to choose for your own work.
Returning to our useful friend the Cambridge Dictionary, it defines editing as the act of introducing “changes to a text … deciding what will be removed and what will be kept in … to prepare it for being printed”. Comparing this definition with the earlier definition we cited from the Cambridge Dictionary, it is clear that there are important differences between proofreading and editing services.
Broadly speaking, editors will focus on issues that are not always included in proofreading services. For example, an editor will not only find and correct errors in a piece of writing, in addition, they will make revisions to your document’s style, syntax, flow, and structure. In some cases, recruiting the services of an editor will be the best idea, based on the nature of your needs.
Altogether, the types of services that online service providers offer may vary substantially. While services may have the same name between companies and individuals, the issues that each service provider focuses on may be quite different. With this in mind, it is always important to assess what your needs are, to develop a good understanding of what the different service providers offer, and only then to make a reasoned decision about which to choose.