What Is Proofreading?

Before publishing or submitting any text requires proofreading i.e. polishing and perfection. Naturally the first draft may contain some portion of mistakes as the author’s primary aim is to make a text meaningful and functionally appropriate. That is why a row text should be proofread and edited by someone other than the author of the original text. This role is performed by proofreaders and editors. No draft can become final until someone looks through it. Usually proofreading is the last stage of writing process. However, in some cases proofreader is not responsible for any corrections. He just has to look through the text and to mark mistakes and discrepancies that are further corrected by the typesetter.

All kinds of writing can be proofread. The most often proofread documents are articles, papers, letters, reports, compositions, presentations etc.


Types of mistakes

There are different types of mistakes that the proofreader should look for.

  • Grammar mistakes
  • Spelling mistakes
  • Punctuation mistakes
  • Usage mistakes
  • Factual mistakes

It’s essential to unders what is proofreading and editig as two notions have different meanings

Editing and proofreading are often considered to be the same thing. However, they are not. There is a huge difference concerning the tasks of both. Proofreaders are hired to correct the mistakes and make the more cohesive and coherence. Editors are supposed to make the stylistic changes, to give the text its original style.

Proofreading process may involve more than one proofreader. In case two proofreaders are hired, first proofreader usually reads the text as it is and the second tries to identify contradictory or problematic places in the text.


So how to become a proofreader?
Most job listings do not require a college degree for the position of a proofreader. However, some fields such as law, commerce or insurance do require a degree. There are a lot of online proofreading courses you ca choose from or the company may offer its own trainings.


Wages of proofreaders differ depending on the qualifications and working experience. Though average proofreaders’ wages are not high.

Tips for the beginners

  • Work from a printout, not from the computer.
  • Read out loud. This is helpful for spotting run-on sentences, but you will also notice other mistakes that you may not see when reading silently.
  • Use a blank sheet of paper to cover up the lines below the one you are reading. The technique keeps you from skipping ahead of possible mistakes.

Symbols and abbreviations

There is a set of symbols that are usually used be the proofreaders to indicate different kind of mistakes.

comma needs to be inserted Comma needs to be inserted
apostrophe or quotation mark Apostrophe or quotation mark
insert something Insert something
close it up Close it up
transpose elements Transpose elements
use a period Use a period
double quotation is needed Double quotation is needed
delete Delete
insert a space Insert a space
new paragraph New paragraph

Proofreading abbreviations

Ab Incorrect abbreviation
Agr Wrong agreement
Awk Awkward expression or construction
Cap Wrong capitalization
CS Comma
DICT Wrong diction
Dgl Dangling construction
-ed Change final -ed
Frag Fragment
Rep Repetition
Sp Wrong spelling
S/V Subject/verb agreement
R-O Run on sentence
Pron Change pronoun
T Tense issue
WW Wrong word
Wdy Wordy


The information for the article was provided by Proessays – proofreading&editing service.

Related articles: