Proofreading Jobs

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In our daily lives, we are encountered with many written communications. Starting our day with reading a newspaper, studying our course books at school, calming yourself with a book before bed, and scrolling the news feed on the social media handle, written communication is a part of both your personal and professional life. Hence an error-free piece of content makes your life easier.

Proofreading is the practice of tracing and eliminating any form of error that a piece of content may have to enhance the reading experience for its users. As our lives are full of emails, books, Internet websites, newspapers, and various forms of writings, the scope of proofreading jobs is way more than people speculate.  

Proofreading vs. Editing

People commonly use the terms editing and proofreading as synonyms, but both job profiles are quite similar and are pretty distinctive. A proofreader inspects the content at the end of the editorial cycle to find spelling errors, grammatical faults, punctuation errors, and other related text deficiencies. Along with the abovementioned inconsistencies, proofreading also includes inspecting typography and page formatting and alteration in case of any flaw.

As far as editing is concerned, it is the process executed in the early stage of the editorial cycle. An editor's job profile includes finding out the major inconsistencies in the content, which are the thoughts and arguments.  

Both of the personnel have to work together so that the readers get flawless and smooth content.  

Importance of Proofreading jobs  

  • Error-free Content: Before proofreading, a piece of content goes through structural and copy editing in which the major flaws are addressed. Proofreading is the final stage of editing that works on inconsistencies left after the above processes. After this, readers get error-free content to read.
  • Logical Content: The minute grammatical and punctuation errors can make any text sound illogical. A proofreader aims to avoid this kind of situation.
  • Delivery of Message: When your content is error-free and logical to ears, your core message is delivered efficiently. It becomes very important, like in the case of newspapers and research papers, in which the core message is reasonably necessary to be delivered.
  • Best in the Business: As a reader, what do you like? Star magazine provides you with interesting facts but contains several punctuation errors, or The Globe Magazine, giving the same information through its error-free text. You'll vote for the latter. Proofreading makes you best in the business by altering your text of any error.

Skills required for a Proofreader  

Writing and Editing

You need to know the work before making corrections to it. A proofreader doesn't have to be a former writer or editor. They are so helpful. A proofreader who has been an ex-writer or editor is quite aware of the mindset of the same. He knows the areas in which a writer or editor may fall short grammatically.

Language Skills

A proofreader has to know the language in which the particular piece of content is written. For example, say Damon is a proofreader, and he is providing his services of proofreading to a self-help book written in English. Hence, Damon must be aware of the punctuation and grammar rules of the said language.

Time Management

As discussed above, our personal and professional lives are full of written information. Therefore, a proofreader may have to work on several projects in a given period. He has to manage his work so that he can do justice with each project he has. Time management is then an underrated but necessary skill.

Technical Literacy

With the expansion of the Internet and connectivity, print media is synchronizing with each passing day. A proofreader now works on various text-editing software. Today proofreading demands advanced technical skills along with basic computer knowledge. Keyboard typing is another important skill that falls under this category.  

Attentive to details

A proofreader may have good language and editing skills, be technically sound, and complete his work under deadlines, but these skills are of no value if he has no eye for detail. Proofreading is the final stage of the publishing process that demands detailed inspection of the piece of content. If a proofreader lacks focus on details, then the final piece of content can never be error-free.

Communication Skills

People believe that communication isn't required in proofreading, but they forget that good communication skills give you an added advantage in this age of competition. Communicating with your employer or client effectively, understanding their needs, and conveying yours is as important as your primary work.

What type of education do you need?

For a proofreader, it is quite necessary to command the languages in which the particular content is created. English being the major language for media houses, a Bachelor's degree in English is required. On the other hand, print media proofreading being the most popular in the market, many employers demand a Journalism degree. In academic proofreading, one needs to be graduated and post-graduated in some particular fields like a degree in History in case of medieval-related thesis and research.  

Types of Proofreading Jobs

Translational Proofreading

Also known as bilingual proofreading, this practice is a necessity in the case of translated texts. A translational proofreader needs to have advanced knowledge of both the languages involved. For example, Pablo Coelho is a global writer, but he only writes in Portuguese. The proofreaders involved in translating his text in English need to have command of both languages. There is a major distinction between the grammar and punctuation of the two languages. Hence a deep knowledge of the said languages may get him the desired results and, the meaning of the original text is not lost.

It is the most popular form of proofreading in the business. Print media includes newspapers, magazines, direct mailing, posters, book publications, etc. All of these components require proofreaders to review their content for any grammatical deficiencies. In this type of practice, proofreaders need to pay heed to characteristics like font type, line spacing, page formatting, etc., along with their primary work. The proofreader reviews a pre-published sample to eliminate any grammatical and spelling errors because the published piece is required to look nice.

Academic Proofreading

Academic proofreading is dynamic to print media proofreading. An academic proofreader provides his services in inspecting the texts like a thesis, research papers, dissertations, journal articles, etc. Along with core knowledge of the language, including grammar and terminology, an academic proofreader must be aware of the citation styles of the above types of content. Moreover, he should fulfill the motive of error-free academic text.  

Proofreading as Freelancing

With the rise of electronic media over print media, readers have changed their preferences. For example, not everyone wishes to start their day with a newspaper; they just read the news on apps like Inshorts. In addition, readers now don't have to buy a physical copy of the book; they can read any book in ebooks format.  

With this change, freelance proofreaders are getting various employment opportunities. With the increase in online content, the requirement for proofreaders is also on the rise. In addition, freelance proofreaders have higher technical skills in comparison to people in the traditional job system. As a result, publications prefer freelance proofreaders over others.

An average freelance proofreader earns a sum of $52,391 of money in the United States. Websites like Upwork, Aquent, Fiverr, and Freelancer are some of the websites providing the best freelancing opportunities for proofreading.

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