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What is proofreading?

Proofreading refers to the checking of a text with regard to grammar, spelling, punctuation and expression. In contrast to editing, proofreading does not focus on the content-related aspects.

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The work of a proofreader

The aim of the proofreader is to identify and correct formal errors in a piece of writing. A proofreader (Latin corrector ‘corrector’) is a person who checks texts with regard to linguistic layout. First and foremost, it is a matter of adhering to grammatical, spelling and typographical guidelines. As a rule, no corrections are made to the content. This professional group can be found in publishing houses, print shops and online editorial offices. Anyone who wants to become a proofreader should have a strong feeling for language.

What does proofreading involve?

Very few texts are perfect right from the start. Proofreading is primarily about checking spelling, grammar and punctuation. A proofreader also attaches importance to consistent spelling and rule-compliant hyphenation. When correcting typography, special focus is given to inverted commas, apostrophes, dashes and indents.

Editing vs. proofreading

For non-experts, the difference between editing and proofreading is not necessarily obvious at first glance. Compared to a mainly linguistic and formal proofreading, editing also improves the content of the text. The aim of editing is to make the writing more comprehensible.

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FAQ: More questions about proofreading

How much does proofreading cost?

The prices for proofreading can vary. For the correction of a standard page of 1,500 characters including spaces and footnotes, you pay between £3.00 and £5.75 with most providers. By way of comparison: the cost for proofreading is often at least £5 to £6 per standard page. If you’re looking for an affordable online proofreading service, you can request a quote from us at any time.

What does a proofreader do?

A proofreader aims to produce a text that is as error-free as possible. To do this, they formally check the writing and correct errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation and typography. As a rule, proofreading takes place only after the content of a text has been revised by an editor.

What is the difference between proofreading and editing?

While the proofreader is primarily concerned with improving formal errors, the editor is additionally responsible for revising the content and style of a text.

Is proofreading a scientific paper legal?

Yes, proofreading and editing of Bachelor’s theses, Master’s theses or dissertations is permitted. The correction does not change your own academic performance.

Is the content changed during the proofreading?

No. The proofreader is not responsible for the content and style of a written paper.

How do I become a proofreader?

There is no regulated training for the profession of proofreader. However, most publishers and clients expect a proofreader to have completed professional training in the editorial field, to have studied linguistics or to have relevant professional experience. Many of the freelancers working today came to their jobs following a change of career.

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