What can a good proofreader do for a piece of text?
According to the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading, it is:
'Careful reading (and rereading) of a (yet to be finally-printed) document, to detect any errors in spelling, punctuation, or grammar. It may also involve checking of different elements of a layout (such as headlines, paragraphs, illustrations, and colors) for their correct dimensions, placement, type, etc. Every author knows that (despite the spelling checking abilities of modern word processors) a human proof reader is indispensable.'
In practical terms, this means that I will:
  • Check that the spelling is correct 

  • Check that the punctuation is correct 

  • Check that the hyphenation is correct and consistent 

  • Check page numbers are correct and consistently placed 

  • Check that any tables, illustrations, maps, diagrams etc, are complete, consistent and correctly labelled 

  • Check that the capitalisation has been applied consistently 

  • Check that any references and footnotes are correct and consistent 
  • Check that grammar usage is correct 

  • Check that the punctuation is consistent 

  • Check that the style is consistent 

  • Check that the layout is as intended 

  • Check that headings are consistent 

  • Check that even correctly spelled words have been used consistently, e.g. ise or ize endings 

  • Check that any contents page correctly references the correct pages