Do I need an editing and/or proofreading service?
Almost without exception, the answer to that question is a resounding “Yes!” Although the two are often viewed as the same process, editing and proofreading are, in fact, two very different procedures.
Usually, proofreading occurs when the writing is complete and before it is submitted for publication or another purpose. This process focuses on obvious grammar and spelling errors, format and punctuation inaccuracies, syntax inconsistencies, and so forth.
No matter how brilliant the concept or innovative the subject matter, a publication that is fraught with misspelled words, poor grammar, or punctuation errors will lose credibility. Conversely, a publication that is free of these types of errors will appear more polished and professional and provide more credibility to the author.
Although the editing process usually involves proofreading, it goes far deeper than that. The editing process will analyze the overall article to determine how it will impact its audience. This means determining if the publication is appropriate for its target audience in content, language, and structure. The editor will provide recommendations for improvements that could be made to the content to enhance clarity or understanding of the document as well as content technicalities that may need to be addressed.
The Need For Both
Those who speak English as their native language may feel that their written document(s) don’t need improvement: This is fallacious thinking. No matter your education level or your proficiency with the language and/or subject matter, a fresh point of view from a professional can always provide new insight.
Using both editing and proofreading processes will provide the most polished and professional publication or document. Many professional editors and proofreaders have a PhD, a passion for the English language, and have specialized in one or more technical disciplines. This enables them to provide not only the best content and structure for a publication, but technical advice as well.
Whether the publication is for an academic paper, a peer-reviewed journal, a scientific presentation, a short story, or any other audience, there’s an editing and proofreading service available. A resume and cover letter that has been proofread and edited may provide the edge necessary to land a coveted job. Fine-tuning an essay for a college application may make the difference between acceptance and rejection.
Many online services will provide a cursory proofreading and editing for free or a nominal charge. For a more sophisticated analysis, many professional companies are available online with reasonable rates and a quick turnaround time.
Freelance proofreaders and editors are available but be sure to check their reputation before committing to one. Proofreading alone is less expensive than editing, but editing will yield a better document for publication. For more information on the proofreading and editing process, click here.