The following is taken from the first post I wrote when I entered the blogosphere. I'm featuring it today as an introduction of tomorrow's post, where I'll provide a more in-depth look at the subject.
There's More to Proofreading Than Just Reading!
Part of the job of a good proofreader is to not only find the errors, but also having the ability to find the right words to get the writer's message across to the reader in a clear and concise manner.
Proofreading itself involves pretty much the obvious: misspelled words, incorrect punctuation and grammatical errors.
Copyediting is another aspect and is a bit more involved. When editing written material, a copyeditor looks for proper structure and "flow." The last thing a reader wants is to have to "work" at reading. The written words should be as readable as if they were being spoken aloud. Of course this goes without saying that the speaker be well-versed in the proper use of the English language.
So, you have proofreading for spelling, punctuation and grammar; copyediting for structure and proper content. What other element or skill is essential in the process of polishing a manuscript?
Writing. In order to be of value to a client, a "proofreader" should definitely possess excellent writing abilities. If something is written without proper format or composition, how could that possibly be remedied unless your editor has the ability to find the right words and use them in the correct order, so that what you are writing is understandable and reads with ease?
What is most commonly referred to as proofreading obviously involves more than merely finding a misplaced comma or a misspelled word. Please be sure to read tomorrow's post, where I'll provide a more detailed look into the differences between proofreading and copyediting - and the various levels of editing.