What Does A Proofreader Do?

Best Edit & Proof
2 min readMay 27, 2020

The purpose of proofreading services is to check errors in grammar, punctuation, syntax, formatting, and spelling and create a flawlessly written manuscript. Thus, a proofreader ensures content is free of all errors. There is no rewriting or revising involved in proofreading phase. There are various tasks to keep track of the process of creating a well-written academic paper. Having a proofreading checklist is of importance since the last check can help proofreaders and editors spot errors they would otherwise miss. Proofreaders and editors aim to provide your paper with proper academic tone and style, improve the chances of having the manuscript accepted for publishing. However, by the time a manuscript is ready to be proofread, the paper should have been edited already. In this sense, proofreading is considered a review of a final draft before publishing process. Although editing services also involve removing errors but they mostly concentrate more on ensuring the study makes sense as a whole. In this context, editing includes proofreading service as well.

For scientific papers, proofreaders should avoid using colloquialisms, contractions, and personal pronouns to make the papers have a formal tone. They should also be careful when picking adjectives to avoid colloquialisms. They avoid using personal pronouns because they make your manuscript sounds subjective. As we all know, science is all about objectivity.

A proofreader ensures content is free of all errors

Academic referencing is a central element of creating the academic style of your paper because inappropriate referencing will significantly affect the quality of your document. Thus, a proofreader should check with the publication manual for the correct citation or referencing styles such as the APA or MLA styles.

Considering that minor grammatical issues will decrease the quality of your writing, you better proofread your paper or have an editor or proofreader do the proofreading or editing for you. Although the Track-Changes of Microsoft Word is mostly used to perform proofreading, some Proofreaders’ Marks and Symbols on a hardcopy document are traditionally used by proofreaders. To read more about proofreading, see the following articles: What is Proofreading? and 9 proofreading Tips for Academic Writing.

If you are confident of the language and structure of your document and want to see whether the final draft of your paper contains any minor errors, you need proofreading services instead of editing services.

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