In today's extremely competitive world, written work (fiction, non-fiction, reports, scripts, etc.) have to pass some strenuous editing processes just to be able to be considered good enough for publications. Editorial services had taken this challenge for their clients.
At these free-lance editorial services companies, an article or a written piece undergoes several editing processes to polish it before submission. The final process is proofreading the piece.
For some, proofreading is the finishing touch of a piece to make it worthy of publication.
Proofreaders are the experts trained to spot and correct errors in your written work. Doing so will enhance the document's quality by improving the organization and formatting of the work.
They search for technical errors, eliminate them and substitute superior words and phrases to advance the flow of the sentences (and message) smoothly.
Proofreading is not an inherent talent. It is an acquired skill honed by years and years of actual exercise of the job before one can master it.
Most people, even those in the writing and publishing business, often mistake the proofreading process for copy editing and use either one interchangeably. In real practical terms, both processes may overlap one another in many areas. Both have the same function of spotting writing errors.
Errors in writing
Writing errors are mostly made unconsciously. This is one of the worst cases that make proofreading difficult. Some of these unconscious errors are caused by faulty information from our kinesthetic memory.
For example, if you have always misspelled 'committed' it is likely you will misspell it again.
Another cause of written errors is that during reading, people often see only shells of words – usually the first and last letters. The average person can take in only six letters accurately in one fixation.
This means you have to fix your eyes on almost every word (and twice on longer words) to be able to proofread (or see mistakes) accurately.
Some writers want to do their own editing and proofreading of their work before submitting it to somebody. Some of the following techniques might help.
It is good to develop a healthy sense of doubt. Read slowly, and if possible, say it aloud. What you cannot catch in your silent reading, you might catch in your reading the text aloud. Using two of your senses is definitely better. It can help if you have a partner.
Professional editors (in publishing houses and now in editorial services) proofread their work as many as ten times. Also, big publishing houses have teams of readers reading out loud manuscripts to snag errors missed in silent readings.
You can do no less.
Proofreading is full of pitfalls that do not take into account the size of your mistake. A misplaced comma can sometimes cost millions of dollars in contracts. A poorly-chosen verb or adjective can turn your emotional piece into something hysterically hilarious.
Sometimes, it could be a very significant error that changes the whole meaning of the piece and not just the sentence. At worst, it will not properly communicate what you had intended it in the first place.
Editorial services have some of the best proofreading teams in the industry, even counting those of big publishing houses. These artisans may be able to stamp their artistic finishing touch to your written masterpiece.