When you envision a proofreader reviewing your writing, what do you see?
Do you see a person wearing a pair of coke-bottle glasses and an oversized sweater hunched over a stack of papers? Does he have a giant red pen in his hand and a condescending glare in his eye, a smirk on his face, just ready to tear your work to shreds? Is she setting out to edit your work until it fits her idea of perfection, even if it’s far from your original vision? Is he also using grammar and spell check technology to do all his work for him? If this is how you view a proofreader, you’re not alone. Luckily, however, this vision of a proofreader is simply a myth.
Read the common myths about proofreaders debunked below so you’ll have a clearer and more positive vision of what a proofreader is really like.
Myth #1: A Proofreader Is an Editor
Proofreaders review a piece of writing in its final draft meticulously, word-by-word and line-by-line, typically after it’s already been edited. They look for accurate spelling and grammar, and fix issues with the formatting and overall layout of a piece of writing. They also fix punctuation errors, typos, or incorrect use of language.
Editors, on the other hand, typically review a piece of writing when it’s in its first or second draft, with the intent to improve its overall flow and coherence. They may even rewrite and move entire sentences and paragraphs around in a document to make sure that it flows well. While some editors may correct obvious grammatical and spelling errors, their main objective is to verify the overall flow of a piece of writing.