Proofreading – what is it and who is it for?

Proofreading is the final stage of the writing process and involves checking for errors and making corrections to a text before it is published. It is essential for any work that is to be shared with an audience is proofread – this could be a book, website, online article, academic paper, blog post and much more.

Proofreading includes the following:

  • Identifying and correcting errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation and typography (e.g. use of bold and italic).
  • Looking for errors in formatting.
  • Identifying where there has been inconsistency in style (e.g. treatment of dates, numbers, hyphenations and quotation marks).
  • Checking tables and figures to make sure any numbering is sequential and the content of tables and figures is consistent in terms of fonts used, capitalisation, position of text etc.
  • Identifying the incorrect use of a word and suggesting alternatives.
  • Checking headings and subheadings are consistent in terms of size, font type and number sequencing.
  • Checking alignment, layout of text, line spacing and indentation are consistent throughout the text.
  • Checking quotations for incorrect punctuation and other errors.

If the text is confusing or unclear I will comment on this and suggest a solution to the author or appropriate person. I will also suggest ways to make the style more consistent.