The Meaning of Proof Reading


Proof reading

Today we’d like to talk about proofreading and the essences behind it. Indeed, when, how and why the first proofreader has decided to check his text? What was the result? What reasons do we put today for proofreading and editing of our texts or going further without it? You will find the answers below.

Why do people visit the proof reading website

We have many notions that do not need the proof or ground behind them. We do not question the necessity of eating, sleeping, interacting with people. The same is valid for the less basic things: greeting someone whom we approach, taking off the outside clothes before going to bed, enjoying the music. As to proofreading, it also goes without saying that we read the text, at least superfluously, upon finishing it. However, it is not a constant rule.

For example, if we chat with a friend via some of the modern applications (What’s App, Viber and so on), it is seldom that we read again our message before sending it. That is why we often receive or send the funny message like “Do I look bell in this stress?”. Check the websites dedicated to such typos and sense mistakes, caused by the text autocorrect, you will see plenty of such bloopers.

The reason is, the chat is rather a quick form of communication, we react almost simultaneously with reading the interlocutor’s message, and send it right away. Another reason, we usually know well the person we chat with. That’s also allows for some flaws in our messages that we are free from correcting. Third, the importance of the texts we send and receive is not high; otherwise, the phone call would do the trick. Summarizing, we can say we leave proofreading out when the importance of the communication isn’t high and / or it is quick and informal.

What about texts that need proofreading? Logically, they should differ from the text chat messages. In this regard, these texts can be characterized as:

  • Important. A business e-mail (see our tips on business correspondence), the end-of-year term paper, the sweet message to the person you love – all the texts that are important for you will be proofread. More so, you will do it half subconsciously! That’s a property of our mind – to check the things we consider important, that we think and do a lot of. The first scribes definitely realized the importance of their work – the written texts were big news then. Both their meaning and their execution were equal to sacred. That is why the ancient texts dating the beginning of literacy do not have a single mistake. Being traced, the whole “leaf” (a stone or wooden plate, initially) was to be re-written.
  • Formal. We are rather keen on proofreading the e-mail we send to the professor we see on lectures only, than to our grandmother we know from Jove. The social and personal distance between the people influences greatly the contents and the shape of their communication. The unnecessary inclusions like Well, After all, as if to say etc. will be diligently weeded out from the letter to the professor, while the one to the grandmother will be most likely full of shortages (Gran, like-a, goin’) and will not have commas at all.
  • Slow-down communication. The texts you take time to proofread are either significant to you and have rather formal shape, or are not bumping the deadline yet. Indeed, if you have time enough, why not to read what you actually wrote? Though, if the two previous factors (importance and formality) do not work, it is not likely you will take effort to check this text. Anyhow, proofreading takes time, and this circumstance is often the reason for the submission of the academic and other texts full of typos and mistakes, - when the deadline is pressing. The solution is simple, though – do not procrastinate, schedule the fulfilling of your assignment once you received it; and stick to the schedule. Not easy, but working.

Thus, the main reason behind people’s desire to recheck their text is its importance and the need for the outside evaluation. When we know someone important will be reading our text, we usually allot some time to proof read it, to ensure all our ideas are transferred correctly and comprehensively. If you feel your grammar is far from perfection, or your punctuation skills have all been left within a course of the high school and completely forgotten, it is reasonable to contact a professional linguist to order the proof reading services and perform the task for you. Check what it means

While many people do exactly as described below, some most scrupulous might be attacked with doubts. Is it safe to outsource the proofreading of your text? Won’t the meaning be changed during the processing? What if I am not satisfied with the result? Let us deal with these doubts in the next paragraph.

What is proof reading?

Before starting to dispel (or increase) your doubts, let us determine with the term itself. It is a significant step as many people mix up such notions as proofreading, editing, revision, and even rewriting. See the optimal ways for revising and editing paper. Let’s separate proofreading from the group and define its meaning.

Proofreading is a process of the text re-reading aiming to trace the grammar, spelling, punctuation and some syntactic mistakes.

As we see, proofreading deals mostly with the form of the text and its elements and isn’t wont to touch its meaning or ideas. The other types of editing deal with the sense and modify it to some or other extent. Sometimes proofreading can change the meaning, too. But it happens unwillingly, when the proofreader hasn’t considered well the surrounding words and patterns and corrected the word or phrase up to his or her own understanding. For example, if you intended to write, “He was a real bore”, but your pen slipped (or your fingers mistyped) and the phrase went as “He was a reel bear”. If the proofreader had been reading your text thoroughly and had considered its meaning, he or she wouldn’t have much problem to correct your phrase into the one you planned. However, if something went askew, for instance, the deadline were pressing or the text could imply different interpretations, it could well be changed into “He was a real boar”.

So, proofreading deals with commas, spelling, grammar and all that kind of things. If you are wont to miss your apostrophes for the possessives, it’s proofreading. If you are in doubt whether to say, “I’ve been to Cranberry” or “I was in Cranberry”, it’s proofreading. If you see too many red underlining in your Word file, it’s… well, by now you already know the answer. So, use proofreading to check whether you did not make mistakes or typos, and to correct them, for sure. And use the reliable essay proofreading to ascertain the text is flawless.

Outlining the framework of proofreading, let us now hit the core point: how to perform the proofreading of your text. We have some articles dedicated to the problem in our blog, for example the one dealing with the samples of the grammar and punctuation mistakes. This article examines the principles of proofreading and editing services in USA and UK. Within the frame of the present post we’d like to describe the very process of the proofreading – its preparation, organization and, finally, implementation. Do not get scared by the long and abstract words, just scroll down to the next paragraph. Or learn more about our services

Here are some more of our articles:

  1. Find The Best Paper Editor Online
  2. Why to Rewrite Assignments?
  3. We Are Ready To Revise A Paper
  4. We Provide Only Excellent Proofreading
  5. Online Proofread – Make a Wise Choice!

How to perform a thorough proof reading

Let us look at the process within the three stages we outlined above: preparation, organization, implementation. Each one has its peculiarities, though sometimes they can make just one stage. But, let’s be consistent.

1. Preparation. This stage includes the preparation for both the object and the subject of the proofreading – i.e. you’ve got to prepare the text and get prepared yourself. As to the text preparation, remember a golden rule – proofread only the final version. You can make thousand revisions and rewrites, you can think of rewording or adding some arguments. You can weed out the incongruities and cut a large piece of information. But start proofreading your text only when you are sure no more changes will follow. That will save you time and effort, that otherwise could be spent for unneeded proofreading.

As to your own preparation, recall all you know about grammar, punctuation and other boring clauses of linguistics. Get the needed books at hand or open the relative tabs on your Web browser. Use not only the online checkers or grammar guides, but also the vocabularies (the thesaurus, synonyms’ vocabulary, spelling and accent vocabulary and so on). Get yourself a hard copy of your text; that will help you to distract your mind a bit by changing the view. Take a pencil. Now, you’re ready! Let’s head on to the next stage.

2. Organization. Agree with yourself on the way you will be proofreading. Will you be correcting the deficiencies as soon as you’ve found them or just mark them and return to correction later? What marks do you plan to use? Do you intend to use separate marks for the grammar and punctuation mistakes, for grammar and spelling ones? Will you use the manuals and vocabularies or just rely on your linguistic skills and the knowledge of English? If you are going to use the manuals and vocabularies, how are you going to use them: subsequently – upon finding a mistake you look for the relevant rule and apply it for correction; or systematically – having traced all the mistakes you classify them and then look for the rules to fix the deficiencies. For the last method you will need to use bookmarks for the printed editions; and tabs – for your Internet sources. Another organizational issue: are you planning to rely completely on your own knowledge for your proofreading or to complement your check with the one by your friend, parent or professional proofreader? Upon answering all of these questions, we can move on to the last stage.

3. Implementation. This stage depends completely on the ways you performed the previous two. All there is to add can be described as general advice: be attentive, go step-by-step (word-by-word, sentence-by-sentence), go top-down (first the meaning, then the word forms, first the rule, then its function in the present case). And make a proof reading after you are done with your proofreading. Though the last sentence may seem a tautology, it is not. For the most part, because under “proofreading” we mean a process of the text checking and correction; and under “proof reading” we mean the last check of the text aiming to ascertain that there are no mistakes left unattended. Hopefully, this measure is taken just as a precaution, and your text is already straight and correct until you reach it.

So, we hope that the recommendations in the present post have turned useful to you and helped to improve and develop your paper. If you need further advice or assistance with the proofreading of your paper, welcome to our website. We provide the best fair prices for the editing services of all kind, the quality being proved by our solid experience and thousands of satisfied customers. Become the next one!

See the samples of our works on our website, along with the posts in our blog reflecting the complicated issues and their solutions in the English language:

  1. Several Important Ways of Paper Editing
  2. We Render Proofreading Website Service
  3. Where to Go to Learn English?
  4. Essay Revision Service – Pros and Cons
  5. How to Apply Gerund in Your Speech

Do you proofread your text or just proof read them sometimes? Or do you never do both of the things? Enter the live chat on our website! For lodging an order or putting a question, use our smart contact form!