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Correct grammatical, spelling, and typographical errors in copy and transcripts.

What does a Proofreader do?

Writers take pride in their work, and they want it to be polished before it goes to print. Even the best writers need someone else to review their writing to catch any mistakes. Proofreaders are the people who carry out that important final review and point out any remaining writing mistakes before publication. Some proofreaders also do fact checking or copy editing to ensure the style is consistent with the employer’s style standards (house) or one of the well-known style standards such as Chicago Style, Modern Language Association (MLA) Style, or The American Psychological Association (APA) Style. Many proofreaders are self-employed and work part-time. Some proofreaders work full-time for a company.

To be a great proofreader, you need to know the English language very well so that you can identify spelling errors, typos, punctuation errors, and incorrect use of regional English. You also need to be able to focus for long periods of time and be exceptionally detail-oriented. Normally you work with a team of copy editors, editors, authors, typists, typesetters, and other proofreaders, so you need to be a team player who’s good at communication. Proofreaders review any of a range of written materials such as books, magazines, newspaper articles, manuals, reports, or other documents.

Employers seek out proofreaders who have an excellent grasp of the English language. While many proofreaders have degrees in English, journalism, publishing, or media studies, a degree is not always required. Some companies seek proofreading specialists with different backgrounds such as engineering or law. Knowledge of standard proofreading correction marks and of computer applications for creating and editing complex page layouts such as QuarkXPress may give you a competitive advantage.