It is imperative that any form of the written word should be thoroughly checked before publication. Else, it tends to leave a bad reading experience amongst readers. This is true for print as well as online media. Just as for printed literature, content for websites is checked and rechecked to ensure that it is free of grammatical, spelling and typographical errors.
This method of checking any form of literature for its grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors is called proofreading. The person who undertakes the task of proofreading is known as a proofreader. Proofreading entails correction of a given document or copy for grammatical, spelling and any other kind of technical errors. Proofreading does not in any way involve editing the content of the author or change the language expression or meaning of a sentence.
The art of proofreading is an extremely responsible job. So much so that even the smallest of grammatical and punctuation and spelling errors can change the entire meaning.
Proof reading jobs
In earlier times proofreading was limited to the print houses where plenty of material was printed for distribution to newspapers, magazines, journals, books and other reading materials. Proofreaders were involved with correction of spellings and grammatical errors from the proof or copy that has been typeset. With the introduction of modern technologies into the print and visual media, proofreading is common in varied publications including serious literature and documents, scientific publications and journals, advertising and news channels and even in greeting cards and publicity materials.
In the present times, millions of pages are being added every day on online portals. This has thrown open opportunities for large number of proof readers who are constantly required to proofread pages for web sites or online journals. Opportunities are available for proofreading jobs from home. Since proofreading jobs are available on freelance basis, it affords lot of flexibility and documents can be proofread at the proofreader's discretion, of course with deadlines in place.
Proofreading job qualifications
individuals with excellent written and spoken knowledge of the English language with sound grammatical knowledge would do well as proofreaders. Good communication skills are additional requirement for a proofreader to excel. The ability of the incumbent is normally assessed by means of a usage test. Those who score highly in these tests, irrespective of their education levels are employed.
Specialist proofreaders possess unique knowledge in paper editing, high level of culture, specialization, literary experience and artistic taste.
The latest trend in proofreading jobs is to specialize. This simply means the proofreader can specialize in any one topic such as medical texts or computer manuals or law books or construction manuals. Such 'specialist' proofreaders familiarize themselves with the jargon of the particular profession.
Most proofreading courses are available as distance education programs. The candidates are taught to deal with common problems in proofreading. The course includes examples from various areas of publishing; from children's fiction to promotional material to academic and educational texts.
Diploma in proofreading is available as an online course. This course provides instruction in the basic skills that are required of a freelance proofreader. Such proofreading courses do not require any previous background of proofreading, copy editing or publishing and is suitable for beginners as well. Course materials, assignments, study guides and tutor support are available by e-mail.