A proofreader (or a corrector) is a specialist working in publishing (printed or electronic), whose duties comprise leading the proofread materials being prepared for print in accordance to the norms of grammar, as well as correcting formatting flaws. A proofreader’s work is extremely important, as it prepares the text for deeper processing, and for being significantly changed by editors. Unlike the latter, proofreaders never work with the text’s stylistics, focusing mostly on its grammar and stylistics. A proofreader must not just know a language, but to expertize in its nuances and linguistic peculiarities, to be able to navigate in the complex language rules freely.
Proofreaders are highly valued in book publishing, web-publishing, and mass media.
- initial check of a text for mistakes. It includes correcting spelling, lexical, and punctuation errors, as well as working with the text’s formatting (for example, correcting the format of dates, measurement units, numbers, and lists, accuracy of indentations, and so on)
- the correct breakdown of a text into paragraphs
- correcting the accuracy of citations, footnotes, bibliographies, tables of contents
- marking the flaws and mistakes with the so called proofreading signs.
- deep knowledge of linguistics and the grammar of a language in which a text is written
- the knowledge of standards of typographic design of a text
- attention when proofreading a text, accuracy, the ability to thoroughly perform routine and monotonous work
- the knowledge of text proofreading methods
- being able to use grammatical guides and dictionaries, as well as spell-checking software
- the ability to work with the special editorial software.