Post by Denise Cowle
The idea of somebody changing so much as a comma of your text may seem unthinkable. However, your familiarity with your work means that sometimes you see what you want to, rather than what is there. That’s how we can all miss obvious errors in our own work – we’re just too close to it. A ‘fresh eye’ is the best way to overcome this. A proofreader is sufficiently detached from your writing to spot mistakes and inconsistencies that distract the reader.
Not everyone is confident with spelling and grammar, but you shouldn’t rely on spelling and grammar checkers. Did you mean to say stationary or stationery? Compliment or complement? Automated spell checks can identify if a word has been spelled correctly, but not whether it was the correct word to use in the first place.
You may feel that it’s enough to have a colleague or friend who looks over your content. Are they always available when you need them? Are you confident in their ability to assess and improve your spelling, grammar, punctuation, layout, consistency and overall message?
Here are four reasons to consider using a professional:
- Knowing that your copy will be professionally proofread allows you to write the way you think, saving you time and allowing a professional to smooth your words into a clear message.
- You won’t have to ask friends and colleagues to take time out from their work to deal with yours – there’s only so much goodwill you can rely on, and eventually it just might run out.
- It will give you credibility. Can someone trust what you’re saying when your written work is inconsistent and contains errors? A poorly proofed report, brochure or website (or one that has not been proofed at all) will reflect badly on you and your company. Regardless of what you are saying, the reader will be distracted by errors and may even equate sloppy writing with sloppiness in other areas of your business. Professional proofreading eliminates errors to give your writing – and therefore your business – a professional and credible feel.
- Aim higher than ‘good enough’. Use a proofreader to polish your work, ensuring that you leave readers with a clear, error-free message.
Find a local, qualified proofreader in our Directory. Why would you settle for anything less?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Denise is an advanced professional member of the SfEP. She lives in Glasgow and her clients range from local individuals to global organisations. She was a chartered physiotherapist for 25 years but has moved on from manipulating joints to manipulating text. Check her out at www.denisecowleeditorial.com, or follow her on Twitter @dinnydaethat.