Writing of any form is assumed as quite demanding considering the fact that a number of intricacies are involved in it. Writing on a subject requires deep understanding of the subject matter and deeper understanding of grammar and use of words. Once the write up is ready for the purpose of publishing, it goes through the editing process where formatting and other aspects related to alignment and use of words is fixed. This is followed by proofreading.
Proofreading is the quality checkup process based on identifying and highlighting errors in writing. It is often believed that proofreading is easy when done on papers rather than on screens. It can be said that proofreading is followed by the proof that the work is ready to be printed and additional efforts in terms of making the writing neat and clear are employed. Jackson (2005) stated that the role of proofreaders is quite important in regards to proofreading.
Proofreaders are responsible for managing the consistency in presentation and usage along with identifying accuracy in texts, images, and layouts. Proofreaders help in offering proofs regarding correction that makes the writing all the more clear and precise. In last few years, the role of proofreaders has been of great importance.
This is mainly because of the fact that writing on any subject needs to be structured well along with delivering the right meaning by following the general rules of grammar and writing. Swan (2005) stated that before the work is ready to be printed or published, it becomes the utmost responsibility of writers and others to make sure that the work is relevant and productive in nature. It gives the right message with correct usage of words and sentences and is aimed to enrich the learning of others by being correct. In this regard, proofreading can be assumed as the last chance for correcting, editing, and making sure that things are in place.
Proofreading is purely based on care, judgment, skills, experience, and knowledge in terms of checking and making sure that the work of author and editor is satisfactory in nature. Proofreading is also based on making sure that problems are well identified and amendments are advised with the aim of optimizing the result. It also aims at minimizing the cost of production by making sure that there is no delay in publication.
Overall, it can be said that proofreading is way of enhancing the existing piece of work by adding value in terms of correcting errors and making sure that there is no delay in publishing and printing. It is important to have an understanding on different kinds of proofreading services. This will further help in analyzing the importance of proofreading.
In the traditional method, a typeset version of copy is termed as a proof. It often includes a number of errors often termed as typos. They are also known as human errors. Traditionally, a proofreader looks at the texts on the copy and compares it to the typeset. It is followed by marking identified errors using standard proofreading marks. The major purpose of the traditional proofreading service is based on working directly with two sets of information at the same time. Once this is done, proofs are given to the typesetter for further correction.
Proofreading remarks are often descriptive in nature suggesting the fact that typesetters can have the clarity of rectifying errors. It is a common and most general practice to send all the corrections to proofreaders once again in order to make sure that changes have been made. It is often done to make sure that higher degree of responsibility is established for proofreaders compared to typesetters.
The traditional method of proofreading service has been practiced from last many years and is still preferred. There are also a number of alternative methods regarding proofreading and copy holding or copy reading is one of them. This requires the support and cooperation of two people where the first reads the text aloud as it appears in a fast but at a uniform rate. The second reader follows and marks the differences between what is read and what was typeset previously (Truss, 2003).
This method is quite suitable and ideal for large numbers of boilerplate text where it is assumed that the number of errors will be quite small. In this regard, experienced proofreaders use a number of codes and verbal short cuts in their reading. There are a number of disadvantages of this method and inclusion of two persons is one of them. This might lead to a situation where the accuracy of other is not matching the accuracy of other resulting in more errors. Double reading is another method where a single proofreader checks the content in a traditional manner and passes it to the second reader who is supposed to repeat the process. It needs to be mentioned that the responsibility of proof is shared by the two individuals. They are also responsible for making sure that errors are addressed in an accurate manner and there is no lack of cooperation at their end.
Another method is in the form of scanning that is used to check proofs without reading them word by word. It can also be defined as a process of computerization typesetting. It is mainly done using the Word program where conversion of document takes place along with editing and proofreading. It needs to be mentioned that this method might not be fully capable of highlighting errors and efforts need to be taken using traditional methods for highlighting key errors.
Economics of Proofreading
In terms of the economics of proofreading, it can be said that it is not at all cost effective. The reason being volume or unpredictable workflow that prevents proofreaders from managing time. It can be said that large volumes of works do not allow finishing works in a hurry. It also means that volumes and deadlines are strictly managed within this job.
Oftentimes, proofreading is required to be finished within a short period of time. This can be assumed as quite demanding as identifying errors along with offering views on why they are termed as errors can be a demanding and time consuming task.
In many cases, proofreading is further fastened mainly because of the fact that further work may come anytime soon. This means that proofreaders are supposed to finish their work before the deadline in order to be prepared for further future works. This can be assumed as a demanding task. In a hurried environment, there is every possibility of quality being affected. This means that quality of work can be compromised by proofreaders when the pressure is high. This again is not ideal for readers as the quality suffers in the end. Once the quality falls below the expectations, there is every possibility of readers being affected in terms of reading the content (Kirton and Macmillan, 2007).
This can be considered as a negative situation and focus should be on quality of work rather than the quantity. There are also issues with the use of technology considering the fact that printing of papers requires papers and ink and when the quantity and volume is high, there is considerable wastage of paper and ink. In cases of reprints, there is also an increase in the cost of production and overtime cost. In case of works being delivered late, there is every possibility of losing the tasks and opportunities and thus affecting the revenue scales.
In such cases, it can be said that proofreading needs to be made a systematic process where the focus should be on enhancing the quality of content. There should be clarity on deadlines and quantity of works should not affect the quality of work. Only this situation will help in adding value to the proofreading framework. Thus, it can be said that the economics of proofreading is quite critical highlighting the fact that there needs to be great deal of balance between the quality and quantity. This will only ensure that proofreaders are not burdened with the responsibility of fastened submission of work along with making sure that errors are rectified and work is qualified for the purpose of publishing and printing (Jackson, 2005).
Based on the discussion, it can be said that proofreading is an art of making sure that the edited, rectified, and analyzed work is ready for the purpose of printing and publishing. Even though, there are a number of proofreading methods, it is important to make sure that the major purpose of proofreading is justified. Proofreading is the quality checkup process based on identifying and highlighting errors in writing and this should not be compromised with the time limit.
The major purpose should be to focus on the quality of work along with making sure that it carried a clear and grammatically correct meaning. This is the only purpose of proofreading services without thinking little on economies of scale.
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