A proofreader is a person, who checks written texts after it has been edited and before it is published. The idea behind this is to identify and correct any errors such as grammar, word usage, marking errors introduced by the printer, etc. This means that a proofreader acts as a final quality checker who makes sure that nothing has been missed by the copyeditor or the typesetter. If you have patience, passion for reading, a good eye for details, then you may enjoy being a successful proofreader.
The great benefit of being a proofreader is the ability that you get to work from home. However it has also been identified that this is an area where a higher degree of concentration is required. As per qualifications, generally you do not need to have any particular qualifications to become a proofreader. However in practice most of the proofreaders are graduates with some expertise in a given area or variety of areas. In detail, a degree in English or any other language would give you a competitive edge when you apply to become a proofreader. For instance, if you posses a mechanical engineering degree then it would be easier for you to proofread textbooks on mechanical engineering. Further, apart from the qualifications the practical experience is also considered as one of the major factors, which would help to decide your competence in the market place.
It's also important that we give some emphasis on the process of proofreading so that you all will have a very clear picture on the responsibilities that you have to take in the process. The job of proofreading would include checking the following.
- Whether the page numbers are in order
- Grammar and spelling mistakes
- The documents conforms to a particular style
- Check for letters in wrong order
- Chapter titles conform to the contents
- The logicality of the layout
Apart from the qualifications and the experience, there are many personal qualities and environmental conditions that you have to consider as well. For starters, the environment that you work in should be calm with minimum disturbance. Further, you should have very good language skills (English or otherwise), ability to quickly identify any available mistake, patience to corp. with any amount of mistakes, passion for reading, calm mindset, etc. What is more is that, you’ll also have to keep
yourself up to date with developments in publishing and with technical skills such as software used for proofreading, etc.
In conclusion it’s worth mentioning that this is a job where passion for reading is identified as the most important factor above anything else. The professionals in this area of work love this job because they consider reading as a hobby and a passion and they never consider this as a job done to earn a monetary return. This is the factor, which has made them successful and very popular in the profession of proofreading with a higher degree of recognition in the market place over a very long period of time.