You have just finished writing your document. Whether it is an essay, business report, or journal article, you have looked at it several times and fully revised it a number of times. However, you may not be confident that you have spotted all the inconsistencies and errors that could be present. Maybe the language you’re writing in isn’t your first language and you require some assistance to navigate the current idioms. You have chosen to engage a proofreader to ensure that your piece is the best it can be. You go to Google and find millions of proofreaders and aren’t sure which one to choose. There are tips to use in choosing a proofreader.
Do I select an individual or an agency? A rapid Google search will uncover several freelance proofreaders or agencies that offer proofreading services. Large professional agencies are good in that they have a pool of proofreaders who have more specialized experience or training. However, a freelance proofreader can provide a more tailored service while still providing a great subject experience. There’s a greater likelihood of continuity and the chance to build a lasting relationship with a professional self-employed proofreader who can handle replicate assignments and be stretchy in negotiating fees. With large proofreading agencies, there’s no guarantee of flexibility or continuity and customers could be offered other proofreaders for future work.
What of experience? Before you commit your writing to any proofreader, you should look at how long they have been offering proofreading services. In addition, look at the directory of their previous clients. An experienced proofreader has whetted his or her skills and will be able to pick issues without much strain. In addition, they know that each piece of writing is different and will thus give your work a personalized approach. If the language you’ve written in isn’t your first language, consider proofreading services of a native speaker.
Choose between personal or automated services. Some proofreading services are wholly automated. You’re needed to upload your piece and then it is run through a processor without being looked at by the human eye. Computer checking isn’t as better as a hyped spellchecker/grammar checker and will experience issues in handling errors caused by non-native speakers. Also, they are less able to handle slang and idioms. If quality matters, use a proofreading service where actual people proofread your work. If speed matters more than quality, settle for an automated proofreading service.
How much time is available? Generally, the more time you can allow your work to be proofread, the better. This will help ensure many proofreaders are available and that there is enough time for thorough work. Leaving proofreading till it is too late will often impact the quality negatively. Some proofreaders will charge extra fees to guarantee turnaround at short notice.
The reputation of the proofreader matters a lot. Personal recommendation from a relative, colleague, or friend helps a lot. Also, read reviews for more insights. A regarded proofreader gives full attention to their work. Also, they won’t share your work with unauthorized persons.