What Is Proofreading? Everything You Need to Know about Having Your Work Proofread

It’s possible that your supervisor or lecturer has already advised you to proofread your work before submitting it.

It’s probable that you asked yourself the following questions, even if you didn’t admit it at the time:

What exactly is proofreading?

What does the proofreading process entail?

What’s the point of bothering?

You may be aware that proofreading is not the same as editing and does not entail extensive adjustments or fact-checking.

When we talk about proofreading, it seems that the question of what proofreading isn’t brought up a lot more than what proofreading is.

While this knowledge is beneficial, it still does not answer your first question: what is proofreading?

It will be explained more in-depth in the rest of this article:

Proofreading is the process of checking a final draft of a piece of writing for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and formatting consistency and accuracy.

What is the definition of “conventional proofreading”?

One of the factors that makes it difficult for people to comprehend what proofreading comprises is that the word is used differently in different areas.

If you ask someone in the publishing industry, for example, “What is proofreading?” they will likely give you a totally different answer than if you ask someone at a university.

Proofreading, in the eyes of someone in the publishing industry, is the last chance to modify a manuscript before it is printed and published.

The proofreader analyzes the proofs—printed versions of the text that include all of the formatting, page numbers, headers, and other elements that will appear in the final edition—with the edited copy to ensure that the formatting or printing has not caused any errors.

But wait—wasn’t proofreading supposed to be about correcting spelling errors?

In the past, proofreading was only used to make sure that a manuscript was ready to be published. Now, it has a different meaning.

When most people use the term “proofreading,” they’re referring to the process of checking a document for grammatical, typographical, or formatting mistakes.

It should always be the last thing done before a document is put on the internet, handed in to a professor, applied for a job, or shared with the people who will read it.

What types of mistakes are found and corrected during proofreading?

A document should have been edited by the time it is ready to be proofread.

This implies that the content is already well-organized, well-written, and simple to comprehend.

While editing also involves correcting errors, it is mainly concerned with ensuring that the document as a whole makes sense.

On the other hand, proofreading is the process of identifying little and significant errors that were either overlooked or made during the editing process.

Proofreaders ensure that the final draft of the text is free of grammatical, formatting, and typographical errors (e.g., subject–verb agreement issues, inappropriate word selections, improper punctuation, and erroneous spelling).

They also ensure that the document follows the specified style guide.

Document proofreaders, unlike traditional proofreaders in the publishing industry, are not restricted in the number of modifications they can make to a document because there is usually no additional proofreading expense connected with making more changes.

However, if proofreaders find that most of the manuscript still needs a lot of work, they may suggest that it be re-edited.


Although a proofread is less thorough than an edit, it is a crucial stage in preparing a piece of writing for others to read, as errors can cause confusion or be perceived as unprofessional.

Scribendi’s proofreading services will help you improve your writing and make sure it’s ready to be published.


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