Have you ever read something in a newspaper or online that has a spelling mistake or factual error? Mistakes don’t reflect well on any author, but even the most experienced writers can miss a spelling error or incorrect punctuation.

Why do I need a proofreader?

A professional proofreader is an expert in spelling, punctuation and grammar and will use their skills to check layout, factual accuracy and consistency in usage and presentation. Proofreaders are a fresh set of eyes who can pick up on things most others miss; a proofreader will make sure your copy is perfect before it is sent out.

Photo by mactrunk/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by mactrunk/iStock / Getty Images

When do I need a proofreader?

Proofreaders generally receive copy after it has been copy-edited and, if necessary, typeset.

What will the proofreader do?

A proofreader will:

  • work with the author to ensure expectations are met
  • identify changes using BSI marks on paper or using track changes on screen
  • check for typographical errors
  • check alterations are accurate
  • check that captions correspond to illustrations
  • check that chapter titling matches titles in the contents page
  • check running heads
  • check page numbers 
  • use company style guide to ensure style is consistent: for example, spelling and use of hyphens
  • identify missing text or inaccuracies
  • check/cross-check references
  • check images/illustrations are labelled correctly and referred to in the text
  • remove any unnecessary page breaks.

What won’t a proofreader do?

  • copy-editing. To learn more about what a copy-editor does, look at our editing page
  • page layout
  • seeking permissions, which should be done before copy is sent out for proofreading.

How much will it cost?

To proofread content that has already been professionally copy-edited and needs a final thorough check before publication: £10-£12 per 1,000 words (we usually ask to see a sample).

If you think you need a bit more work, for example line editing to make sure your content is clear and accurate, have a look at our editing page.