A proofreader’s goal is to ensure that the material he or she is reviewing is 100% correct. This means that the art of proofreading often involves more than catching typos and fixing grammar and punctuation errors—it can also include reviewing numbers for accuracy, checking dates/figures and other fact-checking, looking for inconsistencies, ensuring audience-appropriate spelling and terminology, preparing style sheets or checking against a house style guide and, occasionally, light editing. (Note: Although we’ll touch on editing, this course focuses mainly on proofreading.) So, whether you’ll be proofreading your own copy, reviewing materials for others in your organization or providing proofreading services to clients, this five-week course will provide you with the tips and tricks you’ll need, along with print/online reference resources, handy checklists, tips for working with clients, and ideas for managing project workflow. In addition, a portion of the final session will be customized to respond to the specific needs of course participants. Each week, participants will submit one proofreading exercise for feedback from the instructor.
To take this course, you will need:
- Adobe Acrobat Standard or Pro, or the free Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Access to at least one print or online dictionary, e.g., Merriam-Webster (free at m-w.com)
You should be comfortable with:
- File creation and management in Acrobat
- The Copyeditor’s Handbook by Amy Einsohn
- McGraw-Hill’s Proofreading Handbook by Laura Anderson
- The McGraw-Hill Desk Reference for Editors, Writers, and Proofreaders by K.D. Sullivan and Merilee Eggleston
- Mark My Words: Instruction and Practice in Proofreading, by Peggy Smith
Instructor’s note: You don’t need to read all of these books (and some of them could be challenging to find). However, they’re all excellent resources, especially if proofreading is your main career focus.
Instructor Sharon McInnis, the owner of ProofingQueen, has been providing proofreading and fact-checking services to a wide range of clients for over 15 years. Recognized by clients as expert and tenacious proofreaders, Sharon and her colleagues have reviewed thousands of files from three-word billboards, two-page flyers and single-page ads to 40-page consumer magazines to 100-page annual reports and 5,000-page environmental studies.