Proofreading is conducted on the final draft of a document after editing and before it is printed or published. Usually there will be no more changes to a document once it has been proofed. If changes are made, proofreading is usually required again to ensure the changes haven’t created more errors e.g. misnumbered pages or missing references. The goal of proofreading is to ensure the document has no errors.

Proofreading involves checking and improving:

  • spelling, punctuation and grammar
  • basic syntax – does each sentence make sense?
  • presentation e.g. ensure the headings are the same size/style throughout
  • formatting of references.
As to the adjective, when in doubt, strike it out.
— Mark Twain

Examples of proofreading jobs

A not-for-profit has written their annual report internally, and created a summary brochure using their graphic design contractor. Before they print, they want someone to look over it with fresh eyes.

An RTO has developed a batch of learning and assessment materials. It has all been moderated, but before it is published online and printed they want to make sure it is word-perfect and an example of their professionalism.