The Basic Elements of Professional Proofreading - Part 2
It’s important that you know what the components of proofreading are so that you understand the whole process.
The Components of Professional Proofreading
It’s important that you know what the components, or elements, of proofreading are so that you understand the whole process. This way, you’ll be able to start working on one area at a time; then, as you master each area, you can begin applying it to your own translation content. It won’t be long before you have a firm understanding of what’s required to ensure that a piece of copy stands out in the crowd, head and shoulders above the rest, and is read and recognized. Here are the proofreading processes you need to focus on –
Flow and Logic
After the basics of grammar and spelling have been dealt with, flow and logic are the natural starting points for any copy-editor or proofreader. In this phase, you’ll be required to put yourself in your readers’ shoes and ask the following question: Does the sequence of thoughts being presented in the writing flow naturally, without going back and forth between ideas and without breaks in the thought process? Interestingly, if the flow and logic are altered on a poorly written piece of content, it can often be transformed into a great piece of writing.
Word Usage and Vocabulary
The next step in the proofreading process is the type of wordplay used in trying to get your message across, and the level of vocabulary used. It’s at this stage of proofreading that you want to validate the writing against its potential readers, remembering that words are not to be used as ornaments – they should be used as tools. Is your writing about an academic subject? Is your content targeted at educated professionals rather than your average reader? If the answer is yes, then it’s quite appropriate to use big words; not to impress people of course, but simply to deliver the message.
Readability and Brevity
It’s important to remember that your writing is only as good as how effectively it conveys your ideas and thoughts to the reader. If what you want to say can be said in one simple sentence, then there’s no point in using a whole paragraph to say the same thing. As we mentioned earlier in this article, writers must remember that today’s readers are pushed for time and are trying to maximize time in any way they can. Your job is to be sure that these same readers don’t do this by giving your content a big miss altogether, and that’s precisely what they’ll do if your writing runs on and on without saying very much at all.
The above points are the basic elements of professional proofreading. Some people wrongly believe that proofreading is about making sure that the t’s are crossed in the i’s are dotted; even though copy editing is certainly another very important role when it comes to professional content writing.
Does Your Writing Immediately Engage the Reader?
Online writers must always remember that any content they put out there must be immediately engaging to the reader, and by this we mean the very first sentence master grab the reader’s attention and interest. That’s how important it is if a writer is going to survive the tough competition out there today. Your writing must be powerful, it must be concise, but above all you must place yourself in the reader’s shoes and ask: ‘Does this piece of translation or writing immediately grab the reader’s attention’?
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