By Davii Mandel
Really? Everyone needs proofreading? Why do I need proofreading for a simple business letter? Or a catering menu getting emailed to my client to review? Or an essay for my master’s course?
I’m fluent in English, I learned all my grammar and punctuation in elementary school (I hated it, but I’m sure something penetrated!).
I’m like the average person, who basically knows how to speak and write. Who cares if there’s a mistake here or there? Who will even catch that, with the main language of today being shortened, almost impossible-to-understand text-speak, am I right?
Well, yes and no.
Let’s break down the six best reasons why you need proofreading if you are doing any kind of professional writing.
- Clarity – Wehn I tipe my werds with speling errors, it can mak it hard for u to understant. Good spelling is simply the kindest way to present your content. Why make people struggle to understand it?
- Professionalism – When your work is edited for spelling and grammar, you look awesome! Your work looks professional and well-crafted. As a result, your readers take you more seriously.
- Homophones – I will get into homophones in a future blog, but remember this word. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as: one of two or more words pronounced alike but different in meaning or derivation or spelling. For example: there, their and to, two, too. Spellcheck can’t catch these mistakes in your content (because they are spelled correctly, but perhaps used wrongly), but a good proofreader will.
- Trust – This is a very important part of writing. Whether it’s for a blog post, an article, a cookbook, a case study or, especially, a book or e-book, you are trying to establish yourself as knowledgeable and trustworthy. You want your reader to buy in to what you are writing. If there are grammar, punctuation and/or syntax errors, this reduces your trustworthiness. Every time the reader comes across another mistake, it chips away more and more, and lessens the chances that your content will be accepted by the reader.
- Polish – Besides all the wonderful error-correction involved in proofreading, editing can really take your writing to the next level. With a bit of sentence rewording or slight changes to some of the words used, the value of having a second set of eyes on your work can be the difference between good content and making a real impact!
- Power – The power of words. We hear that phrase all the time, but what does it really mean? Correct use of English language (including spelling and punctuation) can literally change people’s lives. Think self-help gurus, medical information, job training. The written material for these (and many other) areas must be correct and clear, in order to get the message across fully. There is tremendous power in being the catalyst that changes someone’s life with your written words! Even those who use all the funky shortcuts in today’s social media and texting, still recognize when they have something important in front of their eyes. And their early training will kick in so they will recognize when the writing isn’t up to snuff.
In conclusion: Everyone makes mistakes, from typos to just not knowing the correct spelling or usage of a word. When we write the content and then attempt to proofread it ourselves, it’s hard to catch our own mistakes. A trained proofreader can see things in the writing you would never know are there. A proofreader/editor’s job is to make your work shine! Don’t hesitate when considering if your work needs to be checked over. It’s worth taking the time and paying for the service. You’ll be so pleased that you did!