Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need a proofreader when I can use spellcheck or a grammar checker?

As well as spellings, grammar and punctuation, proofreaders also check for consistency – in names, heading style, bullet points, capitalisation, spacing, and internal references, such as captions and links. Why? To avoid any confusion about what you really mean.

Spellcheck will not do all that. It also won’t pick up real words that you use in the wrong place (eg, brought when you mean bought).

As for computer grammar checking… Quite simply, it’s often wrong. Human language is far too subtle for a computer to understand all its meanings. It’s not often I can claim to be better than a computer, but this is one of those times!

What’s the difference between proofreading and editing?

Proofreading means looking at the fine detail to make sure everything is correct and consistent. I won’t change your wording unless it’s actually wrong. Proofreading should be the final check before you go public with your writing.

Just to be clear: proofreading gives no guarantee about the suitability of the facts, content, structure, vocabulary or tone of the writing. If you would like me to check all that, you need editing.

Editing is about the writing as a whole – it’s proofreading plus a whole lot more. The English may be right, but perhaps the order could be more logical, or the choice of words needs tweaking. Often, the writing is simply too wordy – an editor weeds out the bits that aren’t needed.

Editing aims to make your message clear and suitable for your audience, but it is not a complete re-write.

Does it really matter if there are a few little mistakes?

We all make mistakes, even professional writers – but they are a distraction from your message. They could even put buyers or readers off completely. (Yes, that definitely happens.)

Why take that risk? Getting it checked proves that you care about the details. That makes a good impression right from the start.

Will you write my blog/CV/website for me?

Professional writing to someone else’s brief is usually called copywriting. It’s a different level of service, and will still need time and thought on your part to explain your precise requirements – your aims and audience, as well as the facts you want to include.

Copywriting is, quite rightly, more expensive than editing.

If you think that’s what you need, please get in touch for more information.

How much does it cost to...?

You can find information about editing and proofreading rates (for any genre) on my Prices page.

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