Dart hitting the bullseye

The search for perfection

Lots of my clients ask me whether their manuscript will be “perfect” or “free from errors” after I’ve edited or proofread it. The answer to this – from me and perhaps any other editor who is being completely honest – will generally be along the lines of: “Probably not. I’ll aim for perfection but it’s difficult (or impossible) to achieve.” However, it’s not necessarily all bad news. This blog explores the issue further.   Standards Read more…

Microsoft caped superhero

Tips and tricks for MS Word

Following on from a previous blog discussing proofreading tips for students (& others), I stumbled across a very helpful video on YouTube recently. It’s called Word 2016 Tutorial: A Comprehensive Guide to Word for Anyone by Sali Kaceli and contains tips and tricks that many users might find useful. I’ve been using Word for many years but I still picked up a few nuggets of information that will come in handy in future. For example, Read more…

Choosing the right tool for the job

Proofreading or copy-editing: which one do I need?

Many independent authors, academics and businesses contact me to ask for their paper, manuscript, blog, etc to be proofread as soon as they have finished writing it. This usually leads to a discussion about whether they actually need a copy-editor rather than a proofreader. Generally, this situation arises because many people aren’t aware of the processes that written material usually goes through prior to publication, and nor are they aware of the problems with their Read more…

Tips

Top tips for reviewing your document after it has been proofread

The topic of this blog has already been briefly discussed here; however, this post aims to give a lot more detail and advice on how to check your document after it has been proofread and returned to you. Firstly, and just to clarify, this blog is written for the intended audience of academics, students and (non-publishing) corporate clients who are working with a document in MS Word format using the Track Changes function. Proofreading for Read more…

University building

Proofreading tips for students (& others)

This post is definitely not giving away editorial trade secrets and doesn’t mean that my colleagues need to release the hounds to shut me up before I can do any more harm. However, some clients probably could do some basic proofreading tasks for themselves… Introduction The aim of this post is to help students (and others) to help themselves when writing a document, such as a thesis, dissertation or essay. It will highlight some of Read more…

Plumber's wrench

How to get a great service from your proofreader (a.k.a. “Why a proofreader is a bit like a plumber”)

It’s simple, isn’t it? A client wants their written text to be edited and a proofreader wants to help with this. But how do they go about things to make sure they’re both happy at the end of it? All too often I see a vague description of work by a potential client, which doesn’t help anyone. For example, it isn’t uncommon to see a request along the lines of: “I needing someone to check Read more…

Words linked to sustainability

How to survive an inspection by the Environment Agency

(Warning: this blog has very little to do with editing and proofreading and therefore some of you may prefer to skip it and carry on reading the Chicago Manual of Style or whatever)   First things first: this is most definitely not an exposé of the inner workings at the Environment Agency (EA) or a guide on how to trick your way past your friendly EA inspector. It is simply some basic guidance on how Read more…

Tree, grass and big blue sky

Why you should use a specialist proofreader

We’ve all had them. In fact, every profession on the planet probably has them. Yes, it’s the dreaded recurring questions. While I was working as a mainframe software developer in the IT industry many years ago, friends and acquaintances would inevitably ask me: “Can you help to fix my computer?”  Similarly, while I was in the environmental business, people would ask me: “Do you plant trees and hug bunnies or something?” Sadly, this was never Read more…