Authors of books and content spend a considerable amount of time on researching and creating content. This could be informative content, or creative work or any written content. However, unfortunately not everyone is a grammar ninja and not everyone has the best typing skills. However this should never be considered as a handicap but has always been overcome with assistance from resources. Authors used to rely on proofreaders and editors to check and polish content. This is now presently being done with the help of tools and specialist proofreaders. However professionals who create high quality content rely on proofreaders as tools are not the best choice always.
The English language has many words with the same spelling that have contextually different meanings. A large number of writers are often confused about the right usage. Similarly words with that are wrongly spelt may sometimes not be marked as incorrect by tools, because the miss spelt word may have a meaning by itself. Popular tools that are available online for checking grammar and spelling work only to an extent. Beyond that it certainly requires the skills of an expert. Tools are not as intelligent as made out to be and it is wrong to expect a tool to be able to help out everywhere, especially when it comes to interpretation and usage as per specific situations. It is challenging to expect tools to proofread technical content and spot errors.
Authors are often focused entirely on content creation and research and sometimes fail to notice the errors in documents. As a result the quality of the content suffers and fails to meet the objectives of the content creation. The options available before content creators for proofreading and editing content include :
Free online tools – This helps to remove errors from your content to a certain extent and is a fast and free method of proofreading. You can either install plugins to work with browsers or word processors to check for errors. The tools highlight errors and possible suggestions, and the user gets to make the changes at the click of a choice, or keying in the correct word, phrase, or sentence.
The disadvantages of the system are the possible errors and suggestions that are associated with tools that perform such tasks.
Paid online tools – These are basically premium versions of the free online tools and come with additional features. This eliminates more errors than the free tools and comes with the same convenience of the free tools. However, paid tools also have the risk of errors as tools do not possess the ability to check for errors or make edits the way human experts perform the tasks. No matter how premium the tool, it certainly requires the skills of an expert to read the content line by line and make the necessary changes.
Freelancers offering proofreading and editing services – This is by far the most effective method. It is true that freelancers use tools to carry out proofreading. However, this is generally part of the whole process. Typically professional proofreaders carry out the task over three rounds. The first is a spell check, which is typically carried out with tools. This is generally performed to weed out the majority of the errors. The second round is a tool assisted grammar check which is performed to identify a considerable number of the errors. The final round is a thorough, word by word, line by line, contextual reading, proofreading and editing process. This eliminates the errors like a fine comb that gives the content the makeover required to make it a master piece.
Why freelancing websites are a good choice?
Freelancing websites like Fiverr are a good choice because of multiple advantages. The first is the ability to get a choice of experts who offer various services online. For instance, you can get a proofreader who not only weeds out the errors, and edits the content, but you can also find yourself an expert who polishes the content. You can get an expert to give you a better perspective by lifting the quality of the content.
Most importantly you will find an expert who offers services at a reasonable cost in a transparent manner. For instance, the services of experts are priced transparently – for fixed number of words, within a specified period. This gives you complete control over the time that is necessary for the work to be completed and the amount that you will have to spend towards hiring the services of a proofreader. The terms of the payment also lend a level of protection to the client and the expert alike.
What you need to check for when you hire a freelancer proofreader?
There are many aspects that need to be checked when hiring a freelancer for proofreading. The first is the qualifications of the proofreader, as grammar requires formal schooling. Grammar is not an art, but involves following certain rules for usage of words, punctuation marks, phrases and sentences. This does not come naturally like creative art. It requires some kind of training and schooling., It is therefore necessary to understand if the proofreader possess the qualifications that are required for carrying out a grammar check without the use of tools. Undoubtedly, proofreaders would use tools, but the proofreaders need to possess the ability to do it without tools because only such an ability will give him/her the ability to choose the right option or make changes as necessary during the first, second and third round of checking.
Language specialist – A proofreader needs to be language specialist to be able to carry out the proof reading naturally. The speed of checking depends entirely on the ability of the proofreader to do it naturally without having to refer to resources all of the time. Depending on the complexity of the phrase or the turn of diction, it may be necessary for a proofreader to check the same from resources and make the changes. However, a good proof reader who has the skills, will refer to resources only sparingly. This makes it necessary to use the services of a language specialist who possess a natural flair for identifying mistakes quickly.
Premium tools – It is hard to imagine a proof reading expert perform checks for large manuscripts or content without the assistance of premium tools. The tools typically play the role of an assistant and help proofreaders conclude the task faster. It is as good as using a micro filter with various layers of filtering. However it is important that the freelancer use premium tools which help to identify more errors than the free tools.
Clear cut terms of service – The terms of service need to be specified in a clear cut manner and leave no b\room for ambiguity. This involves the proficiency levels and the ability to handle the genre, or technicality of the content. For instance, creative work is different up of tea from technical content. The proof reader needs to clearly understand the nature of the content and agree to take it up to as per the requirements of client. The freedom to make changes also need to be conveyed in a manner that ensures that the content does not lose its original direction and narrative.