Being a writer is not an easy task to do. But being a proofreader is much more complicated task than any author or writer can ever undertake. With great writing skills one can be a great writer, but not everyone has the patience to read other person’s content and correct them, do we?
So before getting into the topic of this content i.e. questions that should proofreaders ask their clients, let me clear the subject– What is proofreading? And what do proofreaders do?
Well, proofreading is nothing but a final stage editing process of any content or piece of writing and this process should only be carried out, once all other revisions and edits have been already taken place. Proofreading includes some basic correction methods; like–
- Spelling check
- Punctuation correction
- Grammar checks
- Spacing checks
- Font and style
- Typographical check
- Dangler Modifier
Proofreaders will go through every error or mistake associated with the above options and their job is to fix them all. This is the final stage of the editing process, so proofreaders have to be cautious in correcting the errors and should also pay attention to the fact that the content is qualified for satisfying the client’s demands. But it is not easy to satisfy each and every client, as not all clients put their demands clearly before the proofreaders. So, here we have listed out some basic question that proofreader should ask the client before starting proofreading. In this way, the whole process will be hassle-free and you will get a clear picture about your job. Let’s pay attention!
1.‘What kind of editing do you want?’
This question may seem vague, but it is an essential question before starting any proofreading service. Proofreaders view a piece of writing or manuscript differently than writers do. Based on the category of the particular content, proofreading has to be done. For different content, grammars and spellings will be different. So it is really necessary to assess the category of a particular content before proofreading or before hiring proofreaders. If the content is related to law, there will be some specific sentence structure which may sound as a grammatical mistake for any other normal content. So, clear out your conception about the category of any content before the proofreading service.
2.‘What should be the Alignment order?’
In any piece of writing, alignment order holds an important position. So before starting proofreading, you should ask for the alignment order or what order should be put in the content. If the writer does have a particular choice, well and good. But if he does not, be specific in aligning because alignment depends on the kind of content, the audience etc. So, clear these aspects to your client and pay attention before starting your proofreading service.
3.‘What is your deadline?’
Deadline is a very important thing. Almost each and every client is specific about their deadline. Some may give you a tight deadline while other may give you a relaxed one. So before starting proofreading, be clear about the deadline because the deadline is the time limit for your proofreading or in how much time will you do your proofreading. Set the timeline and start working!
4.‘Any spacing problem?’
Along with grammatical checking, proofreaders also check the spacing problems too. But sometimes there can be some intentional spacing on any content, and you may not be aware of it. So, before correcting any usual spacing order, communicate with your client about it and make sure whether it is intentional or not. Surely, clients do not hire proofreaders to mess their content up! So to avoid unnecessary hassles and problem, ask about each and every detail of the content concerned.
5.‘What should be the font and style?’
There are thousands of fonts and styles available on Microsoft word and each font style depicts different languages and meaning. For example, if you are writing a short poem in Urdu, you are likely to use a special font style which is much different from the corporate writing style. However, the case may not be according to your wits always! So, clear the doubts about font style and ask your client of their choice of font style. A font style holds a crucial part in proofreading and it changes the essence of any content.
6.‘What will be the target audience? And should I check the plagiarism?’
Before hiring proofreaders, it is the duty of the clients to make them know about the target audience of the particular content. And if they don’t, you should ask before starting proofreading because a major part of proofreading depends on the target audience. For example, in the case of a corporate background, you need to restrict your proofread to strict grammar, punctuation and spelling rules while in other cases that may not be necessary. And of course, plagiarism! No one wants to publish a plagiarized article on any websites and it is the job of the proofreaders to check that. Ask your client if they have any choice of plagiarism checker or not. This will make the whole communication clear.
7.‘What is your budget?’
And finally, the budget! A necessary question which should be negotiated beforehand. Before hiring proofreaders, this question should be sorted properly by the proofreaders.
It is not easy to hire proofreaders or accurately, good proofreaders! And on the part of the proofreaders, it is not easy to find a hassle-free client. So if you are a proofreader or are about to start your business as a proofreader, you must ask the client all the above questions to your client for a problem-free job. This will prove the sincerity on your behalf and also it will clear out any unseen doubts that may arise in the middle of the job. Don’t hesitate to add other questions (if needed) too! Happy Proofreading!
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