Why proofreading is very important

Why is proofreading and editing important?

Proofreading and editing any type of valuable written text – whether it is an academic paper, a legal document, business communication or any other kind of writing – is critically important. 

Why? This article will explain it all. 

What is proofreading and editing? 

To make things simple, proofreading is about fixing basic and essential errors in a written text. It mainly relates to grammar, punctuation and spelling, as well as other superficial elements like inconsistent font size/type, pagination, etc. 

Editing is a far more involved process. You can think of it as a very in-depth and close look at your written text. It not only looks at grammar, punctuation and spelling, but also at: how well structured is your sentence? Are you using the right vocabulary and terminology? Is your language academic enough if it is a thesis or dissertation? Is your language sloppy or powerful and impactful? Are your references written correctly? 

In a nutshell, it is a deep review, correction and improvement of your text.

Fixing the basics

Any paper written in English and is of value and importance should be free of basic mistakes related to the three elements of spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG) – at least. 

Any SPaG errors in your paper will certainly not a leave a good impression about you. This is why proofreading matters. Your proofreader (assuming he/she is qualified and competent enough) will fix typos, instances of mispunctuation, and grammatical errors. They will also point out layout (font, margin, page numbers etc) problems. 

Spotting factual errors 

A qualified editor will have a critical eye for detail, and this is crucial. In editing, among the many things the editor will do, they will be able – because of the intensity and depth of the review – to spot any factual errors or inconsistencies in your text. 

To give some actual examples, we – at the Ultimate Proofreader – flagged up to clients numerous times things like: inconsistent dates for the same event, different spellings for a cited author in the same paper, wrong geographical locations mentioned, figures not adding up, an incorrect number of a list (for instance, referring to six elements and then just mentioning only 5). 

Improving and enhancing

One of the principal tasks of an editor is to make significant improvements and enhancements in the text. 

This improvement takes multiple shapes and forms, some of which are:


-              Restructuring badly written sentence

-              Amending sentences where required

-              Using formal language instead of colloquial one in academic/medical/legal papers

-              Ensuring paragraphs are of appropriate length

-              Ensuring the text flows well and has no gaps or broken links

-              Ensuring coherence and consistency throughout the paper

-              Removing unrequired repetition and redundancy

-              Strengthening the language to fit the purpose for which the text is written (for business, ensuring it is powerful enough to attract clients; for academia, ensuring it is very clear and detailed, etc)

-              Bringing a paper written by a non-native speaker up to a native speaker level

-              Ensuring a translated text makes sense for the target audience/readers  

Peace of mind/safety net 

In some settings, proofreading and editing a paper is 100% necessary. For instance, legal documents or contracts need to be thoroughly checked by a professional editor or proofreader because a single simple error (misplaced comma) can cause massive negative consequences. 

Indeed, some English language mistakes in a business contract can be extremely expensive. 

A medical paper containing safety instructions is another example of a text which needs to be closely checked for language. 

There are several other settings where a written text will need to be professionally proofread or edited. 

It goes without saying that all of the above can only be done by a highly qualified and competent English copy-editor/proofreader. 

Have you written a text and need to have it professionally checked for language? Get in touch with us.  

We – at the Ultimate Proofreader – provide very thorough and in-depth editing and proofreading services. We are available 24/7 every day of the year.