How we proofread your paper

Proofreading and editing is a process that involves identifying and correcting English language errors in text – whether it is a book draft, a dissertation, an essay, a CV, a cover letter, website content or any other form of writing.

Before explaining this seemingly smooth process, let's explain first what an ideal proofreader or editor – who does the actual proofreading of the text – should be like.

Who can edit?

The ideal English copy-editor or proofreader should be a language expert who is very versed in the English language in terms of usage, rules and nuances. They should have a critical lens and a keen eye for detail and be able to identify the subtle differences between words and expressions and the shades of meaning in the text. 
The ideal proofreader should possess a full and complete grasp of the variation in the text context, because a word acceptable in a news report might not be suitable for usage in a formal academic context.
The ideal proofreader or editor should also be very culturally aware, because a text translated from a foreign language into English (let's say from Persian, Arabic, Amharic, etc.) might include references and meanings that would need to be protected from any distortion when the text is proofread or edited.
It is the editor's job to correct the written copy to ensure it is intelligible for its intended audience. 

How proofreading or editing is done

1) The copy-editor or proofreader first skims through the text to familiarise themselves with the content of the paper and to assess the author's standard of English.
2) The proofreader then starts to read the text word by word and sentence by sentence to identify and correct any errors they find. But this process can be done in two different ways, depending on the personal preferences of the editor or proofreader. Some copy-editors prefer to print out the text that needs to be edited or proofread and go through it carefully using a marker pen to mark the mistakes and errors in the copy and write corrections and suggestions. They then go to their computers and introduce those corrections to the soft copy. However, other editors and proofreaders – and those are the overwhelming majority nowadays – prefer to do the proofreading and editing directly in the copy on their computers without printing out. 
3) Once the editor or proofreader has finished the first correction of the draft or text, they then put the proofread version aside for a brief period of time. This is a very important step because it allows the eye to refresh and rest. 
4) The editor or proofreader then conducts what is called a second reading of the text, which has already been proofread and copy-edited, for a final, close look to ensure that no mistakes or errors had slipped their net.
Note: While doing the actual proofread or edit, the proofreader or editor turns on the track-changes function in Microsoft word in order to provide a track-changed edited copy so that the author of the text can see what the editor or proofreader has changed, corrected and amended.
5) Once the second reading has been completed, the proofreader/editor saves their work to ensure all the changes have been implemented. Two copies - a clean proofread and copy-edited version and a track-changed version - are then delivered to the author.

The Ultimate Proofreader is a leading UK-based academic proofreading services provider & dissertation proofreading services UK.