Fact checking in proofreading

 

Our proofreading course will equip you with the editorial skills you need to become a qualified proofreader and copy editor. This online course will show you how to correct printed documents and webpages, and make them readable and legally compliant.

What types of factual errors is a copy editor looking for? It depends on the type of job, but these are some to look out for:

Names

These might either be spelled incorrectly or be the wrong name altogether.

Dates

  1. The wrong year.
  2. The wrong day, eg Monday 6 April, but should be: Tuesday 6 April.
  3. The wrong date altogether, eg Monday 25 December but should be Monday 25 September.
  4. Wrong calculations regarding days, eg He was born in 1900 and died in 1986, aged 90, or The festival lasts three days, from Sunday to Thursday.
  5. Wrong descriptions about days, eg tomorrow (Tuesday) but should be tomorrow (Wednesday).

Numbers

  1. Expressed in the wrong house style, eg: ten rather than 10.
  2. Incorrectly added up, eg There were five in all: three on Tuesday, two on Friday and two on Monday.
  3. Incorrect analysis, eg 58% of cat owners agreed, which is almost three quarters …

Email addresses

  1. Always click them if they are available on-screen to make sure the hyperlinks work.
  2. The wrong domain, eg .org.uk but should be .ac.uk
  3. Badly presented, eg having a full stop at the end of it, like this: [email protected]

This is because people who use webmail might paste the full stop into their browser by mistake, causing the link to not work.

Titles

  1. Ms rather than Miss or Mrs. Always check. Some women would be offended if you called them Ms because you could not be bothered to find out they were Mrs.
  2. The wrong style for clergy, nobility, royalty, etc.

Addresses and postcodes

Always check them.

Phone numbers

These may need to include both national and international dialling codes.

Wrong facts

These could be anything and everything!

See our proofreading course