Our proofreading course will equip you with the editorial skills you need to become a qualified proofreader and copy editor. This online proofreading course will show you how to correct printed documents and webpages, and make them readable and legally compliant.
But what do you do when you have finished the course?
Now, as with any new skill, you need to get as much practice as you can to build up your speed.
Learning to work quickly
Proofreaders and editors sometimes have to work against very tight deadlines. It’s part of the job description, and clients expect a consistently high standard of accuracy.
But, there are ways of making sure the quality of your work remains high.
You cannot expect to work well under pressure without practice. So, here are some aspects to work on:
- Make sure you practise proofreading and editing until you can work at the industry speeds, ie:
Complex: 800 words per hour.
Simple: 1,600 words per hour.
Complex: 2,000 words per hour.
Simple: 4,000 words per hour.
- Pay attention to your personal weaknesses. Identify the things you miss, work out why you miss them and practise until you correct them. The same applies to areas at which you work slowly.
- Create working procedures and practise them so you can use them reliably under pressure.
- Hold practice sessions. Set yourself proofreading, and editing tasks with tight deadlines. Self-assess each one: What went well? What went badly? What did you miss? Examine how you reacted: Did panic take over? Did you rush things? Find solutions to correct weaknesses like this.
- Have your tools (dictionary, style guide, pens, etc) nearby. Check that pens and other equipment work.
Some techniques to boost your speed
- Find a quiet place to work, and make sure you won’t be interrupted. Turn off all phones and other distractions, put a “Do not disturb” sign on the door or near your desk, and instruct people not to speak to you.
- First, recollect work you have done for this client before. What were the main problems and weaknesses? These are the things to focus on.
- Then, use a spellcheck. Most browsers have them for webpages, too.
- Use a style editing tool like PerfectIt. This is essential when you are up against a deadline. It will save you lots of time.
- Use verb analyser like Aztekera: http://www.aztekera.com/tools/tobeverbs.php to find instances of the passive voice.
- Check your apostrophes. You can find them with the “Ctrl + F” search feature.
- Read the copy aloud or use a text-to-speech converter. This will help you find awkward sentences and grammar errors.
See our proofreading course