A proofreader (sometimes a junior editor acts in this role) is a specialist of a publishing house whose main tasks are a) proofreading of the author’s original for spelling and punctuation errors, violations of the typing rules, as well as errors missed by the editor; b) making corrections to the original with the help of correction marks; c) transfer of the editing to the layout designer; d) checking the corrections made to the typeset sheets; e) proofreading of the original layout, signal copy; f) compiling a list of errata in the publication.
Proofreading is the process of identifying and correcting errors and technical deficiencies in a text. Unlike editing, which aims to improve text in its key aspects (composition, logic, language and style), proofreading focuses on elements of the text that must be unified and formatted in accordance with certain rules.
Proofreading is also called the texts and materials with which the proofreader works (galleys, pages of the original layout, blank sheets). Before starting editing, the proofreader needs to get a general idea of the content and purpose of the publication – they largely determine the design of the elements of the main text (spelling of numbers, the principle of reduction, etc.).
The proofreader first reads the editor’s specification. In the modern editorial and publishing process, this document is drawn up in any form. However, it must indicate
– general information about the manuscript: author, type of publication, reader’s address, volume, those characteristics that will predetermine the principles of unification of the manuscript, editing of its elements;
– quantitative and qualitative data of extra-textual elements: tables, illustrations, formulas, etc., on which the duration of work and the method of editing the text will depend;
– specific elements of the manuscript: accepted terms, units of measurement, list of abbreviations, principles of emphasis, cases of author’s spelling and punctuation.
Then the proofreader gets acquainted with the content of the manuscript, reading it fluently, stopping at those places that determine the nature of proofreading (identifies typing errors, seeks to establish the difficulties of spelling and punctuation: deviations in the spelling of words from the norm, cases of individual placement of punctuation marks, etc.) , noting those elements that are repeated and, therefore, require unification. The proofreader uses the method of introductory reading, in which the general meaning of the work is captured, individual passages of the text are studied.
If the manuscript of a serial publication has been submitted for proofreading, the proofreader studies the specification of the manuscript for this series, or looks through the previous editions of the series and draws up his own specification for proofreading.
In control reading of proofreading without the original, the technique of fixed reading is used, the rate of which slows down. The control reading of the page layout implies a careful examination of all the elements of the publication, from the annotation, the title page and its circulation to bibliographic lists, comments, indexes, etc. The control reading ends with a vertical review of the proofs.
The author and editor read their proofs. The proofreader brings their revisions into a working copy, which is signed by the proofreader, the editor and sent to the layout designer for making corrections.
The final job of the proofreader at the production stage is to read the signal instance. The publisher receives this copy from the printing house to check the quality of the printing performance. Upon publisher’s approval, the printing house begins printing.
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