Week 3 Proofreading


For many years your teachers have always told you to proofread your papers. What they really meant was copyedit them. Most people use the two words interchangably, but you'll see that copyedit means correcting the errors before typesetting and proofreading means the final check on the final typeset copy. At that point, any changes are expensive and risk changing the layout.

Proofreading Techniques

Advice for Proofreading a Paper

One Last Look: The Final Quality Control Review

Sample page proof of a journal article. (this is an example, not something you have to read) This is the page proof I was sent to review for a journal article. Notice the overall page layout and how it differs from the final printed page. Think about the impact of any changes. What would happen if I had decided to add a couple of sentences to a paragraph?

Letter of transmittal

Letter of transmittal comments (lecture)

Letters of transmittal examples

Good letters: (ltr 1, ltr 2)
Poor letters: (ltr 3, ltr 4)

Technical Editing as QA

Track changes with Word

Word XP video
Word 2007 video

Editing assignments

Spongiform proofreading

Newsletter proofreading.    Final copy     Dead copy (needs its own page with graphic and clear explantion of dead copy. Some people took dead copy and formatted it to look like the final. Also add a video of VLC operation and Acrobat)

To help put this into perspective: Someone took the dead copy and made it into the newsletter version, which is now ready to go to the printer. You are proofing the newsletter against the dead copy.You'd mark both any copyedit stuff that was missed on the first copyedit and anything that may have been added or deleted as part of laying out the newsletter.

Of course, it's too late to make any substantial changes that will change the overall layout.


Discussion questions


Where does copyediting and proofreading fit into the overal document production cycle?


Many editors like to work "bottom up," or make successive passes through the document starting with spelling and moving to progressively higher elements in the text to criticize. The author of a major editing textbook, Carolyn Rude, says "experienced editors work mostly "top down." In view of the notion of comprehensive editing, which do you think might be better top-down or bottom-up?