Proofreading & Copy-editing
I've always had a critiquing eye for catching errors in copy, and have slapped my forehead at cringe-worthy typos and sloppy formatting that occurs in even the most professional material.
Ironically, I've even volunteered my editorial services for several colleges when
given poorly-formatted and typo-ridden course material that I was taking with them.
Professional credibility can take a hit with copy errors, and in-depth content of any kind deserves the investment of an editorial review!
Imperfections that jump off the page for me include:
Common grammar mistakes, sloppy formatting, awkward syntax and confusing sentence structure, extra spaces, bullet-list inconsistencies, improper use of commas vs. semi colons, inconsistencies in first, second and third person, spelling mistakes, run-on sentences, repeated information, and overall difficult readability.
Not sure if you need proofreading or copy-editing help? Here's the difference between the two:
Copy-editing happens before the final proofreading and review stage. This is where clean-up occurs with first or second-draft copy to ensure proper syntax and healthy sentence structure, consistent layout, correct spelling, grammar and punctuation, and to provide a review of the overall message and information being presented. This is where content can be down-sized and tightened up, and structured in a digestible format, appropriate to the publication and audience.
Proofreading is a final review with fresh eyes when a document or digital product is at the last stage, for catching errors in spacing, layout, page numbers, consistencies and accuracy in contact info, names, typos, etc. The major structural editing is complete and one last sweep is a wise investment to catch embarrassing, forehead-slapping mistakes that somehow were never caught, or were created in the editing process. (It happens!)