July 9, 2021

A proofreader works on behalf of publishing houses and literary agencies and his job is to correct any errors in a text. Let’s try to find out more about this profession.

For one thing, the proofreader is a great lover of books and literature. This passion makes it easier for him to carry out his professional activity which, as we have said, consists in correcting any errors and repetitions present in a text.
Passing the text in front of the proofreader is essential before a book goes to print. However, he intervenes on any “text”, which can also be a brochure, a poster, or the writing to be inserted on a website.

How to become a proofreader

It goes without saying that the quality of work suffers greatly from the lack of professionalism of those who are preparing to do it without competence and expertise.
However, it must be admitted that the job as a proofreader is not yet considered as a completely autonomous and recognized profession.
But what are the requisites that must possess those who intend to carry out this activity? Perfect knowledge of the Italian language is fundamental, especially grammar. Furthermore, it is necessary to have a very keen sight and trained to carry out research within the texts, together with a great spirit of observation.

The ideal is to work as a proofreader within a publishing house, in order to receive a better (even economic) treatment. Being a free-lance proofreader will never ensure you an adequate income. A valid alternative to publishing houses are publishing agencies, which deal with publishing services. However, you can find sites to work as a rather serious proofreader.

The qualification required to become a proofreader is a high school diploma, but obviously a humanities degree is a preferential requirement.

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The tools of the trade of the proofreader

The proofreader uses a number of tools to carry out his proofreading activity.

  • ruler: this should be placed under the text you are correcting, and it is scrolled as you go through the correction, so you are sure not to skip any text.
  • red pen: used by the proofreader because the red ink is more visible, and therefore corrections are immediately noticeable. It is recommended that the pen has a thin tip!
  • “original” text: the one not yet transcribed on the computer and transformed into a draft, is an important reference and should always be consulted when we have any doubts.
  • magnifying glass: it serves to have a clearer image of some details that could escape: commas, accents, points, etc. It also happens that sometimes the body of the text is so small as to force us to resort to “help”.

Courses to learn the profession of the corrector

If you are not lucky enough to learn the profession “in the field”, ie at publishing houses and publishing agencies, you must not be discouraged. You can always attend a professional course that helps you to get to know this profession and through which you can be introduced to the publishing field. And if you don’t have much time available (for work or study reasons), then you can find your way around some on-line courses, to be carried out comfortably at home in your free moments.

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