How to Keep Your Proofreading Projects Coming

Paid to Proofread Staff
3 min readAug 5, 2020


By Honing Your Skills

Practice makes perfect. The most common phrase to linger from generation to generation. But of course, practice isn’t the only thing you’ll need to become a great proofreader. As you continue to receive more projects, your skills and confidence in the industry will excel. Yet there are always some areas to improve in as you move forward.


The attitude you gear towards your projects can be the determining factor on how fast you work through your project. Try to develop a liking towards the project before you even start it. Nurture your point of view towards the project and it will be ten times easier to complete it on time if not earlier. Read the first thirty pages slowly. Get to know your manuscript and find something you like about it then take hold of that aspect and ride with it.

Paying Close Attention

Paying close attention to detail when reading a manuscript can bring a cloud of bliss every time you go to proofread it. You will immediately know exactly what type of errors to look for in the rest of the manuscript once you diligently proofread the first thirty pages. The types of errors you encounter at the beginning will most likely be the sort of errors you correct throughout. Keeping a list on the side or a sticky note highlighting all of the common mistakes you see at the beginning can be your guide for the rest.

Reading Between the Lines

You can jump into the writer’s head by reading between the lines. More information will be shown to you once you understand the writer’s tone, point of view, character, and energy. Understand what the writer is trying to invoke in its audience and you will make your job easier.

Since writers are often bad at projecting their thoughts using language, it is up to the editorial staff to deal with the mechanics. Just because the writer wrote the manuscript itself does not mean that s/he is always in the right. Since the opposite is usually true, you’ll always be employed.

Things to Avoid

There are author and editor notes/changes for a reason. Although it is your job to correct everything you deem as faulty, it is important to never change the author’s and editor’s inputs. Never change the dialogue as well nor the design of the manuscript. If something seems odd, flag it and leave it for your phone call with the editor.


Everyone has there opinions about every subject you could ever think of. Some you may agree with and others you may be morally against. Whatever it is the subject, it is crucial to separate your own opinions and morals from the writer’s manuscript. Since the writer doesn’t know you, you can be certain that the writer does not want your opinion. No matter how helpful it may be nor how badly you want to interject.

Although it is highly advised to not give your opinion, it is highly advised to querying the editor on a Post-It note of some sort if you are deeply and morally offended by something written in the manuscript. Do not complain, but rather, make a polite suggestion or request to have it reviewed and potentially taken out. Trust your judgment and do the right thing, but in a friendly and communicative way. Respect is key. In whatever job you do.

By Karla M. Cortes



Paid to Proofread Staff

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