Learn how to evaluate proofreader courses
If the title of this article irritates you, you might consider a career as a proofreader. Proofreading is a specialized aspect of editing that requires you to correct spelling and grammatical errors without rewriting large pieces of the text. A proofreader is not a critic or an editor and should not overstep the boundaries of the job. However, a proofreader is not someone with reading abilities who just walked in off the street. You need a solid grounding in the skill, so you need to investigate proofreader courses.
Where to look
Fortunately, the World Wide Web has brought us online proofreader courses, and you no longer have to apply to a university to get industry-standard training. The reach of the web gives you the option of taking courses provided in many different English-speaking countries. If you are multilingual, you could even look for proofreader courses in other languages. To find a suitable course, your first stop should be your favorite search engine.
What to look for
If you are interested in proofreading, make sure you narrow your search to courses that have “proofreading” in the title. This may seem like a piece of useless advice, but it’s actually incredibly important because of the sometimes-unclear boundary between proofreading and editing. The skill of proofreading is an essential part of any editing job, so many editing courses include proofreading but don’t specialize in it. Resolve to consider just proofreader courses.
Live or offline
Your particular circumstances will dictate whether you focus on proofreader courses that enable you to learn at your own pace or those proofreader courses that are conducted as webinars with live interaction with the tutor. Keep your budget in mind when making this selection. One-on-one tuition can prove expensive, even if it is conducted over the Internet. Your schedule will also dictate whether you can log in at specified times to participate in discussions or whether you would be better off taking a pre-written course.
Supported or unsupported
Proofreader courses that are made up of pages of text to read are much cheaper than those with interactive video. However, don’t go too cheap. If you get into difficulties with some of the course notes, you will have wasted your money. The course should at least include support from a contact at the school. You may not need interactive support, but an email exchange to enable you to clear up any points of confusion is well worth the extra fee. A named contact is easier to deal with than an anonymous help desk. Make sure the course you choose is supported by experienced tutors who speak English as their native language.
Only consider proofreader courses offered by experienced editing and proofreading services. You may find courses offered by general training companies. Consider it a warning sign if you find proofreader courses listed among tutorials on a wide range of other subjects. For an example of what to look for, check out the proofreader courses at ProofreadingCamp. This online training specializes in proofreading and is offered by Scribendi.com, an award-winning editing and proofreading service that has been in business for 15 years. Make sure you’re learning your craft from an authority on the subject.
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