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The job of essay proofreader: highs and lows

Proofreading is a demanding process of evaluating the final draft of a document or text in order to identify and correct mistakes regarding spelling, grammar, sentence structure, and other factors. The process is a part of a natural sequence of events after the writing part is finished. While proofreading is necessary, doing it yourself can be quite stressful particularly because there are always some mistakes we miss out on. How can I edit my paper then? Now, you’re probably asking yourself that question. Proofreaders are persons whose job is to proofread and edit the written content. If you’ve ever wanted to become a proofreader or wanted to know what it is all about, this post is for you. Let’s see all the advantages and disadvantages of being an essay proofreader. 

Highs of being a proofreader

Let’s start with all the amazing advantages of becoming an essay proofreader. You’ll find them listed below. 

You can do it anywhere

Proofreader doesn’t need an office to go to every morning. You can do this type of a job just about anywhere: in a bedroom, on a balcony, in a coffee shop while waiting for your friend, you can even do it when you’re away from home. For proofreaders, the entire world is an office. Bear in mind that great internet connection is necessary because we usually proofread online. 

You can work anytime

You’re not a morning person and the peak of your productivity is in afternoon? Or maybe you prefer working during the night? Just like proofreaders don’t need an office to do their job, they also don’t have specific working hours. When you work as a proofreader, you can choose your own hours and make sure most of your proofreading is done during the time of the day when you’re most productive. 
Of course, there are always some deadlines to meet, but your client really doesn’t care if you worked in mornings or afternoons as long as you get the job done within the scheduled timeframe. 
Even though you can work anytime, it’s useful to determine your own working hours and stick to them as closely as possible. That way, you will avoid procrastinating. In cases when you don’t work from 9 to 5 and have the opportunity to work when it suits you, it’s easy to procrastinate thinking you’ll get things done. Don’t fall into that trap!

You have the option to specialize 

One of the most common misconceptions about proofreading is that there is no consistency, you have to proofread just about anything your client or boss sends. The reality is much different. As a proofreader, you can specialize and decide what type of work you want to proofread. For example, you can proofread essays only or decide to work with some other form of content. It is important to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses prior to deciding the type of content you want to proofread from now on. Proofreading in a specialized field will help you stand out from the crowd and find a specific type of content. 

Going global

A major benefit of being a proofreader is that you don’t have to limit yourself to local clients. You can work for people from different cities, states, countries, you name it. Since most of the work is done online, it’s easy to become a member of different websites and establish collaborations with people from all around the world. This is a great way to connect with people from different cultures, get to know them and get more experience at the same time. While they can easily use some online essay editor, they still appreciate the importance of proofreaders to ensure their content is error-free. 

Learning

The chances are high you won’t proofread the same essay twice. Here, the word same refers to identical from top to bottom. When proofreading, you have to read carefully and strive to understand the text. Basically, this is how you learn. Every essay you proofread is yet another opportunity for you to learn, improve your knowledge, and improve. This is important for career success. You only improve when you learn. 

Lows of being a proofreader 

While being a proofreader has a number of advantages, it comes with certain lows as well. Here are some of them. 

Unpredictability 

Don’t get me wrong, unpredictability isn’t always a good thing, but in some cases, it can be a disadvantage. Although you can determine your own working hours, sometimes the assignments are so demanding you end up working longer than you thought. You have to meet the deadline but many factors make the proofreading process significantly longer. However, you don’t want to be the type of person who misses deadlines and in the end, you’re beyond exhausted. The unpredictability regarding the time spent on each project can be quite frustrating for some people. That being said, it’s all about creating a routine that supports your productivity and boosts motivation. 

Feast or famine

The feast or famine expression means that sometimes you have a lot of work and sometimes not so much, especially if you’re working as a freelance proofreader. It all comes down to the type of projects with your clients. Sometimes proofreaders have long-term contracts with different clients and companies while in other instances they work on one-time assignments where they are required to proofread one essay (or some other content) and that’s it. As a proofreader, you have to build great relationships with your clients and constantly improve yourself in order to attract more people and proofread for them as well. 

Different clients, different demands 

When you’re a paper proofreader, you don’t proofread for one person only, you do it for a whole bunch of them. Sure, it’s always nice to work with different people and learn more about a human nature, different cultures, but at the same time, every person has his/her demands. Not only you have to proofread some essay and correct mistakes, you also have to ensure the final version fits perfectly into the client’s vision. Since all people are different and they have different ideas, it can be a huge challenge to keep up with all these requirements on a daily basis. 

The client wants more than an error-free essay; he or she also wants the paper to be an ideal reflection of them, their thoughts, emotions, and arguments. Of course, you can turn this disadvantage into something positive by striving to be more open-minded and focus on a task at hand. Don’t compare one client to another or their essays, just pay attention to that one paper you’re about to proofread and it will be easier for you to go through it. 

How to become a professional proofreader?

Now that you know all the benefits and disadvantages of working as an essay proofreader, it’s time to address a question that usually follows this type of discussion – how to become a professional proofreader? If you want to be a professional proofreader, there are some things to bear in mind first. For example: 

  • Proofreading is incredibly competitive meaning there are hundreds of other people looking for the same job. No, this isn’t the time for you to give up! You just have to bring your A-game to every essay you proofread. Hard work and dedication are your tickets to career success in this industry
  • Landing a full-time job as a proofreader can be difficult, but there is always an option to work as a freelancer. In fact, working as a freelance proofreader brings a wide array of advantages 
  • In order to get more jobs, you have to stand out from the crowd. To achieve this, you need experience, skills, and qualifications. The more you work the more experience you gain. Also, more work also helps develop your skills, etc. 
  • Proofreading marketing isn’t shrinking, it’s changing to adapt to the latest standards and demands

In order to become a professional paper proofreader, you should:

  • Get educated about the business and marketing. This will help you learn about proofreading and all the trends associated with it, but you’ll also know how to promote your services and get more clients
  • Sign up for different courses to get more certificates and qualifications 
  • Read books and pay attention to sentence structure, grammar, spelling
  • Try online essay checkers and other tools that help you keep up with the technology. These tools aren’t your enemies, they are trusted allies that you should use to your advantage
  • Be confident in your work. Clients don’t really trust proofreaders who aren’t confident in the way they fixed their essays
  • Connect with other proofreaders and talk about your experiences, learn from one another
  • Find some texts online and proofread them, it’s all about practice, practice, practice 

Conclusion

Working as an essay proofreader is an incredibly rewarding job, but besides numerous advantages, it also comes with different disadvantages as well. However, if this job is something you’re passionate about, it’s possible to turn negatives into positives. At the end of the day, it’s all about your approach. Remember one thing, just because you are (or want to be) a proofreader, it doesn’t mean you should strictly avoid the popular tools and online essay editors that are available today. Embrace them and see how they can help you.