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Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Upskilling with Advanced Proofreading

An experienced proofreader shares her experience of PTC’s one-day Advanced Proofreading course.

I was looking to gain 3 things from the PTC’s Advanced Proofreading course:

  1. guidance on what to change and what to leave alone, and help with explaining the difference between proofreading and copy-editing to non-publishing professionals;
  2. strategies for checking and cross-checking, especially lengthy (and occasionally tedious!) text; and
  3. advice on how to balance the needs of the material with the (often extremely tight) schedule.

This comprehensive course ticked all three of these boxes for me, and many more. We examined the role of the proofreader before moving on to what to look for in a proof.  We worked on identifying and solving design and typographic issues and looked at copy-fitting.  We considered the best order in which to work and the process of checking and cross-checking a document. Each topic involved discussion and exercises, followed by further discussion; and Rosemary (the course tutor) provided us with useful detailed handouts for future reference.  Rosemary’s matrix for deciding whether or not to make a change is invaluable.

As well as learning a great deal from Rosemary, I also learnt a lot from the others on this course. Working for a non-publisher means that I tend to feel somewhat removed from the world of publishing and this course was a great opportunity to talk to others in the industry and reassure myself that what I’m doing is not too wide of the mark!

Finally, as with all of the PTC courses I’ve attended, the catering was excellent!  I hopped on the train back to Exeter with a much clearer picture of how the role of a proofreader relates to the wider publishing process; a whole host of new tricks up my sleeve; a revived enthusiasm for my job; and a full stomach!

Claire Langford, Proofreader

Claire participated in Advanced Proofreading on May 15, 2018

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