Proofreading is akin to performing a surgery of sorts. Right?
The proofreader must carefully follow the words on the page–surgically removing misplaced commas, deleting extra spaces, and correcting misspellings–to ensure the final copy is ‘healthy’ enough for publication. Just like a surgeon removing a tumor.
As an entry-level proofreader, doing all this, and doing it perfectly can seem overwhelming.
But you need not be filled with dread as you begin proofreading an 1800-word article. Not even as you apply for your first proofreading job.
Here are four self-paced online courses that will develop your grammar, punctuation, and other proofreading skills to land you the entry-level proofreading job you are looking for.
1: Proofreading Course: Eliminate All Errors in Writing Today!
If you lack basic proofreading skills, it will show in your applications for entry-level proofreading positions, and then no client will hire you.
This self-paced proofreading course highlights key areas in proofreading, like common misspellings, checking a document for missing words, and when you should and shouldn’t capitalize.
The lessons therein will help you produce your work at its best, something that readers and employers will appreciate.
In addition to teaching you common spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors, this course includes these unique offerings:
- A lesson on various proofreading symbols and their meanings
- A lecture on the best proofreading tactics to eliminate all errors
- Learn software to use to speed up the proofreading process
- Craft a proofreading resume
You can increase your chances of getting hired by increasing confidence in your abilities, creating a professional resume, and learning how to answer the most frequently asked proofreader interview questions well.
Another thing you will appreciate about this course is the emphasis on getting better at proofreading over time.
You’ll find that you can relate easily to the instructor too, as his lesson delivery has a ‘human face.’ For instance, he admits that even great proofreaders like him make mistakes.
He also stresses following wellness habits like getting adequate rest and avoiding distractions while working to produce the best work.
2: An Introduction to Proofreading
This free CPD (Continuing Professional Development)-certified course on Alison follows a unique approach to teaching proofreading.
While other courses begin by defining proofreading and include grammar lessons, this one outlines the consequences of lousy proofreading and steers away from teaching English.
From escaped convicts evading law enforcement for years, thanks to misspelled names, to businesses losing millions in revenue due to missing price numbers, these real-life examples will get you invested in proofreading well even more.
Additionally, the introduction includes a proofreading self-awareness exercise. You are provided with a PDF document that you’ll need to print and circle proofreading failures that you spot.
This exercise will disclose what proofreading errors you are likely to miss more than others, and you can always double-check those once you start working.
Some interesting proofreading methods you’ll learn include:
- Increasing the font size of documents to make it easier to spot punctuation mistakes
- Using the computer cursor to point at words as you read them out loud
- Using the buddy system or comparison proofreading
You will develop an eye for detail by learning to look carefully and slowly at texts instead of reading them.
Proofreading is not reading, as this course instructor says. Reading happens at a faster speed, while you achieve better outcomes when you proofread slowly.
You will also understand why and how to schedule enough time for proofreading, along with other best proofreading practices, to ensure your competence shows to potential employers.
Furthermore, you have the option to pay for a certificate at the end of the course, which you can attach to your applications for entry-level proofreading jobs.
Enroll today and learn from an editor and writing coach with over 40 years of experience. You can follow the lessons at your own pace.
3: Proofreading Business Writing (Many Exercises)
If you have planned to niche down to blogging or other kinds of business writing, this course is a great point to begin. It includes about 5 hours of video lessons and 54 downloadable resources, which you can access at your convenience.
There are grammar lessons on sentence clauses, the use of adverbs, and punctuation marks. If you intend to learn even more in these areas, check out this proofreading lesson. It includes proofreading checklists you can borrow.
The course includes lessons on where to place commas, semi-colons, colons, and other punctuation marks to add clarity and precision to your writing, thereby enhancing its power and quality.
You can be confident when applying for proofreading jobs because your punctuation skills produce sleek, professional work that is a joy to read.
You will also learn how to correct errors that bring about a change of tone, a literary device that can help convey your message or alienate readers if not carefully considered.
Other key areas discussed include:
- Visual presentation: the best fonts for business writing
- Software tools to help you proofread
- Fixing common word-choice errors
Another reason you should purchase the Proofreading Business Writing course is it contains an in-depth lesson on using ChatGPT to edit and proofread writings.
ChatGPT is all the rage right now on improving productivity.
But do you also know these simple ways it can help you proofread?
- Checking and adjusting punctuation errors in your writing
- Conducting grammar checks and fixing word choices
- Checking the tone: You provide a specific prompt, and ChatGPT will adjust the tone to meet the needs of your audience
With ChatGPT, you can catch proofreading errors faster, and this course shows you how.
4: Proofreading 101
The Proofreading 101 course by Edit Republic is an email series lasting five days. Students receive one lesson a day via email.
It is an introductory course and, as such, will only provide a preview into the world of a professional proofreader.
In addition to learning the responsibilities of a proofreader, this course will teach you how to market your proofreading skills, find clients, and other issues pertaining to building a successful proofreading career.
This course’s lesson on the business end of being a proofreader sets it apart from others that focus on your skills alone.
See this student review:
So while you won’t be awarded a certificate after this course, you will obtain something more valuable to distinguish yourself as a professional proofreader.
Beginning a Proofreading Career Is Simple
Right off the bat, I want to clarify that simple does not mean easy.
However, the beginner courses discussed here make it simple for you to learn.
They address your questions on what proofreaders do and why, and equip you with the essential proofreading skills required to land proofreading jobs.
You can combine these lessons with article guides from Small Revolution to kickstart your freelance proofreading career. The proofreader archives blog section has an array of articles on proofreading.
You can discover more proofreading tools, prepare for a proofreading interview, or learn about remote proofreading career opportunities.
Moreover, you can find editing and quality checker jobs from Small Revolution’s parent company, CopySmiths. Find out which positions are open from their Careers page.
Your journey to get an entry-level proofreading job is guaranteed once you take these courses:
- Proofreading Course: Eliminate All Errors in Writing Today!
- An Introduction to Proofreading
- Proofreading Business Writing (Many Exercises)
- Proofreading 101
Move from being unsure and confused about your proofreading skills to producing professional, quality, error-free content.
Employers will seek you out again and again, and your earnings will reflect this.
Some frequently asked questions are covered in the following section.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I look for when buying a proofreading course?
You are just beginning your proofreading career.
You should check that the course you take:
- Covers essential proofreading skills for beginners, such as spelling, grammar, writing, and creative thinking
- Has a qualified and experienced instructor
- Provides a certificate of completion
- Has positive reviews from learners overall
Where can I find entry-level proofreading jobs?
Small Revolution has written a great article on where to find online proofreading jobs for beginners.
In a nutshell, check these sites for entry-level proofreading jobs: