It has recently been noticed by the author that even in some of the UK’s highest quality media and new organisations there has appeared errors in terms of grammar, tense, sentence structure and the structure of the content, which is a shame as this spoils the presentation and value of the information being provided for their target audience.
There are, of course, many grammatical and structural errors that we have noticed during out professional proofreading work, which are too numerous to go into detail about in this post. However, in addition to spelling mistakes, which in the main are relatively easy to note and correct, in our experience the following four appear to occur quite frequently, and are therefore worthy of discussion:
- Missing (linking) word – A linking word is one that is used to connect two phrases or sequences and contrasts within a sentence, for example words such as ‘and’, ‘so’, and ‘but’, yet often we have found these words to be missing in a sentence.
- Past and present tense – Mixing the past and present tense can alter the meaning of the text and sentence. For example, if one says “the current guideline was“, this is different to saying “the current guideline is“, as the former relates to the past and suggests the condition has changed, whereas the latter is a statement of current fact.
- Plural and singular – We have found that often our clients have confused the tense in their work. A rule of thumb in recognising the difference between the two formats is to identify whether the object(s), event(s) or person(s) referred to previously in the sentence itself reflects a plural or singular approach. For example, if one uses the word object (without an ‘s’), the appropriate singular word ‘is‘ would apply, whereas if the word is objects (with an ‘s’), the plural ‘are‘ should be used.
- Use of ‘who’ or ‘that’ when referring to people. In this case, while both words are reflective pronouns, the word ‘that‘ should not be applied when referring to a person or group of persons. Similarly, when referring to objects, the word ‘who‘ would not be generally acceptable.
In our view a second, and equally important aspect of any content, irrespective of its intent and usage, is the presentation. One has to remember that on viewing your content or text, the first impression visual impression given to the reader will be the way it is presented.
For example, text that is not broken down into appropriate paragraphs, of that does not have subtitles to act as a signpost for the reader, is likely to result in the reader(s) leaving your work/site within seconds. Similarly, images that are randomly placed within your content, and without any connection to the text adjacent to where they are placed, can be disconcerting and confusing for the reader. If you are going to add images, you need to make sure they are relevant to the content to achieve the most positive response.
How Re&d can help
We recognise that it is often difficult to effectively proofread and edit your own work, not least because we all have a tendency to miss the mistakes we may have made, simply because we have constructed and written the words. Therefore, a fresh pair of eyes can help to improve the quality of the final product, whether this is related to research studies, website content or other formal and professional documents. Our services provides you with this important second set of eyes.
We approach the proofreading and editing from the viewpoint of improving the flow, clarity and quality of your work. It is an area of our work that our experts have been involved in for well over a decade. During that time, we have provided these services for a range of consumer groups, which includes major corporations, government and NGO organisations, website and blog owners, students and other individuals. Our work in this area has been consistently rated as five-star in terms of quality by our customers.
Learn more about our work
To learn more about the proofreading, editing and presentation services we provide simply email us at email@example.com or complete the following form to let us know your requirements