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Your Writing Checked
in Six Critical Areas

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Kristi Hein

Your Writing Is Checked
in Six Critical Areas

With over two decades of experience as a trusted proofreader, I thoroughly check your writing for correct and consistent

   ·  grammar
   ·  spelling
   ·  punctuation
   ·  style
   ·  typography
   ·  formatting

Grammar - I correct all grammatical errors in your writing, according to established usage. I also identify editorial concerns normally addressed by a copyeditor, such as awkward, confusing, or redundant wording. If you choose, I will suggest or make improvements.

Strict rules don't always apply to advertising and other promotional copywriting. When proofreading these, I query possible errors for your decision.

Spelling - I'm a natural-born speller, but when I need verification I use the standard references: Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and Webster's Third New International Dictionary. I confirm with you the correct spelling of unusual or inconsistently spelled proper names.

Spell checkers are useful tools, but they give writers a false sense of security. Spell checkers miss correctly spelled words that are incorrectly used. For example, they fail to distinguish between

      affect and effect
      their and there
      vein and vain
      lightning and lightening

. . . the list goes on and on. It still takes a human to spot these, and correct them!

When words are hyphenated at the end of lines, I make sure word divisions are correct. Should project be hyphenated proj-ect or pro-ject? Answer: It depends on whether project is used as a noun or a verb. Like spell-checking, computerized hyphenation is not foolproof.

Punctuation - I fix all errors. For example, in each of the following pairs, the first sentence is wrong and the second is right.

      Its never going to stop raining.
      It's never going to stop raining.

      How could this have happened.
      How could this have happened?

      I will describe this later (see p. 12.)
      I will describe this later (see p. 12).

Style - Should you use e-mail or email, on-line or online, non-profit or nonprofit? Answer: It's your choice! Either in each pair is acceptable, but not both in the same document. Consistency is crucial. Again, the spell checker fails the test.

Consistent style is the hallmark of polished, professional writing. I ensure this by developing a style sheet for your writing as I proofread. A style sheet establishes standards for consistent use of terms and elements. It can be as simple as a short list of terms. Style sheets are often developed during editing (prior to proofreading). I will add to an existing style sheet, if you have one.

Elements defined in a style sheet may include

   ·  abbreviation
   ·  capitalization
   ·  emphasis
   ·  figures
   ·  headers and footers
   ·  headings
   ·  lists
   ·  numbers and dates
   ·  tables

My standard style reference is the Chicago Manual of Style. I use other references, such as the Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publications, as required.

Typography - I check for consistent use of fonts, point sizes, line spacing, and kerning (spacing between characters).

Formatting - I make a separate pass to check for the correct numbering of pages, sections, titles, and figures. I make another pass to check consistency of recurring design elements such as:

   ·  headers and footers
   ·  margins
   ·  rules
   ·  titles and captions

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