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    Proofreading Incomplete Client Documents

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    We discuss the ups and downs of the common scenario of having to proofread customer documents that aren't quite ready or in their final stages where proofreading is most warranted. This often results in situations where the work either has to be returned, or the customer has to be warned that more proofreading will be required again once the rougher parts of the original document are refined further.

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    Many freelance editors get their share of proofreading projects where the submitted draft lacks the polish of a final draft that is ready for its final amendments. Of course, this isn't practical as proofreading itself should be treated as the very last stage of editing any document since it is meant to deal with the minor and discrete errors found within the writing process as opposed to larger chunks of the text that may require re-writing. Substantial editing of a draft after its initial proofing will naturally result in more work down the road as new edits and re-writes of entire sections of the document will require further proofreading.

    This is why general editing and copy-editing are more essential to the earlier drafts with leaving just the minor and discrete details for the final clean up by way of proofreading. After all, spending the time and effort ...

    Solution Summary

    Proofreading - as part of the editing process - should generally be reserved for the last phase of a document when all of the other substantial editing and refine of the content has been completed, as this is where the finer and more discrete issues with punctuation and details can then be smoothed over in order to make the document ready for submission or formal presentation. Unfortunately, all too often, proofreaders have to end up dealing with documents that are far from ready and this can require either sending the documents back to the customer/author, or, alternatively, having to proofread the same document twice as the rough parts would need updating. This is where some mutually agreeable strategies can come in handy.