Proofreading is important because mistakes in written work can lead to misunderstandings, changes in meaning or intent and can cost companies money, according to the National Association of Legal Professionals. Sloppy copy also reduces quality of work and decreases the reputation of the company or person that made the errors.
Proofreading academic papers reduces mistakes and can help students get better grades. Thesis papers can be turned down due to many errors over the course of dozens of pages. Mistakes in grammar and spelling distract professors from a well-worded paper. The content of the piece may be fantastic, but errors create disarray in the minds of those grading a paper, according to the University of North Carolina.
When companies translate and transcribe copy, proofreading reduces misunderstandings. Meaning is very important when translating documents and audio files, especially in a global economy. FlatWorld Solutions states that medical transcription utilizes proofreading services to ensure that patients are properly cared for in a timely manner.
A federal court in Philadelphia reduced a lawyer's fee because he showed "disrespect for the court" with many typos in a brief. Law firms lose clients when typos are present in legal documents. A company's entire reputation within an industry can change because of a lack of proofreading.
Elements of proofreading include grammar, punctuation, spelling, formatting, visual consistency and structure. Proofreading is the last step with regards to editing or revising a written document before its final version is released.