Proofreading Practice: Exercises with model answers and commentary (2nd edition)
Who is this book for?
  • novice proofreaders who have completed basic training and want further practice in putting their new-found knowledge and skills to use
  • proofreaders who are rusty, perhaps after taking a career break, and wish to brush up their skills
  • proofreaders who might not have undertaken formal training but have learned on the job and are not quite sure whether they are doing things properly!
What does the book contain?

The book comprises exercises that increase in difficulty and complexity, covering:

  • straightforward narrative
  • problems of layout and formatting
  • complexity in content and mark-up
  • the later stages of publication, including proof collation and revised proofs
  • Coffee Break and Test Your Observation sections of short exercises
  • Zero Tolerance exercises requiring complete accuracy.

The exercises cover a wide range of material, not all of it serious. Some are to be read against copy that has been edited on paper; others are to be read blind on texts that have been edited electronically or not at all. The exercises are thus intended to provide exposure to many different kinds of publication and methods of editing and proofreading. Four of the exercises are proof-edits to be carried out in Microsoft Word; the rest are provided as PDFs that can be marked digitally, or printed out and marked by hand on paper.

The main exercises are followed by commentaries that discuss the model answers and the key learning points. These commentaries are designed to help the proofreader understand how to approach different types of text and the main pitfalls to look out for.

To order a copy (price £30 as a download from Dropbox; members of CIEP are entitled to £5 discount), please contact me directly:


Thank you, I have just received my book and would like to tell you how pleased I am. It is much larger and more comprehensive than I thought, and the presentation is clear and easy to follow. I can't wait to get started! (SH)

I have appreciated the thought and expertise that has gone into this excellent resource as I have worked my way through it. … Margaret's encouraging commentary after the answer sheet helps to clarify issues, highlights common mistakes people make and provides useful suggestions for avoiding these errors in actual work. It is clear that Margaret wants the user to improve their skill. … Was this book useful? Yes, without a doubt. I believe it would be a good addition to the recommended resources of any proofreading course, for both beginners and improvers. It is good value for money, and has the benefit of being ultimately reusable. I am sure it would help others as much as it has helped and challenged me. (RE, review for Society for Editors and Proofreaders: