Good proofreaders have an in-demand skill that can be a lucrative side gig and a full-time career. It is easy to get started in proofreading, but it can be hard to be taken seriously by more prestigious clients without formal qualifications.
For this reason, many prospective proofreaders are looking for online proofreading courses which can teach them the skills they need and help them to secure work. One of the better-known courses on this topic is the Knowadays “Becoming a Proofreader” course. In this Knowadays review and course overview, we will examine if this is the right proofreading course to meet your needs.
What is Proofreading?
Before we go any further, it’s a good idea to understand what proofreaders do. This stage is usually the last step in the publication process. A proofreader checks a document to identify errors that were introduced by the author or in later edits, including grammatical issues, spelling mistakes, typos, consistent typefaces, capitalization corrections, and consistent adherence to a relevant style guide.
Depending on the specifics of the proofreading job, they may fix formatting errors or make a comment for a typesetter or designer to fix those particular issues. Formatting documents isn’t strictly essential for an editor or a proofreader, but some offer it as an extra service to their clientele.
The Knowadays Proofreading Course
The first question that many people ask themselves is, “Is Knowadays legit?” This is a legitimate concern when you consider scams and the quality of certain online courses that barely deserve that description. But, the good news is that Knowadays is a well-regarded course provider and their proofreading course can help you to kickstart a new career working from home. These courses are exclusively online, but great care has been taken to ensure that they have real-world relevance and utility to help a prospective proofreader reach their full potential.
Students can contact their tutors within the program, which is a nice feature that many other courses do not offer. The course tutors can offer feedback and guidance to help the student graduate with the skills and knowledge they need to find work as a professional proofreader. The courses are designed for students at any level of ability, which makes them perfect for people who are completely new to this field or those who want to hone existing skills. The students can learn at their own pace and if they want to expand their skill set, there are content writing and editing courses to explore.
The Knowadays Becoming a Proofreader course is a great option for writers, editors, and new proofreaders. A writer or editor will benefit from these skills because they can self-edit and proofread to lower their proofreading costs. Of course, a fresh perspective can reveal hidden errors, but multiple passes will increase the costs of publication. Investing in a final pass from another professional proofreader is always worth the investment.
Knowadays has a free trial course for people to discover if this proofreading course is a good fit before they subscribe. The course teaches proofreading basics, including grammar, spelling, and punctuation. From there, the student learns about style guides and the different approaches to academic and creative written content. At the conclusion of this course, there is a freelance work guarantee to learn about working with Proofed, which is a Knowaday partner company. Some new proofreaders will take the offered job and others may choose to seek other freelancing opportunities.
The Becoming a Proofreader course is split into several logically presented modules that increase in complexity. The entire course will take around 50 hours to complete, which is more in-depth than other courses on this topic. There are two courses to examine, the first is the free trial course and the second is the full paid course:
The Free Trial Course
During the free trial, you have access to the following course materials:
Proofreading and editing basics.
Understanding the different types of writing.
Common grammar mistakes.
Common spelling mistakes.
Microsoft Word track changes.
Windows OS track changes.
Mac OS track changes.
There are three main advantages if you decide to take the free Becoming a Proofreader trial course:
You get to evaluate the course materials to see if you like them.
You can check your existing skills and knowledge levels.
There is a digital proofreading quiz to evaluate what you’ve learned during the free trial.
The Becoming a Proofreader Course
If you like the free trial course, you can pay for full course access which expands on what you’ve learned with 15 course modules:
An introduction to proofreading.
Basic proofreading and editing.
Understanding Microsoft Word.
Common spelling mistakes.
Common grammar mistakes.
Common punctuation mistakes.
Advanced formatting in Microsoft Word (Windows).
Advanced formatting in Microsoft Word (Mac).
Academic proofreading basics.
Academic proofreading referencing and citation.
Understanding creative writing and how the publishing industry works.
How to proofread business writing.
How to find work and the final assignment.
Every module is presented with written and video material and accompanied by a proofreading test. This material is presented in a logical way and the small quizzes incrementally challenge your knowledge, but they are not part of the final grade. On the final assessment, the student will have three attempts to reach a grade of 80% or higher. Successful students will automatically qualify for a career working with Proofed if that option is interesting to them.
Knowadays Pros and Cons
The Knowadays Becoming a Proofreader course is excellent, but nothing is perfect. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons in more detail:
The free trial gives a prospective student a good understanding of the course structure with no financial commitment. This includes access to the first few video lessons from the full paid course to evaluate if this proofreading course is a good fit.
The courses have been written by PhD-level proofreading insiders who have a wealth of work experience in this field. This means that the course materials are relevant to real-world situations and a prospective employer can be shown CPD accreditation to establish integrity and credibility.
This course has been accredited by Continuing Professional Development (CPD) UK, which means the course meets its requirements for quality in proofreading.
The syllabus is extremely detailed. There are plenty of learning resources and fun quizzes to evaluate what the student has learned. The course is designed to show what a top proofreader does with style sheets, grammar guides, and checklists to make the process easier.
The interactive quizzes are presented throughout the course to keep a student hooked with fun challenges to test their skills and knowledge.
In the past, Knowadays courses were limited-time access only, but this has changed. Now, these courses come with lifetime access, which can be helpful for reviewing your skills after a break. If the account is inactive after 90 days, it may be suspended. But if a query is raised with Knowadays on their contact page, they will reactivate it for you.
The Knowadays support team is responsive, it’s easy to schedule a call, do live chat, or email them with a query and they will get back to you.
An 80% plus pass on the final graded assessment will guarantee a job offer from Proofed, which is a great way to start a career as a proofreader. Many people start and finish this course to secure work with this company because they have a good reputation.
The tutor-graded final assessment will provide the student with feedback on their proofreading strengths and weaknesses. This constructive advice can help the student to improve their proofreading skills and it can be discussed with the tutor on a video call.
At the conclusion of the course, Knowadays will offer Proofreading Certification. This can be used on freelancing platforms, such as LinkedIn, Upwork, and others to improve the student’s credibility. This extra step goes beyond what most proofreading courses offer and it can give a freelancing proofreader a real advantage over their competition to secure work.
This course material is designed around the use of Microsoft Word software. Now it is true that most new Windows OS users have some form of Word installed by default. But, people who prefer to use Mac or Linux machines may encounter problems. Microsoft Word for Mac is an option, but anyone using Google Docs to work in the cloud or some other software is out of luck. Purchasing a license to use Microsoft Word is expensive and this should be factored into the cost of the course if the student doesn’t own it already.
There is no way around the fact that the Becoming a Proofreader course is expensive and it’s priced at $499 at the time of writing this article. In a direct Knowadays vs. Proofread Anywhere comparison, things look a little more reasonable. Proofread Anywhere is the rival to the Knowadays course; it’s considered to be the second-best course and it’s currently priced at $597. Both courses have a free trial, but the Knowadays course is a little cheaper and it’s arguably better suited to complete beginners. If a student cannot afford either course they can use their Google research abilities to find articles and watch YouTube videos to learn how to proofread. The information may be relevant, but this can be a time-consuming process and it may introduce errors in the proofreading techniques.
This Knowadays course doesn’t teach proofreading marks and symbols. This is a minor problem because many proofreaders don’t use marks and symbols at all. But, if you want to use them, you will need to read separate articles on the subject on the Knowadays platform and other places to fully understand them.
Working with Proofed is a key promotion for the Becoming a Proofreader course. This is a good platform to secure proofreading work, but the competition for these jobs is fierce. So, it makes sense to avoid over-reliance on Proofed to find paying work. Some great sources of proofreading jobs are freelancing platforms, social media, your own website, references from happy clients, and more.
Do You Need a Proofreading Course?
Is a proofreading course essential to start work as a proofreader? The short answer is no. It is possible to learn what you need to know from a wide variety of free online sources. But, the material is not organized for you and the quality will be variable. Earning a qualification and certification is a great advantage, but good skills, knowledge, and experience are more important for long-term success.
Are Knowadays and Proofreading Academy the same?
Knowadays rebranded in February 2022 and prior to this change, they were known as Proofreading Academy. So, if you check online, you may see both terms, but now they are the same course.
Is proofreading still a viable online money-making option in 2023?
Yes. The demand for skilled proofreaders is high because there is more content than ever across various web-based platforms, including podcasts, blogs, websites, e-books, social media posts, marketing copy, and much more. Savvy clients want to present content that ranks well for SEO purposes with plenty of relevant information. Amateur content that is riddled with simple errors is less of a priority for search engines. So, there is a consistent demand for good editors and proofreaders to give written content a final polish before publishing.
What is the difference between the Knowadays Becoming an Editor and Becoming a Proofreader?
The proofreader course is focused on the rectification of grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. A proofreader learns how to maintain the tone and context of a written piece to ensure that it reads well. The editor course dives a little deeper to improve the readability, structure, flow, and quality of the piece. This will typically involve more significant changes that would be beyond the limit of a proofreader. That said, the top 5% of proofreading freelancers are also editors, and learning both skills is a great way to boost earning potential in this field.
If you’ve been considering working as a freelancing proofreader for a while and you don’t have the time or patience to assemble your own ad hoc course from a variety of sources, this may be the solution to your problem. A structured course that’s been designed by professionals with regular quizzes to test your knowledge is a great way to learn. As an added bonus, passing the course may earn the new proofreader a job with certification to present to potential clients. If you’re unsure, try the free course at no obligation and see if it’s a good fit for how you like to learn.