Reports are defined as ‘written accounts of something that has been observed, heard, done, or investigated’.

A multiplicity of organizations, including government bodies, businesses, the media and many educational disciplines make use of reports. Reports can be diverse and varied, but they must be accurate in their presentation, context, style, and they should be free of all kinds of grammatical and stylistic errors. The professional proofreader can address the subject of report proofreading and ensure that these documents fulfil their author’s expectations in that sentences are crisp in their meaning and free of spelling and typographical mistakes. While making a report suitable for publication, one must ensure that the information contained in it is grammatically accurate and consistent throughout.

When proofreading a government report on energy conservation, consistency is of the utmost importance; for example, it should be absolutely clear throughout the text whether one is referring to a metric ‘tonne’ or simply a ‘ton’. This is only one example of where errors can arise in the text of a report, and these inconsistencies have to be checked before publication.

Accuracy in reports cannot be overemphasized as inconsistencies in the text can lead to extreme errors, for example, ‘they haled from Turkey . . . ’

Professional proofreading, especially where reports are concerned, will ensure that sentences are free of jargon, repetition and factual mistakes. A simple error like the insertion of a comma in the wrong place can change the meaning of a sentence. For example, in ‘the crystal ball’ there is no comma between ‘crystal’ and ‘ball’, which is a compound noun.

But it is not only grammar, punctuation, spelling errors and typos that Apollo Communication will address when proofreading a report. Layout, consistency in the style of tables and illustrations will also be part of the remit, and references will be presented in a precise and systematic manner that is in keeping with a stipulated house style.

Apollo Communication, established in 1999, has helped government bodies and businesses to choose a suitable publication house style where one is not already in place. A house style is meant to ensure consistency in presentation of the written word. Dates should be presented consistently throughout a document. For example, ‘23 July 2006’, is clear and easy to read: here figures are separated by a word, but it should not be ‘July 30, 2006’ in another part of the text. The same applies for the names of organizations, especially when capitalization must be adhered to. Proofread reports will be presented in a professional manner – free of jargon, spelling mistakes and precise in their meaning.