New to proofreading and not sure what a reasonable page rate would even be. I have experiece scoping and proofing my own work, but not other people's. Can anyone shed light on this for me? 



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Allison, here is a 2010 poll that you can take a look at:


Wow that's very helpful! Thank you Cindy:)

No problem, Allison.  I saw their old one, from about 10 years ago, and prices haven't changed much.  But it isnice to have a more recent idea of what is going on out there.

Good luck to you!

Because you are new to proofreading, Allison, I want to share a thought with you that will hopefully help you and others in the long run who are considering doing the same thing.

From personal experience, I would not recommend or encourage scopists to proofread until you have had at least a year and a half of scoping under your belt because of how many different things your eyes and brain have to learn and master in the area of contextual reading. 

In my experience in training scopists, unfortunately, I have not found one person who could sidestep the contextual reading aspect of scoping training.  I know that I was not able to do it until after that time frame because no one was "showing" me where the mistakes were. 

Just some food for thought.  And slowing down to proofread our correspondence is a very difficult thing to do.  But if we take the time to slowly read aloud our writing, we have a much better chance of our correspondence being error free. :) 

Slowing down to be error free will increase your work opportunities.

Ms. Devon Roberts

Thank you Ms. Roberts,

So what you're saying is that I should start with scoping (as in translating steno notes into english) before I proofread (as in going over the transcript for grammatical errors)? Sorry if that's a silly question, I just want to be sure I'm understanding you correctly.




Allison, a scopist does a lot, including the translating of steno that has been left untranslated or mistranslated, as well as reading for context, checking for format, punctuation, research of terms and names -- all that and more.  Basically, it is gone over with a very fine-toothed comb!  Then, when it gets to the proofreader, the proofreader does that one final look for misspellings, punctuation, and anything else that the reporter has asked for.  All the research of spellings and terms, etc., should be done already.

Not to negate what Devon told you, but I found it very helpful in the beginning to proof jobs that had already been scoped by someone else, because it showed me what a quality transcript SHOULD look like after being scoped. 

I guess it's a personal preference, but if you feel like you are qualified to proof, then by all means, go for it!

Got it. Thank you so much for responding!

I feel pretty silly now, Allison.  LOL!  I just realized you're a reporter, so you already knew most of what I was saying!  And, since you're a reporter already, I don't see any reason why you can't start doing some proofreading on the side.  


I think we need to start with some clarification on terminology.  ;)

But, yes, one needs to start with scoping and do that for nearly two years so that you will have a chance to see all of the different formatting issues one will come across in scoping.  In my opinion, since scoping is so new and different as most people have not even heard of it, there are no silly questions because it is like you are walking into unknown water.  You have no idea what you should be looking for or what is not necessary to learn because you have never been exposed to it.

Many years ago before the computer-assisted or computer-aided transcription (CAT) software was available, court reporters were either translating their stenographic notes by typing or transcribing them or having someone else (the original "scopists") transcribe them and then edit the transcript for errors, punctuation, formatting and clarity.

Since the CAT software became available, court reporters takes their notes in some electronic or digital format to their CAT program which "translates" those notes into the language needed for their country.  That process has saved all of us (scopists) hours of time behind the scenes.

Now scoping has evolved into "editing" the raw transcript for any untranslates, mistranslates and adding that information to the appropriate CAT dictionary to increase the translation rate.  Anytime we increase the translation rate, we decrease our workload.

Along with that, there are all of the basic scoping or editing tasks which include checking proper nouns for correct spelling, all words for correct usage while recognizing the different homophones, punctuation and formatting issues.

As a scopist, learning or relearning some of these tasks takes time and practice.  Because our adult brains have learned to overcompensate for errors in the media which cause us to read past the mistakes because we are so accustomed to them, we have to create these new brain paths in order for our eyes to catch the tiny details. 

The only way to master this skill is to read aloud the text (without the computer's audio) so that our hearing will alert our brain and eyes to the mistake.  (This is all explained on the SMA pages of  And for the beginning scopist, someone has to specifically show them exactly where the mistakes are and the reason why it is a mistake so they know to catch or find a way to make sure those errors do not happen again. ;)

For instance, making sure that the two different it's (the contraction) and its (the possessive) are used correctly.  Making sure that "English" is capitalized when it is used. 

And making a new paragraph for each time the speaker changes "who" they are addressing.  For instance, when an attorney is speaking to the judge and then speaking to the defendant, a new paragraph will need to be started.

And although spell check does a good job, it does not always catch where there is extra punctuation or when there is an added space or a space is missing.  That takes feedback from a scoping instructor who knows to watch for those things to the scoping student in order to continue to develop their skills.

When the scopist has edited through the transcript, it is not expected to be a perfect document.  It is then given to the proofreader to check for the tiny details that may have been overlooked.  And most court reporters understand the importance of two sets of eyes reviewing the transcript because it is physically impossible to correct our own mistakes.

Another main difference between scoping and proofreading is that audio is only used with scoping; whereas, proofreading does not use the audio.

I hope that helps you to see the differences a bit better.

Ms. Devon Roberts

I actually think that if somebody is incapable of proofreading, they should NOT be scoping.


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