Editing and Proofreading: What’s the Difference?

In spite of their differences, editing and proofreading have the same goal — making your copy as clear and persuasive as possible.

The difference between the two is actually pretty simple: editing will improve and correct what you write, while proofreading will make sure that you didn’t miss anything while editing. 

What is Editing? 

The editing process involves correcting grammar and punctuation errors, catching misspellings, and ensuring the consistency of your copy. Editing can be done in multiple ways: Separating paragraphs, cutting out or adding words, restructuring your sentences, and so on. 

What is Proofreading?

Proofreading on the other hand is a part of the editing process that involves re-reading your copy in order to catch mistakes like typos, grammatical errors, formatting errors, and missing words.

In most cases, people only proofread for a few minutes each time, hoping to identify glaring errors that jumped out. However, a quick and cursory reading, especially after you’ve worked long and hard on it, can make you miss a lot. It’s better if you create a definite plan that helps you to search systematically for specific kinds of errors.

Sure, this takes a little extra time, but your efforts will pay off. Since you know that you can catch most errors during the first draft, you can focus less on editing. By doing this, the entire writing process becomes more efficient.

Proofreading vs. Editing

Simply put, proofreading focuses on the technical issues and gives a critical look to ensure that your copy is 100% ready to be published for the audience. Editing, on the other hand, is more substantive. The editor will need to pay attention to elements such as clarity, continuity, and style to ensure that the copy makes sense to the audience in its entirety.

More involved in the creation and quality of the writingMore involved in spelling checking, grammar, and typos
Improves languageImproves consistency 
Focus on the impact of your copyFocus on the quality of your copy
Makes your copy clear and conciseMake sure your copy is ready for publication
Takes place in the initial stageTakes place in the last stage before publication
Major changesMinor changes

And that’s it! As now you’ve gained more understanding of editing and proofreading, are you considering hiring a professional to proofread or edit your copy?

We are more than happy to help you. Click here to start a project with us!

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