Editing or Proofreading?

Is there a difference?

Proofreading? Editing? You might say, “I thought they were the same.” But, trust me, there is a big difference. So how do you decide which is which? Easy, just read on. 8-)

When thinking about getting your work edited, you have to consider what you would like the copy editor to do, such as:

  1. Do you simply want your work scanned through to identify minor errors in spelling and punctuation?
  2. Do you want the copy editor to go through your work carefully and in great detail, looking for spelling errors, errors in grammar, layout problems, problems with the flow of the text and general inconsistency?

Not sure which is which? Well, that's what I'm here for!

Proofreading usually involves a proofreader checking through your work to identify minor errors that need some fixing. Proofreaders also compare two documents to make sure that everything in the one document is present in the next. You guessed it − that would be the first definition.
That leaves the second definition: editing. True editing involves a whole lot more than just looking out for minor errors. Copy editors improve and revise documents, correct errors and ensure consistency. They also make sure the document has a logical flow to it.
However, don't be mistaken − editing is not rewriting!

I hope that clears up the confusion over editing versus proofreading for you! If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask. =)