Editing vs. Proofreading

Editing and proofreading are two important processes of document preparation. However, a lot of people are not sure about their differences. Some people even think that they are the same. It’s important to understand that both processes produce different outcomes for writers. Let’s get to know about the dissimilarities between them.

What Is Editing?

Editing is performed on the first draft of a document and continues until the draft is finalized. Generally, this process involves making changes into existing content to improve content quality related to language use and expression. The aim is to make the overall writing more sharp and consistent. 

The editor should consider the following key questions when editing a document. 

  • Have accurate words been used to express ideas?
  • Is the tone suitable for the target audience?
  • Are there too many unnecessary words?
  • Is gender language appropriate?
  • Can the structure of the essay be changed to make the argument more convincing?
  • Have you used the passive voice? 

In short, editing is all about making sure the ideas are conveyed in the best possible way.

When editing your work, it’s best to put it aside for a day or two so that you can have a look at it with a fresh perspective. Since you will be too attached to your assignment, it wouldn’t be easier for you to observe mistakes and make the right selection of the words.

What Is Proofreading?

Proofreading is performed on the final draft of the document. It plays an important role in correcting surface errors. It helps writers to ensure accuracy and consistency in spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Besides this, it also eliminates inconsistency in referencing and formatting. 

In comparison to editing, proofreading involves only minor adjustments to the text. However, it requires specialized knowledge and experience to proofread a document.

You should consider the following points when proofreading a writing piece.

  • Are there any spelling errors?
  • Does the structure sound accurate?
  • Are commas, colons, semicolons, and full stops used properly?
  • Have apostrophes and quotes used correctly?

Quick Tips for Proofreading

  • Before you start proofreading, look over your past papers and make a list of the errors you make repeatedly. It will help you know your typical mistakes. 
  • Proofread backward. It will enable you to have a look at the surface elements rather than the meaning of paper. 
  • Make a break between editing and proofreading. You can set your paper aside for a few hours before you proofread. 
  • Proofread at the time of day when you’re more alert to find mistakes 
  • Ask someone to help you find sentences that are not clear. 
  • Read through your paper several times.
  • Take the help of a grammar checker tool to ensure your document is free from common grammatical errors. 

When to Choose an Editing Service

As mentioned above, editing helps you improve the overall quality of your paper; you should choose an editing service when:

  • You want to refine your writing.
  • Your paper requires extensive revisions for readability and flow.

When to Choose a Proofreading Service?

Proofreading services give your writing a second or third pair of eyes. You should use a proofreading service when:

  • When you’re confident about your paper’s language and structure and only need a grammar check to abolish typographical errors, misspellings, and punctuation errors.
  • Your paper has been edited, and now you want to give it a final review before submission.

Editing and proofreading together improve the clarity of your writing and make it look professional. It’s advisable to get a checklist for editing and proofreading so that you don’t miss any important step.

This post was proofread by Grammarly. Try it - it's FREE!

Capitalize My Title is a dynamic title capitalization tool used to make sure your titles or headlines use proper capitalization rules according to various style guides include APA, AP, MLA, and Chicago. It also counts your words and checks for grammar issues.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here