The Difference Between Editing and Proofreading

Editing and Proofreading: Telling These Terms Apart

In the process of crafting a paper, you need to follow logical steps to ensure you develop a brilliant piece. First, you need to research to understand the context of the write-up. Next, write your essay while providing correct grammar, structure, and format. Afterward, edit the piece numerous times to take care of any glaring issues with the flow of your arguments. Next, proofread it to remove grammatical errors. Finally, you can publish the completed article.

Editing and proofreading are steps along the way to an excellent submission. Therefore, the two stages represent different concepts and should not be used synonymously. Besides the discrepancies in definitions, this article will cover some differences between editing and proofreading. Read on to learn what you need to do if you have been asked to take your paper through either of them.

Differences in Definitions and Functions: Editing and Proofreading

Proofreading refers to the process of scanning a document for errors in spellings, punctuation, linguistic inconsistencies, and other minor issues in the write-up. On the other hand, editing is fixing problems with a paper that clarifies for the reader. These issues range from how sentences are formed to whether the tone and flow convey the message.

The two definitions above illustrate what people mean when they either ask you to proofread or edit your document. However, they do not highlight how these two terms are functionally distinct. Below are some of these examples.

  • Proofreading a piece does not mean that you have to reduce the word count. Alternatively, editing could shorten the length of a write-up.
  • If you want to polish a well-written piece, you would need a proofreader. They will ensure you have not made any typographical errors or used the wrong tense in your writing. Plus, they will check if each punctuation has been used correctly. On the other hand, editors come in handy if you have issues with crafting readable content. If your narration tends to break off or you lose your audience with irrelevant tangents, hire an editor. They will smoothen your thoughts and bring out the message you want to convey while ensuring the text is readable.
  • You may not need to supervise or be in close contact with a proofreader. The issues they check for do not require a second opinion to fix. Conversely, an editor must stay in touch with a client. The revisions required should have your input so that you can maintain the ideas of the paper.
  • Proofreading is not as involving as editing. As such, you can finish the former much quicker than the latter. If you are interested in hiring help for either of the tasks, you will likely pay more when the work is challenging.

In summary, you need to be a confident writer in terms of using English to communicate ideas, argue out points, and tell a story. You can work on these skills by understanding the difference between editing and proofreading. Learning how to distinguish them allows you to figure out how expert writers improve their pieces.

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