Welcome to the eternal face-off between proofreading and editing. Which one is more important? Can an editor also be a proof-reader and get the writing task free from errors? Is it important to hire an editor when you already have a proof-reader? How often have writers thought about the difference between proofreading and editing! So here we are explaining the difference and similarity between these two roles and their impact on the writing quality.
Want to know the difference between editing and proofreading? First, let’s check out the key roles of both the services. Let’s start with editing.
What Is Editing?
Editing is modifying or changing the use of language and expressions to improve the quality of the writing. An editor acts as a bridge between the reader and the writer. Editing involves increasing the fluency of your writing and makes it seem that the language has come naturally to you, even if it actually doesn’t.
No matter how inspiring your ideas are or how moving your story is, if the message of your writing isn’t conveyed to your readers, is the write-up of any use? Editing is important to convey the message to the readers smoothly. An editor is supposed to make your language sharp and consistent throughout the document.
For academic editing, one needs to make sure that the University requirements are met. It also includes taking care of the formatting and referencing styles of the document.
Now, let’s have a look at what proofreading is.
What is proofreading?
The same old proofreading definition in a dictionary says that it is the correction of the surfaceerrors in writing such as punctuation, spaces, grammar, spelling and other such language mistakes. But, there are more significant roles of proofreading. At times, students may use certain words that mean the same thing but sound different and make the entire line confusing. Proofreading involves eliminating all such errors from the copy and making it flawless.
Starting from quotation marks to apostrophes, proofreading makes sure that all these have been used logically without violating the rules of English language. If specific words have been written incorrectly or used improperly in the sentence, proofreading eliminates that.
Have you ever wondered about the term proofreading? It is because a paper proofreader works with a facsimile of an almost finished product or rather a proof, hence the term proofreading. It is the final green flag for the work to be approved.
How Are Proofreading and Editing Different From Each Other?
Yes, proofreading and editing are different from each other regarding their functions. Although both of them are an integral part of any writing, they have different roles to play to enhance the quality of a write-up.
For any book to be published or assignments to be submitted at colleges, the write-up must be read by an editor followed by the proof-reader. Finally, you can submit the paper or publish your book without the fear of embarrassing grammatical mistakes or illogical sentence structuring.
An editor improves the overall quality of the writing while the proofreader takes care of the grammar, punctuation, spelling, spaces and other silly mistakes that writers usually make while writing.
Which One Is More Important? Proofreading or Editing?
The tussle of proofreading vs editing has been going on since a long time because many people think that proofreading might not be as important as editing. But, with the advent of online writing companies and freelancing options on the Internet, the demand for a professional and qualified proofreader has immensely increased. These days, writing companies and authors look for both editors as well as a proofreader to make sure that their work is flawless.
Editors modify the sentence structures and paragraphs to improve the credibility and authenticity of the entire write-up. But, he/she can also overlook small grammar and punctuation errors. This is where the role of a proofreader comes into play. The proofreader goes through the write-up thoroughly and corrects these mistakes for final approval.
Besides proofreading & editing, there are other common terms used in academic writing such as revisions and copyeditor. Many students confuse between editing and proofreading. Let’s see how these vary from each other and how they play a role in uplifting the quality of your document.
Is Revising and Editing the Same Thing?
No, it is not. The writer can revise. Revising is going through the write-up twice or thrice to make sure that all the key points are included. You must also revise to check the relevancy of the context of your topic and the facts and arguments that you’ve mentioned in your paper.
Editing, on the other hand, is modifying the lines to enhance the standard of your writing. It bridges the gap between you and your target audience. Editing needs practice, knowledge of English language and undivided attention.
Editing vs Revising - Who Wins and Why?
The difference between editing and revising lies in the fact that the revision process includes adding new thoughts and clarifying the existing thoughts and ideas. Whereas, editing makes sure that the story of the writing is intact and the way you have written it is enhanced. Editing is usually something that someone other than the writer does.
Comparing revising vs editing, a writer must not avoid either of these because both lead to an impeccable write-up. You can revise the paper on your own and get a professional editor to edit the work for you.
Revising vs Proofreading - Who Has the Upper Hand?
Many students think that both these terms mean the same thing. But, they actually don’t. Revision deals with the structure of the entire write-up, target audience and focus. Proofreading takes care of surface errors such as grammatical and spelling errors.
Revision might also include modifying the introduction or the thesis statement, adding details and examples to increase the credibility of your writing. It should be done before proofreading. This way, it will take less time to proofread the paper as you would have corrected most of the mistakes during revision.
What Is Copyediting? Is It Similar To Editing?
After the document is written, it needs to go to the editor who takes care of the overall style of the write-up. Then, the proofreader goes through the writing and corrects the grammar, spelling and punctuation errors. But, we often hear the term ‘copyediting’ and some people think that it is similar to editing or proofreading. Well, copyediting has a different role to play in improving the quality of documents. It is not similar to editing or proofreading.
Copy editing vs Proofreading- How Can These Make Your Writing Quality a Notch Higher?
Copyediting includes sweeping or fewer changes. It takes care of the accuracy, formatting and may or may not handle the proofreading part. The main difference between proofreading vs copyediting lies in the fact that the latter can be a proofreader at times while the former cannot be a copy editor and is restricted to the role of maintaining a flawless paper.
Thankfully, all the confusions regarding the most common terms in academic writing are clarified through this blog. Editing, proofreading, copyediting and revisions are crucial to improve the quality of a paper and convey your message flawlessly to your readers or target audience. It is better to avail proofread and editing services online to get the task done in a jiffy. However, you can always proofread the paper yourself by typing ‘How to proofread?’ on Google and taking help of the online suggestions.
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