There are several different types of editing—ranging from substantial editing to proofreading. Copyediting and proofreading are the more detail-orientated forms of editing, and they frequently are confused for one another or mistakenly thought to be the same thing. Have you ever wondered about the difference?

Copyediting is the process of reviewing a document to ensure correct grammar, punctuation, style, and spelling. In some cases, the copy editor will make small changes to the text, such as removing jargon or revising specific transitions. (You may remember learning the copyediting marks in high school or college.)

Proofreading, on the other hand, is the process of reviewing the document a final time to confirm that it’s fit to be shared with others or published. Proofreading often involves fixing typos, mistakes, small punctuation errors that weren’t caught earlier, and updating the document’s formatting.

Both of these tasks require immense attention to detail, a strong knowledge of grammar, and some (or maybe a lot of) tenacity. Proofreading thousands of words is no easy task, after all!

It can be incredibly useful to have someone who hasn’t been involved in the development and writing to copyedit or proofread it. When one has spent a lot of time with a document, it becomes more and more difficult to see the details.

Copyediting and proofreading do not, however, involve making significant changes to the text, such as revising the structure, sentence style, tone, or other more higher-level aspects of the document. In my next post, I’ll discuss the different types of substantial editing and share an editorial project that we recently completed.

If you’re looking for a fresh set of expert eyes to copyedit or proofread your business’s writing projects, be sure to reach out to us!

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