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    Jul 18 th, 2012
    General Writing No Comments

    The Difference between Editing and Proofreading

    Proofreading and editing are two important terms that are used interchangeably in the writing profession. Both words refer to the review and checking of manuscript for correctness and accuracy, but they are used for different yet related purposes.

    Here are the basic differences of the two procedures:


    Editing is a stage in the writing process in which a writer or editor checks a draft for errors, accuracy of information, coherence and the construction of sentences and paragraphs. It is much more complex and time consuming than proofreading.

    When editing, the writer or editor looks at a document as a whole and he strives to see to it that the document makes sense and it is assembled to convey the information in the best possible way.

    Some of the things that an editor should watch out for in every editing session include inconsistencies, typos, misplaced ideas and incoherence. It often involves several revisions of text, reorganization of sentences, removal or transfer of certain paragraphs, and addition of more text to make the document convey information in a clearer, more logical way.

    It is the process that helps to maximize the readability, understandability and accuracy of any written document. It involves a lot of proofreading in some aspects.


    Proofreading is the process of reviewing the final draft of any written piece to ensure that all surface errors like typos, spelling mistakes and grammatical mistakes are corrected. It is most often done prior to the publication of the document being checked.

    You can proofread documents written in Microsoft Word by utilizing its spelling and grammar tools. But you should only use this as an aid to make you detect errors faster. You don’t have to rely on it completely as it doesn’t have the capability to detect contextual errors and a lot of misused words like verbs, adjectives and modifiers.

    Proofreading is quite a simple task, yet it is very important because it can make or break your credibility as a writer. Unchecked documents that go live online can shout “amateur,” and it has the potential to tarnish your image as a writer.

    You should always proofread your written works, and if the document is very important, have it proofread by a third party to ensure that all errors are spotted. Proofreading is one sure way that surface errors are spotted before the document makes its way into the printing press or the World Wide Web.

    Here’s the summary of the difference between editing and proofreading:

    1. Editing is the process of checking coherence, accuracy of information, and the overall structure of a document. Proofreading is the process of checking spelling, grammar and syntax errors.

    2. Proofreading is a part of editing, but a special proofreading session should be done each time before the documents are published. This is to make sure that all surface errors are spotted and rectified or eliminated.


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