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    Copy Editing vs Proofreading: What's the Difference?

    Home / Blog / Copy Editing Vs Proofreading: What's The Difference?

    Copy-Editing Vs Proofreading
     Admin  Published On Aug 23, 2021 | Updated on May 1, 2023  General

    Most students fail to understand the exact difference between copy editing and proofreading. Copy-editing vs proofreading is a never ending debate, as there are certain similarities between the two, but not without dissimilarities. In the publishing realm, both copy editing and proofreading take place at the end of the editing phase. Pointing the differences between these two aspects is indeed a tricky affair. Some freelance editors offer a mix of both.

    The editing process

    Before delving into the differences between proofreading and copy editing, let’s have a look at the editing process:

    1. Substantive: This editing type is primarily concerned with advanced-level issues like structure and document content. You may need to make major modifications to a text. Here, your focus should be on the entire document rather than the small details.
    2. Mechanical: It covers both proofreading and copy editing. In simple terms, mechanical editing is about adding final touches to the content. However, mechanical editing comes after substantive editing. You can also skip directly to the “mechanical” level for simpler and shorter documents.

    What is copy editing?

    Copy editing is a process that ensures the content is perfect in terms of grammar, spelling, punctuation, jargon, semantics, terminology, and formatting. Copy editing makes the text easily understandable. Assignment writers need to conduct copy editing to enhance the readability of the content. In this way, writers can make sure that the factual data in the text is accurate and bringing the legal issues to the publisher’s attention. It includes the following aspects:

    1. Locating and correcting grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors.
    2. Removing inconsistencies in sentence structure
    3. Checking the consistency in tone, spelling, formatting, etc.
    4. Ensuring that each word is appropriate
    5. Ensure that the document strictly adheres to the client’s chosen protocols.

    What do copy-editors do?

    The job role of copy editors is to scrutinize a piece of writing while assessing its style and flow. It ensures that the text is sensible and fair enough to read. They modify the text length to make it credible to the publisher’s formatting style. Moreover, they are responsible for including headlines, headers, footnotes, and photo captions.

    Skills a copy editor must possess

    Any individual can’t be a good copy editor. There are certain skills a copy editor must possess as listed below:

    • An eye for little details
    • Excellent command of the language
    • Ability to detect factual errors in the text
    • Critical thinking
    • Good communication skills

    What is proofreading?

    Proofreading is conducted after a manuscript has been typeset. Thereafter, the publisher creates a galley proof or a “proof” copy. In other words, it is a test version of a book developed to scrutinize the text for flaws before printing. The traditional definition of proofreading is all about correcting typos committed during typesetting or missed during the final copy edit. Proofreading involves looking for:

    1. Spelling, grammar, title capitalization, and punctuation errors
    2. Inconsistencies with formatting and fonts
    3. Inconsistences in all of the above

    When the write-up is nearly finished, meaning has been edited, laid out and designed, the work of the proofreader comes in. He/she searches for the typographical errors in the content. Unlike copy editors, proofreaders don’t make significant changes to the text. They search for minor text and formatting inconsistencies and thereby confirming the material is ready to publish.

    Types of proofreading

    Proofreading can be classified into two types:

    1. Professional proofreading: Here, professionals check your work with fresh eyes so that they won’t skip over any mistake. It is more productive and time-efficient since an expert is doing the job. Professional proofreaders also give insightful suggestions to writers that further enhance their writing skills.
    2. DIY proofreading: It is an alternative to professional proofreading. When it comes to DIY proofreading, you don’t have to rely on others’ schedules, as you will be doing the proofreading on your own. However, it takes a significant amount of time from writers.

    The job role of professional proofreaders

    An excellent proofreader goes beyond grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes. They search for consistency issues that can obstruct the reading experience. Their work includes:

    1. Ensuring that the web links are aligned to the right pages
    2. Checking the match quotient of the index with the content
    3. Conforming that the layout doesn’t modify throughout the work
    4. Ensuring the images have apt captions
    5. Verifying that the copy conforms to the client’s guide.

    Some important tips for proofreading

    You can’t proofread a write-up in haste. You have to allocate time for that. Go through the below-mentioned tips to make proofreading simpler for you:

    1. Self-awareness: You have to start with self-awareness. There are specific grammatical mistakes we are all prone to. These errors frequently arise in our work. So, before you start writing, the best approach is to identify your “bad writing habits.” It will make your task easier in more ways than one. Concentrate only on your weak points and proofread the content within minutes.
    2. Readout loud: It’s true that eyes can deceive you. Especially when you are gazing at the screen, your eyes are quick to tire. Chances are there for you to omit some of the major mistakes you made in the content. Things would have been different if you looked at the content with fresh eyes. The ideal tip here is to read your write-up out loud with someone else. You can easily detect awkward-sounding phrases in this manner.
    3. Do one thing at a time: Don’t read through your work and try to get it precise by the end. There are multiple rounds in proofreading, and each round should focus on a single task. For example, don’t look for spelling errors when you have made your mind to assess the grammatical errors in the content at this moment.

    Though both copy editing and proofreading are similar in many aspects, a sharp human eye and mind can jot down the differences between these elements. For your write-up to match the standards set by your professor/teacher, you can’t evade any of these. The most obvious is that proofreading comes after copy editing, and both are integrated with each other. However, there are subtle differences between these two aspects that this blog perfectly highlights.

    Having a hard time finding out the differences between copy-editing and proofing

    Give us a call to address your queries

    Most students don’t know the exact difference between copy editing and proofreading. They think of both these aspects to be similar. However, it’s not entirely the case. Make a call to one of our professionals, and this dilemma in your mind will be cleared within minutes. Some other benefits of opting for our services are listed below:

    • 100% authentic papers
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    So, what are you still thinking about? Resort to our genius minds only to fulfil your assignment needs as its very best.

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