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Difference Between Proofreading and Copyediting

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  Yigal Ben Efraim  —  Grammar Tips
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No matter what type of writing you are working on, you will sooner or later face the need for proofreading and editing your piece since these are important stages of the entire writing process. Therefore, any author has to learn the difference between the two terms so that they do cause any confusion. They both imply some work with the copy aimed at improving it and reduction of spelling errors in the publication. In this post, we will clarify the difference between proofreading and copyediting, providing the specifics of working with the text.

Editing as a Part of the Writing Process

Copyediting is the editorial process that involves improving the text composition, style, spelling, and punctuation. It requires an editor a deep understanding of the topic, writing requirements, as well as final text format. The process of editing involves the following operations:

Unlike a proofreader, an editor digs deeper into the text. During editing, he is obliged to grasp the content of the work, analyze the thoughts and feelings of the author in order to fix any types of errors connected to paper contents. This is the main difference between proofreading and copyediting. When doing the editing of the paper, you (the editors) must:

Proofreading as a Part of the Writing Process

Proofreading implies performing elementary work - eliminating grammatical, punctuation errors and typos; checking the technical side and the attractiveness of the text (authenticity of quotes, terms, the presence of footnotes, the matching placement of tables and other graphic materials regarding its content).


Proofreading involves the following tasks:

All in all, proofreading has nothing to do with text rewriting. It is more about making sure that each page of the paper is error free. So there is no need to dig deeper into the paper contents and explore the topic.

Sequence of Execution

As a rule, editing is performed before proofreading. The copyeditor notes and eliminates all the shortcomings of the text, edits paper contents and makes the entire piece sound better. After making corrections to the copy, proofreaders check it up in terms of the text accuracy in grammar, spelling, punctuation, and formatting.


Many people think that editing is more difficult than proofreading since it is necessary to work with the draft. However, proofreading is no less time consuming and challenging task. During proofreading, you have to pay no less attention to the text and have a critical eye to any inaccuracies that you find in the piece.

Why Do You Need to Edit and Proofread a Paper?

It is simply impossible to write a quality text without having an extra eye on it. When working on a paper for a long time, you, as a writer, may miss out some important information or make errors without even thinking about it. And a good outline will hardly prevent this from happening. Therefore, it is highly recommended to take a break after finishing the first draft and read a paper several times analyzing its contents and editing thoughts flow. It would be even better if you ask someone to do editing for you. Thus, you will get objective feedback and understand what you can improve in your writing. This is how your paper can be edited.


The same goes for paper proofreading. Everyone makes mistakes, and it is not always possible to notice and fix them immediately. Such inaccuracies can spoil the impression of even a masterfully crafted piece. That’s why you should in no case skip paper proofreading. In order to concentrate all your attention on errors reduction, you should take a break for several hours and switch your attention back to the writing.


The difference between proofreading and copyediting is just obvious. Obviously, to make the job ready and top quality, you must have expert skills and experience in proofreading and editing the piece. If you want to make sure that everything is just perfect and correct, you can always order online help on any academic writing site. Thus, you can save your time and rest assured about paper quality. Hire experts to proofread and edit your work for you.

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