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The Difference Between Proofreading And Copy-editing

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It is easy to confuse proofreading and copy-editing; some people use the terms interchangeably when in fact they are quite different processes altogether. A brief way of explaining this is that copy-editing is more concerned with making changes to a document’s content, in terms of altering the writing so that it reads well. Proofreading is more concerned with the format of a document, to make sure any errors are removed from the document and that it looks the way it should. The copy-editing of a document comes first, followed by proofreading.

What a copy-editor does:

A copy-editor will rework the content of the text, so that it demonstrates all the usual elements of good writing. This includes working on the sentence structure so that the overall syntax of the document is consistent, smooth, and coherent, and making sure that grammatical conventions are followed.

Copy-editors often make suggestions for reorganising of sections of the writing, or go ahead and make the changes themselves. They also provide recommendations or changes to any titles, or headings.

Sometimes it is necessary for ...
... the copy-editor to create a style sheet, if she is working on something lengthy, which outlines the general editorial style. This ensures consistency is maintained throughout the entirety of the writing.

What a proofreader does:

A proofreader will check a final draft of a piece of writing. The role of the proofreader is to check that everything is correct, ensuring that no errors remain in the work.

There are many types of errors that professional proofreaders will look for when working on a document. For instance, there may be areas of text that are not formatted consistently; perhaps the font in the middle of a sentence is smaller than the rest, or in a different colour. If some of the text has been copied and pasted, it may appear lighter. The proofreader will also check that the document does not contain too many end-of-line hyphens, or broken words in inappropriate places. So, part of the role of a proofreader includes checking that a document is aesthetically pleasing.

In addition, if a document has been written quickly, or by someone not proficient in the language they are writing in, it is quite common for letters or words to be omitted, switched around, or repeated. Proofreaders will notice the subtle errors that can be easily missed in the process of actually writing a document.

Proofreaders will also check page numbers, chapter numbers, and sections to ensure that all the numbering is correct, and that the font is correct for that part of the text. Proofreaders who provide a student proofreading service will pay particular attention to the formatting of an academic document, including checking the above, along with checking that captions match the image they are describing. Academic proofreading can be crucial in making sure that marks are not lost through poor, confusing formatting.

Proofreaders notice and correct any remaining grammatical, spelling, or formatting errors, but do not make any radical revisions to the content of the text itself.

ProofreadMyEssay is a leading online proofreading company, which delivers excellent academic proofreading services. They specialise in international and English as a Second Language (ESL) proofreading, making them experts when it comes to spotting common mistakes that others may miss. Its team of professional proofreaders have helped thousands of customers improve their writing, bringing out the very best of their work. Proofread My Essay is experienced, comprehensive, and efficient, offering unbeatable value for money and lightning-fast turnaround times.

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