What’s the difference between copy editing and proofreading?
Although these two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they are actually two very different steps in the content creation process. Here are the differences as nicely outlined by The Expert Editor website (www.experteditor.com.au):
- An important part of the revision process; the article or manuscript has not been finalised.
- A proactive editor makes changes or suggestions that will improve the overall quality of the copy.
- An editor improves use of language and corrects inconsistencies; ensures clarity
- For example:
- Consistent use of active vs. passive voice
- Appropriate tone for intended audience
- Make language more concise; remove extra, unnecessary words
- More intensive than proofreading.
- A final check of the finished article or manuscript just before publication.
- Layout and design have been completed.
- Proofreading perfects good writing.
- It catches typographical inconsistencies and errors:
- Removes spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors; “typos”
- Ensures consistency in language and formatting
- Less intensive than and not a substitute for editing.
As you can see, they are very different beasts. It’s always good to get a fresh pair of eyes on your writing–your dog doesn’t count–because you know how it’s supposed to look and what it’s supposed to say. Our minds can play tricks on us! For more, see my post, “Do I really need a proofreader?“
Unlike wild bears, feeding the content creator is encouraged! 🙂
© 2021 Tracey Copeland, Rolling Sands Consulting.