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17 Jul

Differences between Proofreading and Copy Editing

Copy Editing

Many people presume that proofreaders and copyeditors carry out the same tasks. Even though their tasks are similar, there are a number of differences in their responsibilities. These are outlined below.

Proofreading
According to the Society for Editors and Proofreaders:
“The proofreader reads the copy for consistency in usage and layout, for accuracy in the text and references and for typesetting errors. The proofreader, however, is only acting as a quality check, making sure that the copy-editor or typesetter has not missed something. He or she is not responsible for overall consistency and accuracy.”

Essentially, the task of a proofreader is to meticulously read a text and correct all errors of punctuation, grammar and syntax. In addition, a proofreader checks the formatting, layout and referencing of a text. These are the responsibilities of a proofreader. A proofreader will not dramatically alter a text, restructure it to improve it or even change its flow. These are the tasks of a copyeditor.

Copyediting
According to the Society for Editors and Proofreaders:

‘A copy-editor makes sure that an author’s raw text, or copy, is correct in terms of spelling and grammar and is easy to read so that readers can grasp his or her ideas. A copy-editor also tries to prevent embarrassing errors of fact, alert the publisher to any possible legal problems and ensure that the typesetter can do a good job.’

A copy editor dramatically restructures a text, alter formatting or provide suggestions to completely rewrite a section. Furthermore, they may actionstylistic alterations and suggest improvements to the text to develop its voice and it’s theauthor’s effect.

In a nutshell, these are the difference between proofreading and copyediting.

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