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Proofreading vs Editing

A Comparative Analysis of Proofreading and Editing

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Proofreading vs Editing
 Jack Morgan   Published On Jan 16, 2020 | Updated on Dec 28, 2023  Writing Service

When we read an amazing piece of content, we praise the writer for his/her skills. However, we often miss the fact that it's the editing skill of an individual, which makes the content flawless. This is the reason why most students are asked to proofread their assignments before submitting. But do you know that proofreading and editing are not the same things?

Well, you are not the only person to get confused between proofreading and editing. There are a number of people who also think they are the same. However, we have put together all the necessary information regarding the topic to help you understand the difference between proofreading and editing. Here’s the proofreading vs. editing overview.

What is proofreading and editing?

Before we go into the deeper analysis of proofreading vs. editing, it is crucial to understand what is what.

  • Proofreading:

Proofreading is a practice that allows you to identify all errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar. It also allows you to detect inconsistency in terminology, formatting, and referencing. In simpler words, proofreading helps make minor, aesthetic adjustments to the content instead of big changes.

  • Editing:

Unlike proofreading, the practice of editing involves measures that improve the overall quality of the content. In fact, editing uses much more creativity and considers the feelings of the target audience of the content. Editing also rectifies areas like the use of passive voice, the tone of writing, lengthy sentences, the structure of the content, and more.
If you look at these two practices, you can say that proofreading is more of science while editing is an art.

Things That Work For Both Proofreading And Editing

The objectives of both these practices are to improve the overall quality of the text. It is quite obvious that they share some similarities, which are also the reason why people often confuse them with each other. Whether you are proofreading or editing a paper, you can always count on these following measures for better results:

  • Spend some time away from the text:

Be it proofreading or editing, don’t start it right after drafting the content. Since the text is still very familiar to your mind, your mind tends to skip over a number of areas that require rectification. Take a break for a day or for a few hours (in case the deadline is close) to clear your head, and then start working on proofreading or editing with a fresh mind.

  • Find a quiet place to work:

In order to make the optimum use of your editing and proofreading techniques, you need a quiet place for work. If you keep getting distracted while editing or proofreading a particular text, there are chances that you may end up missing certain areas that needed some work. For complete attention to details, always choose a distraction-free environment to work in.

  • Personalize your process:

In the case of both editing and proofreading, you can try different things and see what boost your productivity. Decide which medium (pen and paper or computer) helps you work with more finesse. If you have several other things to attend, you can divide your proofreading or editing task into several blocks of time. These hacks work for both editing and proofreading.

However, both the processes have some significant differences, which you need to know. The editing and proofreading definitions may have provided you with some hint. Keep reading to discover the elements of proofreading vs. editing in detail.

The Difference Between Proofreading And Editing

If you look at the functions of these two practices, you will find that proofreading is more of a superficial checking, while editing involves correcting issues at the core of writing. To help you have a better understanding of the difference between proofreading and editing, we have enlisted the major points in this following format:





This exercise is performed on the final draft of the content.

This exercise is performed on the first draft of the content and continues until the draft is finalized.


It addresses minor issues on the surface level.

It addressed the issues with the core features of writing.


Rectifies misspellings, inconsistencies, formatting errors, and grammatical and punctuation mistakes.

Improves the language through changes. It works on the clarity, readability, and the flow of words.


The definition of proofreading remains the same for all conditions.

The definition of editing often varies depending on the scope of editing.


Performing this exercise does not result in word count reduction.

Editing often ends up in word reduction (if necessary.


Proofreading makes already well-written content error-free.

The purpose of editing is to improve the overall quality of writing.


Such exercise does not require the involvement of the original author.

This exercise requires the author’s involvement quite significantly.


It requires less time to perform as the work is very superficial.

This practice requires a significant amount of time.

This comparative analysis has, hopefully, resolved your confusion regarding proofreading and editing. However, knowing the difference is not enough if you want to submit an impressive piece of content with zero error. For that, you need to polish your proofreading and editing skills. The good news is that now there are a number of online editing and proofreading services.  

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So, what are you waiting for? Place your order with today, and get your paper rectified from the finest assignment experts in the business. Our prices are absolutely affordable, and you always get on-time delivery from us.

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