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Difference between Editing and Proofreading

Most academic writing services as well as publishers offer both editing and proofreading services. However when clients look at the list of services they often get confused between the two. Editing and proofreading are often used as synonyms by lay persons but as academic writers and students it  is important to understand how to differentiate between the two. In fact editing and proofreading have different objectives and thereby vary in their outcome. So by knowing the difference when you are supurcing services for writing you can ensure that you get what you are paying for.

Most often the target audience for proofreading as well as editing services remain the same which further complicates things. The target audience are usually students, authors who are new to the business of  writing and publishing , reserachers who oursource the writing for their dissertation or doctoral theses or businesses who oursource content development. This article is an attempt to make these target groups understand the clear difference between the two terms and it is highly recommended that you go through the content of this article before you approach a writing service for either of the two  services.

Editing is a task undertaken by professionals qualified for the same who enhance the quality of the document by making critical modifications to the language and expression.Editors work on the consistency of the messaging and ensure that there are no contradicting or contrasting statements in the work.It is also the job of the editor to improve the readbility of the paper or essay. While editing may or may not include proof reading which is essentially the task of correcting errors, proofreading does not include editing .Thus when a good editor works on your paper the essay or theses will look like it has been written by a person who has excellent command over the langage and is articulate. A good editor makes your work look beautiful.

Editing is all about enhancing the overall quality of a literary task . What delinetaes a good work from a great work is the language used, the flow of ideas, clarity of epxressions and the consistency throughout the work. The job of the editor is to ensure that a literary task handed over to him or her tops in all the above aspects. The editor also looks at arguements critically and makes them sound more powerful or persuasive by using stronger language. Through adept expressions editing can also make the author look authoritative and enhance the expertise of the researcher and double or triple the impact.

Though not all editors underake the responsibility of adhering to conventions , some editing services also look at references and ensures that they follow the relevant or recommended rules. These are the kind of services that students should look out for , since a lot of times , grades suffer because the reference format is incorrect or because the sources are not credible. Referencing being an integral aspect of any academic writing a good editor would be more than willing to assess the quality of references and check if the right format has been used.

No literary work will cross the first level of verification if grammar or spelling errors are detected . This is precisely what proofreading is all about.Any goof –ups in superficial level of writing will be taken care of during proof reading. Thus if you are sure about the flow of writing and the clarity and you do not require to change the overall look and feel of your literary work but just want to check for any errors then proof reading is what you need to look out for. If you are adept in spotting mistakes a lot of times , this is something you can undertake yourself.

However if you do not understand the technicalities of the language it is best to take professional help. No computer program or peer can identify linguistic mistakes and for that you definitely need an expert. A proofreader is someone who understands the intricacies of the language and the rules of grammar. Proof reading is usually done in a methodical fashion using hard copies to identify and correct mistakes.In addition to identification of mistakes, proofreading also involves looking out for inconsistencies and duplication which can be critical blocks to the quality of a literary work.

Yet another aspect of proof reading is the correction of punctuation. Often a work suffers in quality because of lack of punctuation or using the wrong one at the wrong place. This is something that a proof reader meticulously corrects. Often authors and researchers lack the eye for detail and though they may be experts in the language itself they fail to spot out mistakes. The trained eye of a proofreader is what you can enlist for this service.A common mistake in technical writing is usage of homonyms which are similar sounding words with different spelling. When they are used wrongly homonyms can change the context of the writing. Proofreaders are trained to keep a special lookout for homonyms and make sure that they are used in the right context.

Before we close it is imperative to understand who should look out for what kind of service. Ideally any writer should take professional help of both editor and proofreader since these are people trained for the job of making a literary work look more presentable and free of errors. However if you are an author it is critical that you avail the services of an editor since they are professionally trained to gauge the flow and clarity of the content of your work. A native English speaker probably can do with just proof reading but for a non- native speaker it is advisable to avail the services of an editor in whatever literary work they do since their language may not be of the prescribed quality level. However businesses can feel free to choose between editing or proofreading depending upon the reach and the target audience of the communication .