Difference Between Editing and Proofreading

Editing Vs Proofreading – How Are They Different

Editing and proofreading are two different sides of the same coin. This does not mean they are completely identical, but they both perform a different level of functions which comes under the roof of revision, and is said to act as supportive measures for each other.

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The Contrast

Editing and proofreading are contrasting words, expressly considered the two steps of revision. To understand them, it is first necessary to perceive the differences between these two, through their definitions


This is the stage where the author goes through their own work, gives a final check, and carefully reads the document to find any mistakes in wordings. They will check for:

  • Grammatical mistake
  • Spelling errors
  • Inconsistencies
  • Paraphrasing
  • Repetitive words
  • Syntax
  • Punctuations
  • Capitalization
  • Proper citations

In proofreading, they are noted down for correction. It is a process for identifying errors and marking them for correction. Proofreading is also said to be like a draft and is the final stage of your revision, where the author gets a last chance to search for any errors before submission.


Editing, on the other hand, is the stage of revision, where the author goes through the process of taking the action, and perform correction in the whole text. This is done to bring clarity and to make the document more readable. Editing concentrates more towards:

  • Structuring
  • Formatting
  • The flow of the text
  • Paragraphing
  • Tone of writing
  • Style of writing
  • Method of conveying the content

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The Revision Process! What Comes First?

Proofreading and editing are not chronological but can be performed anytime and even multiple times. This depends upon the writer and how they are comfortable editing. But the usual standard order is as follows:


This is a revision process when it comes to editing and proofreading.

Comparative Differences Between the Two

Let’s take a look at their differences comparatively, side by side.


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No Proofreading Editing
1 Focuses more towards grammatical errors Focuses more on the whole structure
2 Surface level checking Requires in-depth correction
3 Does not require much action Requires a full collaboration
4 Needs detailed attention of a particular text Needs detailed attention of the whole structure
5 Reforms and betters the already written text Enforces and includes deleting or formatting the whole text if required

In simple words, proofreading is like ‘on the way’ correction, while editing is more in-depth.

Let’s understand them in detail.


  1. Focuses more towards grammatical errors: Proofreading caters to correct the textual errors, where the proofreader understands the essentials as well as conventions of the language written.
  2. Surface level checking: Proofreading usually does not check the in-depth of writing or even the sentences but rather, focuses more on the wordings.
  3. Does not require much action: Due to the availability of multiple software and artificial intelligence, proofreading has been made much easier. But apart from that, authors proofread their own work by themselves and even if a proofreader is hired, then there is little to no collaboration required, as the work is made easy.
  4. Needs detailed attention of a particular text: Focuses more on enhancing the word, abolish inconsistencies, and looks out for repetitive words rather than enhancing the whole paragraph.
  5. Reforms and betters the already written text: In proofreading, the word count is not changed but remains the same. The already existing words which consist of spelling errors are corrected and not deleted.


  1. Focuses more on the structure: Instead of the textual errors, editing caters more towards correcting the whole paragraph and the structure.
  2. Requires in-depth correctionEditing goes in-depth and checks to correct the flow of the sentence.
  3. Requires a full collaborationEditing may require full collaboration with another party or a professional, to understand if the whole text makes sense from the reader’s perspective. It usually happens with students who conduct their research project and need help for proofreading or editing, as they consult professionals and sometimes even purchase a dissertation for sale to avoid any revision or rejection.
  4. Needs detailed attention for the whole structure: Focuses more on enhancing the paragraphs, it’s structuring, and the flow instead of just fixing a particular word only.
  5. Enforces and includes deleting or formatting the whole text if required: In editing, there can be deleted of a particular word or even the whole paragraph if required. In other words, there is an alteration of the word count.

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Proofreading and editing are not identical but are still required to improve the quality of your writing. They both can even be done together at the same time. They both possess supporting functionalities which enhances a piece of writing and helps to reach its full potential.


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