The Differences Between Editing And Proofreading & Their Benefits

If you’ve completed an article or manuscript and aren’t sure what you should do in the next step of editing, there’s no need to worry. Proofreading may be the next step.

Although proofreading may be thought of as an editing method, they’re different. In any case, if you have to locate an editor but aren’t sure which one you should use to proofread or edit or both, we’ll define the distinction between these two.

What is Editing?

Editing involves an active editor that makes changes and suggestions to enhance the general quality and readability of the writing, especially about expression and language. When you edit your paper, make sure your writing is clear and consistent. Editing makes sure that your essay conveys the English language naturally.

Here are some of the most important questions editors will be thinking about when editing:

  • Are fitting words selected to express your ideas thoughtfully? The editor can see whether you’ve used your vocabulary throughout the article correctly.
  • Have you used active voice in the article? The passive voice isn’t always the most excellent decision, but it does make for exciting reading.
  • What tone is appropriate for the intended audience?
  • Overuse of words? Unnecessary words are a big concern of editors and authors alike.
  • Did you use gender-specific words correctly?

What is proofreading?

Proofreading is a less costly service than editing; however, it serves important functions. Proofreading is the act of correcting the surface mistakes in writing, including punctuation, spelling, and other grammatical mistakes.

These are the main questions that a proofreader must consider when proofreading a piece of writing:

  • Are there any spelling mistakes?
  • Full stops, semicolons, colons, etc. Are they used correctly?
  • Do words that sound similar to each other but have distinct meanings correctly used?
  • Are quotes, marks, or apostrophes employed properly?
  • Are there multiple spaces, particularly after full stops?

It is possible to think that removing the inconsistencies and mistakes in documents isn’t easy. You may think that a family or friend member, as well as a program on the computer, could handle it. But, a professional editor is a far superior proofreader than any computer program Google has envisioned.

Importance of Editing

A professional editor knows the rules of English writing and the subtleties of the language. A trained individual is methodical and corrects the most common mistakes—for instance, the thesis or a novel. In addition to identifying easily overlooked mistakes, they can also spot spelling, terminology, and formatting inconsistencies.

Importance of Proofreading

Any written work intended for publication must convey its message concisely, whether an academic piece or another business document. There should be no grammar, spelling, or punctuation mistakes, or word inconsistencies. Errors can hinder the effectiveness of the written word and the author’s credibility.

What writer should pick?

Based on our experiences, there are certain kinds of writers who generally prefer editing, and for some, proofreading is more suitable. The following examples aren’t strict rules but rather an overall view of the needs of specific writers. 

Editing is necessary

  • An English writer usually requires editing instead of proofreading regardless of whether it is academic, business, or any other book. ESL authors generally struggle with writing in the English language, and its often strange rules. Even a writer skilled in English needs assistance with subtleties and contradictions in formal English writing.
  • In the first instance, the book’s author should consider editing instead of proofreading. Editing is a valuable tool in improving your overall level of text and ensuring it is of a standard that can be published. The self-publishing and e-book market and the traditional publishing market are so competitive, you can be certain that the authors you’re competing against have professional book editing services for their books and, therefore, the absence of one puts you at a disadvantage.

Editing is beneficial when it is needed.

  • A native English speaker who needs academic publications is usually inclined to edit. Though some scholars and students have good writing abilities, professional editing may offer significant benefits. Editing enhances the quality of writing and guarantees that your arguments – the original ideas that you have spent lots of energy and effort developing – are communicated clearly and persuasively. Academic editing also includes editing to ensure compliance with formatting and style conventions. Writing of high quality and strict adherence to academic standards are two of the main factors in successful academic publishing.
  • A company could opt to edit or proofread based on the document’s significance. The quality of communications defines the image of a business, and a professional writing style demonstrates professionalism and competence. Editing is beneficial if the document’s writer is inexperienced or multiple authors have provided inconsistent input.

When proofreading is required

  • Academics and students who are competent writers and self-edited their work might only need proofreading to remove surface errors. With proofreading, you can ensure the elimination of errors or inconsistencies and academic-specific anomalies that could detract from the final product.
  • Authors of books who have had professional editing typically get the final proofread to publish with complete assurance. Though some authors may be reluctant at the thought of having to pay for proofreading, the truth is that even a handful of mistakes can make a book less enjoyable and unable to exceed its potential. A plethora of minor errors, without a doubt, can be a fatal stab to the soul of any writer.
  • Certain companies might just need a document that is error-free instead of the quality of the writing to be improved. Much will also depend on the kind of document and its degree of importance to the business.


As you can see, there are some basic distinctions between editing and proofreading. An editing service could include proofreading, but proofreading does not include editing. 

Editing and proofreading services tackle different areas of the writing, transforming your writing, regardless of whether it’s academic research or the grant proposal, into a persuasive and valuable written piece. But both editing and proofreading are necessary to enhance the quality of your writing.