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Question: What's the Difference Between Proofreading and Copyediting?

Aren't they the same?

Question: I see ads for proofreading and for copyediting. What's the difference between the two? jk

Answer: Hi jk - proofreading and copyediting do tend to blur, but there is a difference. According to Dictionary.com, proofreading is: To read (copy or proof) in order to find errors and mark corrections.

When you're proofreading, you're really looking only for errors like typos, misspellings, and, to some degree, misuse of words.

Dictionary.com defines copyediting as: To correct and prepare (a manuscript, for example) for typesetting and printing.

The copyeditor is going further and actually getting the manuscript ready for typesetting.

In this digital age, the copyeditor doesn't deal as much with special marks for a typesetter, but tends to go ahead and make the corrections. A copy editor also does fact checking and often gets involved in some rewriting, or kicking the work back to the author for rewriting.

Anne Wayman, Freelance Writer

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If you have a question you'd like to see here, send an email to me at: anne@aboutfreelancewriting.com. Please, put Q&A in the subject line so it won't get lost. I don't promise to answer every question, but I'll consider it. Know too, that when you send a question, and I do decide to publish it, I reserve the right to edit for clarity, etc.




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