Proofreading And Copyediting: The Key Points

When I started my editorial journey, an area that confused me the most was the different levels of editing. When completing work for a client, I often found myself referring back to course workbooks and modules to check exactly which tasks as an editor, I had been hired to complete! Though this wasn’t an ideal position for an editor, it is the reason why I’ve chosen to focus my first blog on this topic.

Two levels of editing that are considered the later stages of the publishing journey are proofreading and copyediting, and these are our focus today.

Key Points About Proofreading:

Proofreading is the final stage of the editing process and is considered simply as a surface check. It is the job of a proofreader to pick up on any minor errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar, and word use. Proofreaders should be familiar with the style guide of a manuscript to maintain style and consistency for the client.

It is not a proofreaders job to delve deeply into the structure and language of a manuscript; therefore, proofreading does not involve any rewriting or reorganising of text.

Key Points About Copyediting:

Copyediting is more complicated than a surface check. It is the step before proofreading in the publishing journey.

A copyeditor is more invested than a proofreader in the language and structure of a manuscript. Therefore, a copyeditor performs extra tasks which include, creating a style guide to maintain consistency in text, checking word use and formatting, confirming and checking certain facts and terminology for accuracy, and rewriting and reorganising of text when necessary.

Like proofreading, copyediting also involves correcting errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar.


I hope this short summary has clarified the main points of proofreading and copyediting, and the differences between them. As an editor it is incumbent to know the different levels of editing; however, as a writer it is also quite handy to have an idea of the differences, to understand what level of editing your manuscript may require.

I offer both proofreading and copyediting services for Islamic content creators and Muslim writers.

If you are nearing the end of your writing journey, I would love to help with your editing needs.

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