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What's the Difference Between Copyediting and Proofreading?




As a writer and editor, I often get asked about the difference between copyediting and proofreading. While both processes are essential to producing high-quality written work, they are actually different from each other.

Copyediting is the process of reviewing a document to improve its clarity, flow, and overall quality. It involves checking for grammar and spelling errors, but it also involves making sure the document is well-organized, coherent, and easy to read. A good copyeditor will also check for inconsistencies and ensure that the document adheres to the appropriate style guide (such as APA or Chicago style).

Proofreading, on the other hand, is the final step in the editing process. It involves carefully reviewing the document to catch any remaining errors or typos that may have been missed during the copyediting process. Proofreading is typically done just before the document is published or printed, and it is often the last opportunity to catch mistakes before they are made public.

So, what's the main difference between the two? Simply put, copyediting is a more comprehensive and in-depth process that focuses on improving the overall quality of the document, while proofreading is a more focused and detailed process that focuses on catching any remaining errors.

Here are a few key points to keep in mind:

  • Copyediting involves checking for grammar and spelling errors, but it also involves improving the organization, clarity, and coherence of the document.

  • Proofreading is the final step in the editing process, and it involves carefully reviewing the document to catch any remaining errors or typos.

  • Both copyediting and proofreading are essential to producing high-quality written work, but they are different processes that serve different purposes.


I hope this helps clear up any confusion about the difference between copyediting and proofreading. As a writer, it's important to understand the role of each process in the editing process and to work with an editor who is skilled in both. Happy writing!


Both copyediting and proofreading are within my skillset! If you need help with either, click on the button below or send an email to nicole@nicolemarron.com—I'm here for you!



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