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What’s the Difference Between Proofreading and Copy Editing?

The majority of college students think that copy editing and proofreading are two identical things. But experienced academic writers know the difference, and they also realize how helpful copy editing and proofreading are.

Students oftentimes forget to check their final texts or don’t have enough time to do that. That’s why hiring a proofreader or a trained editor is a good idea. But what can you expect from each of them? Let’s look at the differences between proofreading and copy editing and find out what academic writers can offer you.

What Is Proofreading?

College students can easily find writers who are able to proofread any text. Of course, for some students proofreading looks like an easy and less important step. But hiring a professional proofreader can not only improve your paper but also save you from a bad grade. What if you wrote a thoughtful paper and received an “F” simply because you had too many grammar inaccuracies and spelling errors? Yes, that’s not pleasant at all. And that’s why asking a proofreader for help is always a good idea.

An experienced and skillful writer can easily proofread your paper and find even the smallest mistakes, such as occasional typos, punctuation errors, syntax, grammar mistakes, spelling inaccuracies, and the use of the proper variant of English, whether it’s American spelling or British English.

A proofreader’s job is to ensure that there are zero errors in your work. He or she won’t suggest any changes connected to the style or the content of your work and will only format the text according to the language rules. By hiring a professional, you will be certain that your text is flawless, at least from the grammatical side.

What Is Copy Editing?

Some students prefer to be on the safe side and look for copy editing assistance. Copy editors will make your work look polished and flawless. Think of an editor as your partner in writing. Because that’s what they really are: they make certain that your paper tells the story clearly and beautifully, they focus on both the big picture and the small details, and they add a finishing touch to your paper.

What does a copy editor really do? To begin with, he or she checks your spelling, syntax, and grammar. With their meticulous eyes and a fresh look, they can easily find the errors you haven’t noticed and fix them.

Another helpful thing a copy editor does is checking the info. No matter what type of paper you wrote, this step is necessary if you want your work to be accurate and truthful. The editor can check all the facts and the proof you used to back your argument.

Technical details and consistency also belong to the list of things a copy editor deals with. For example, what is the language variant that you use when writing? You might use American spelling on one page and then British English spelling on the next one, for example, “favorite” and “favourite.” Or, let’s say, you write “e-mail” at the beginning of the text, and then finish it with the “email.” Such mistakes are common and very easy to miss, but the professional editor will see and fix them.

A copy editor can also perform like your lawyer, checking the text for a potential legal liability. You never know whether your paper might libel other people.

You see now that a copy editor does more than simply check your spelling and grammar, as he or she makes certain that your text is complete, well-written, and consistent.

How to Find a Reliable Proofreader Online

Asking someone to proofread your work before presenting it is a great way to ensure its correctness and help you master your writing skills. When choosing among different academic writers, you need to consider many of their qualities.

It’s beneficial to pick a native English speaker. They are more likely to fix more mistakes and make the most suitable and relevant changes, as they have a deep knowledge of the language.

Pay attention to their experience. You can ask how many papers, books, articles, or other works of literature they have proofread and base your decision on their level of experience.

Make sure that you are working with a real human and not a machine. Many online editing companies don’t bother to proofread the papers by themselves and simply run the texts through grammar check software and editing programs. You could easily do that yourself, but a machine can never detect and deal with all the mistakes. Therefore, make certain that the company you’re going to work with allows actual people to do the job.

It’s a good idea to give your preference to someone who is always there for you. A proofreader who corresponds with you regularly can keep you updated on how the work is going, which will allow you to not worry about presenting your paper in time.

How to Find a Copy Editing Expert Online

Academic writers who do the copy editing job are a bit different than the proofreaders, so there are some other things you need to pay attention to when searching for the best copy editor. The person you are looking for must be skillful, detail-oriented, precise, and creative. But how do you find that one expert who will be able to do the best job for you and meet all of your requirements?

There are many traits a good copy editor should possess, and one of them is, of course, experience. Ask them about their education, how many years they’ve been working in this field, and how many papers or books they have edited. You can also look for online testimonials to see how many people were satisfied with this editor’s job.

Creativity is another trait a good copy editor should have. Pay attention to their resume and cover letter, as they can tell you a lot about the editor’s imagination and their potential to think out of the box. Cover letters can show their authors’ passion for some particular work fields, so read them carefully. Also, pay attention to the grammar and spelling in the resume. If an editor makes a mistake or even a typo in their own resume, this person is not attentive to details, which means they might miss some mistakes in your text.

If you can find an editor, who is ready to copy and edit a free or cheap sample work for you, use this opportunity. There are some crucial things you need to pay attention to in the edited text. Above all things, did the editor manage to meet the set deadline? If he or she took too long working on the sample text, it could mean only one thing: you will have troubles working with this person in the future. The editor can be super talented, but if he or she is always late with the results, it can really mess up your whole work.

Next, pay attention to the changes your editor has made. Do you like the way he or she thinks? Did he or she provide explanations on why every particular change should’ve been made and are you satisfied with those explanations? Did he or she give some fresh and helpful insights? All of these questions can help you decide whether this person is right for you and your requirements, no matter what type of paper you wrote.