Although many people use the terms interchangeably, editing and proofreading are two different stages of the revision process. Both demand close and careful reading, but they focus on different aspects of the writing and employ different techniques.
Editing is what you begin doing as soon as you finish your first draft whereas proofreading is the final stage of the editing process, focusing only on the grammar mistakes, punctuation and spelling mistakes.
The editing process involves improving the flow and quality of a written document and checking the facts to ensure that information included in a text is accurate.
When you are editing an early draft, you don’t want to be bothered with thinking about punctuation, grammar, and spelling. If you are worried about the spelling of a word or the placement of a comma, you won’t focus on the more important task of developing and connecting ideas.Editing is only designed to improve the overall quality of a written text.
Editing takes a deeper look at how information and ideas are presented and can help make it much easier to understand.
Proofreading is a highly developed skill that requires extensive knowledge of the English language. A good proofreader reads every letter of every word, checks every punctuation mark is the right one in the right place and that chapter headings and page numbers match the table of contents etc.
Proofreading is designed for documents that require a final check for grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors.Therefore both editing and proofreading are essential to produce the best possible paper.