Although these two terms are used interchangeably, editing and proofreading are two separate stages of revision process and focus on different aspects.
In editing process, the text is checked for contextual mistakes and inconsistencies to improve the flow and the quality. It is confirmed that the correct terminology is used by benefiting from specialized dictionaries, industry and corporate glossaries, if any, and from similar texts. At the end of this stage, the language is sharp and consistent, the expressions are clear, and the text is as fluent as the original text. Some of the questions considered here are:
• Have proper words been chosen?
• Does the style appeal the target audience?
• Are there any unnecessary expressions?
Proofreading process focuses on the correctness of the text. In this process, the text is checked for spelling, grammar, punctuation and syntax errors, typos, etc. If the customer provides a style guide or a brand guide, the text is also checked against such guidelines. Questions asked at this stage are like the following ones:
• Are there any typos?
• Are the commas in the right place?
• Are there any double spaces after full stops?
All these checks are especially crucial for documents intended to be published such as academic articles, corporate texts, product manuals, etc. The impact of a clear and a fluent text with a tone addressing the target audience on success is undisputed. The more comprehensible the text is, the more persuasive it would be. No matter how brilliant the idea is or how interesting the content is, you may not influence the audience as intended unless you transfer your message free of mistakes and in a fluent, consistent and clear manner.