Editing vs Proofreading

Paid to Proofread Staff
2 min readSep 18, 2020

The biggest differences between an editor and a proofreader

I know what you may be thinking. Come on. Is there really all the much of a difference between a proofreader and an editor? I mean, come on. It’s practically the same thing, right? Wrong. On the contrary, proofreading and editing are far more different than you may think, and here is how.

According to Editage by CACTUS, “A proofreader will look for misspellings, incorrect/missed punctuation, inconsistencies (textual and numerical), etc. Editing, on the other hand, corrects issues at the core of writing like sentence construction and language clarity. Thorough editing will help improve the readability, clarity, and tone of the text.” Which alone, states all of the major differences between an editor and a proofreader.

Aside from CACTUS’s definition, there is a path that a written work should always follow when there is an intended publishing use and that is the work being written, the work then being edited, to then the work being proofread, and finally, the work is put out for its intended use. As one can see, the work must be edited first before it can be proofread. A proofreader will always receive a final draft to be proofread while an editor will always receive the first draft to be edited. This way, the editor can address the core feature of the writing while the proofreader can address surface-level mistakes.

Overall, the importance of this is to not only know which career choice is more appealing to you, but also to know when you should use an editor and when you should use a proofreader. If your document needs substantial revisions and a refined polish of your written work, then you should refer to an editor. If your work needs basic grammatical, typographical, and punctuational fixes after your document has been edited, then you should refer to a proofreader.

By Karla M. Cortes



Paid to Proofread Staff

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