8 October 2015
Editing and proofreading are often overlooked, but they are the critical final stages of the writing process for company brochures, product literature and websites. Even the smallest error can result in embarrassing or even costly outcome (misspelling a name, transposing digits in a telephone number) — and ultimately damage your brand — so taking time and care to check what you have written is essential, before supplying copy to your design agency!
To many people, editing and proofreading are one and the same thing. There is, however, a distinct difference between the two.
Editing is the first task that should be undertaken after finishing the first draft of a piece of text. It involves checking the content of the text to ensure that the ideas are expressed clearly and logically, and form a coherent and meaningful whole. Proofreading involves checking over the text in finer detail after the editing stage, to detect errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar and format.
Proofreading is not merely casting a glance over what you have written: it requires concentration to disconnect your mind from the content of the text in order to focus on the language and layout. Errors can be difficult to spot, so it is essential to read the text word by word to ensure that you don’t miss anything as it involves correcting small errors (some of which can, nevertheless, have a major impact), it does not require major rewriting. The aim of proofreading is to spot and correct errors inspelling, typography, grammar, punctuation & use of language, style & format and anything missed at the editing stage.
Editing requires focusing on the content of the text. The key goals are to check that the text:
Proofreading is not merely casting a glance over what you have written. The key goals are to check that the text:
What we find helpful is applying the 'proof readers marks to make the necessary changes to a document during our proofing process. Here is a useful chart of many of the proof readers marks.