Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Copy Editing vs. Proofreading

Hi Pat,

Could you please differentiate between Copy Editing and Proofreading?


1 comment:

Pat said...

Yikes, sorry to not see this till now!

Proofreading always comes after copyediting. After the editor has gone over the manuscript, all the changes and corrections are entered. A new printout is generated, and the proofreader--usually with a partner--goes over it to make sure that the editor's marks have been interpreted and entered correctly. Because of the way this process is structured, proofreaders learn a lot about copyediting and sometimes become copyeditors themselves.

Now, that doesn't mean that copyeditors don't also look for errors. Of course they do. In the process of editing, they catch typographical errors, spelling errors, inconsistencies, and so forth. To catch these errors, they mentally compare the author's work with accepted standards of spelling, punctuation, and so forth.

However, strictly speaking, proofreaders and editors have separate and distinct functions in the editing-publishing process.

Thanks for the good question, Cindy. I'll say more about this tomorrow.