Correction and editing of texts: What are their differences?

The correction and editing of texts are two essential activities for all clear, coherent and efficient written communication, whether for the academic, personal, professional or business fields. But let’s start at the beginning, why are they so important?
In the first place, because grammatical errors threaten the effectiveness and seriousness of any written document. Texts that contain spelling, punctuation, syntax, conceptual or structural errors limit reading fluency and convey to the reader a sense of informality and laziness that – depending on the case – can be very counterproductive for the author.
From causing the loss of a business and voiding a deal to disapproving of important academic work, the chances of plans being ruined by poor-quality text are endless. Therefore, as happens in many areas of life, in written communication the attention to detail also makes a difference.
To prevent this kind of inconvenience it is necessary to resort to proofreading and editing of texts. Although many believe that these two activities are very similar to each other, the truth is that they are different and – fundamentally – complementary.

What is text editing?
Text editing is the process of reading, reviewing, and making suggestions about the content of a written document. The purpose of this work is to improve the fluency of the text, its readability, clarity and precision, in addition to correcting grammatical and spelling errors, if any.
Therefore, text editing is a thorough and detailed review of the document, whether it is an original writing or its translation into another language. A professional editor takes care of the content analysis, coherence, organization, style and tone of the text in question.
But in addition, the editing process also involves verifying that the author has used the most accurate terminology for the text. For this, the editor must carefully investigate each concept or word that they do not know and / or generates doubts to ensure that the use of that term is correct.

What is proofreading?
Proofreading is the final stage in the writing process of a document: the professional proofreader is the last person to proofread a text, after the editor and before it is considered ready to be distributed, submitted or published.
In this instance, the meaning of the words and the terminology are left aside, since it is considered that the editor – as long as they have done their job well – previously dealt with them. At this stage, the work focuses on the details of the text.
Proofreading consists of checking the document for errors in spelling, grammar, syntax, punctuation, typing, and capitalization. In addition, the proofreader also controls page numbering and consistency in abbreviations, formats, and the overall style of the document.
In the case of working on proofreading and editing translations, another important distinction between both works is that while the editor uses the original text to edit the translated document; the proofreader concentrates only on the final version of the document, that is, on the translation into a new language.

What are the characteristics of a professional proofreader and editor?

Although both professions are different from each other, proofreaders and editors often share certain characteristics that define their professional profile.
Some of them are:

  • A university or higher educational level (both are university majors).
  • Familiarity and taste for universal literature and literary values.
  • Independent judgment capacity to edit and correct different documents, regardless of their authorship and origin.
  • Understanding and updating against the trends, uses and customs of their time.
  • Ability to express oneself in writing with clarity, coherence and effectiveness.

How can I contact an editor and proofreader?

Worldly Translations is an agency with more than ten years of experience, so we know how to respond quickly and efficiently to the particular requirements of each of our clients. We provide document translation, transcription, proofreading, revision and editing services to meet a wide range of needs.

In our team we have professionals who are passionate about proofreading and editing texts. If you need our services, contact the agency through this form.

We hope you have learned the different differences in proofreading and editing to apply them in study and comprehension. Until next time!