What Is More Important: Proofreading and Editing?

Proofreading and Editing

Proofreading and editing are in most cases used together, in fact, in some cases, they are erroneously used synonymously. This article seeks to demystify the misconception that has been there about proofreading and editing.


The focus is to correct the content of a document in order to improve the cohesiveness and coherence of the text, clarity, accuracy, and readability of the text.

Editing also helps to sharpen the focus of the assignment, making sure it does not veer off from the target, ideas are organized logically, there is a smooth transition from one idea to another and paragraph to paragraph, and those relevant arguments supported by verifiable facts are presented.

Through editing, the writer ensures that the tone for the text is appropriate. To do this effectively, the editor needs to have the audience in mind, the language used gendered or otherwise and passive voice is used appropriately.


Proofreading helps in correcting errors that a grammar-checker, spell-checker and what might have slipped the attention of the editor; it protects the text from grammatical assassination.

Through proofreading, the writer is able to correct mechanical errors such as missing or wrong punctuation, misspelling, incorrect or missing punctuation, etc.

Proofreading plays a part in identifying errors such as fragmented sentences, run-ons, and comma splice that can massacre the text.

As noted in the text, there is not much difference between proofreading and editing, and their significance is the same. The question is, how can one proofread and edit effectively?

a)     Proofread and edit in portions

Proofreading and editing is a demanding exercise that requires maximum concentration, revising long portions at once is likely to lose your concentration.

b)     Proofread and edit in a quiet environment

Distractions have a negative impact on proofreading and editing

c)      Know yourself

Do you proofread and edit better on a hard copy or at the computer?