Editing and Proofreading

The four stages of editing and proofreading are:

Type of editing What it involves
Step 1: Content editing Revising an early draft of a text, often making significant changes to the content and moving, adding or deleting entire sections (also known as developmental or substantive editing).
Step 2: Line editing Revising the use of language to communicate your story, ideas, or arguments as effectively as possible. This might involve changing words, phrases and sentences and restructuring paragraphs to improve the flow of the text.
Step 3: Copy editing Revising individual sentences to ensure correct grammar, clear syntax, and stylistic consistency, often following the rules of a specific style guide such as MLA or Chicago. Copy editing does not change the content of a text, but if a sentence or paragraph is ambiguous or awkward, it’s the moment to attend to it.
Step 4: Proofreading Carefully checking for any remaining errors, such as misspelled words, misplaced punctuation, and stylistic inconsistencies. In publishing, proofreaders are also responsible for checking any formatting that affects the text’s eventual presentation.