It can be difficult to decide whether you need proofreading or editing to get the best results for your writing. Proofreading is mostly about removing mistakes, word by word, sentence by sentence. These can be grammar, vocabulary, spelling, or punctuation mistakes. The aim is to make your sentences flow nicely without the reader being distracted by errors. For academic papers these errors will cost you marks and lower your grade unless they are corrected. Editing does all this but also more besides. It will cover your paragraphing, the relevance of what you have written and whether you are answering the paper’s main questions. It can involve rewriting and paraphrasing and reducing the overall number of words if required. Editing takes a lot more time and can increase your mark even more than proofreading.
The table below summarises the differences.
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