What is Revising and Editing and What Is the Difference?

Sometimes people get confused by revision vs editing peculiarities when they need to tell what their newly written texts exactly need. The best answer would be based on what stage the work is. If one just finished writing, then correction is the next step that needs to be done from the author's side or with their substantial involvement as it presupposes content changes. This may be treated as a major difference between revising and editing because the former presupposes final draft’s polishing while the latter is the time-consuming process that turns a first rough draft into final one. This is essentially what one may call copy editing and proofreading sequence in words other than editing vs revising. 

What Is Editing and When It's Needed

We already established that it is a process that goes right after the initial draft’s completion. This is a truly essential step that should not be omitted as major difference between revision and editing is in changing the content while the second option or copy- variant is intended to fix factual or structural errors that are present in the initial text’s version.

Hiring the best college paper editing services online would be a sensible solution when a paper you just completed has flow drawbacks on needs corrections in utilized evidence. Ordering it usually means a hired professional will edit and revise the final essay draft as well. Some examples to illustrate the process:

  • Initial variant: “Reading in "Danger!" the naval blockade happened when the world war was going on. It can be very disturbing, imagining famine problems that the people of England are to suffer as well as issues associated with it was difficult, it can be said that the author had a very good imagination.”
  • Edited version: “In his short story "Danger!" Sir Arthur Conan Doyle masterfully described the hypothetical outcome and dangers associated with the naval blockade of England with famine being one of the most plausible scenarios. This hypothetical situation almost became a real one during World War I.”

Initial sentence makes one not even doubt which option should be chosen when edit vs revise tasks are considered. Major flow as well as factual issues along with grammar issues that impede understanding resulted in the necessity to edit content substantially before it can be included in the final draft.

What Does the Editor Do?

While the editor technically completes both revising and editing while working on different versions of the first draft, separate proofreading is also essential in many cases. Here lies a major difference between editing and proofreading since while editors pay attention to correct grammar as well as punctuation, they are not focused on those aspects only.

Some major tasks that editor is responsible for include:

  • Checking syntax along with correcting major grammar and vocabulary issues along the way, adding confusion when people think about revision vs. editing.

  • Fixing factual information in cases it is wrong.

  • Checking and fixing flow so that completed text is consistent and demonstrates appropriate structure, which together contribute to overall readability.

  • Verifying text’s originality.

Read also: How to find the best grammar checking tool and avoid mistakes?

What Is and When Is Proofreading Needed

It is not possible to revise and edit afterward since final revising with proofreading must be completed when final draft is ready and all content elements are flawless. Think about a completed dissertation with all obligatory sections written and included or a book just before publication. Once the author finishes the intended text so that the editor completes their part of work as well, making sure that structure, factual information, and general flow are effective and relevant, it is time for the proofreader to proceed with their job. Final draft must be free of any spelling and other minor issues.

Some examples: 

Initial variant: “Software engineering, and programming is often considered to be profitable and highly beneficial career choices.”

Revised version: “Software engineering and programming are often considered to be profitable and highly beneficial career choices.”

This is what is the difference between revising and editing as in this case the expert had to fix misspelling as well as punctuation errors in already good sentences.

What Does the Proofreader Do?

While research paper editors are busy with content helping readers get the correct information, proofreaders’ tasks involve fixing problems that usually do not impede understanding but may still severely affect the impression after reading your text.

Major responsibilities that distinguish editing and revising include:

  • Eliminating grammar errors, misspelled words, and incorrect punctuation.

  • Making sure stylistic representation is identical throughout the entire text in terms of fonts, spacing, page numbers, or proper highlights.

  • Ensuring the absence of typographical issues during the pre-production stage.

Let’s Find Out Difference Between Editing and Revising

Considering provided definitions, all major requirements for proofreading or revising vs. editing can be summarized as follows: 



Presupposes working with rough draft

Final text version’s proofreading

Requires in-depth changes and substantial content updates

Changes are not substantial and are not related to changing content itself

Language and vocabulary choices can be improved

Presupposes only fixing misspelling in terms of vocabulary

Word count can be changed if needed

Neither reduction nor enhancing word count is needed

Editor usually works in cooperation with text’s author to avoid adding redundant content or removing something important

Collaboration with initial writer is not needed as proofreader works with final draft

Requires more time

Can be completed relatively fast

Important Details to Remember

Understanding options’ variety and what exactly is expected in every specific case saves time and effort. If a person knows what revising means in the paper writing process as well as the text’s completion status, formulating relevant requests and tasks for specialists would not be a problem.

If you are confident in content, structure, and syntax that are present in your draft, you should choose the first option in revise vs edit opposition. The second option should be ordered in case some additional factual research is needed or completed text has features that are peculiar for a stream of consciousness. Otherwise, slight surface-level changes will not fix issues with readability or credibility.

You should also consider asking separate specialists for revising or proofreading tasks, as another person hired as proofreader will confirm 100% absence of issues that may have been overlooked during the writing process and by a first editor.

And That Should Be All

Once understanding of what is expected in every specific situation involving proofreading or revising vs editing is established, you may plan your workload better. Feel free to read the best essay writing service reviews before placing orders so that you will know whether the hired specialist will be in touch during substantial updating of your draft or the final version will be completely error-free in case you ordered proofreading.

Posted by Chris M., September 28, 2020

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