Blog Editing and Proofreading Tips

Revising vs Proofreading: What's the Difference?

The confusion about revising vs proofreading seems to be never-ending because students mix these terms up. They think that any kind of text improvement can be called both. It’s a mistake that can cost you dearly. Revision means a deep kind of work where you rewrite parts of paper, rearrange structure, add new sources, expand your paper, and so on. It’s pretty time-consuming and requires a thorough approach on several levels at once. In turn, proofreading is more superficial: it means work with typos, grammar errors, and other purely mechanical details. Editing can take 2 hours, while proofreading of the same text can last just for 20 minutes. But let’s make a more detailed overview.

All Instances Where You Need Revision

First, you need to find an answer to several simple questions: what does revising mean in the paper writing process and what elements does it have? Also, how to make sure you are correct when you are in the revision stage? It’s a wide area to cover, but we are going to make an emphasis on several specific aspects. If you get an editing task, these are the things you have to do:

  • Check your audience. Were you writing your essay for people who already understand your topic or for those who have no idea what you’re talking about? Try to look at it from an objective standpoint. If your audience is full of amateurs, it’s better to use simpler language and explain your terms even if they are basic. But for knowledgeable readers, you need to take on a more intricate approach: impress them with new ideas and talk like they are your peers in terms of education.  
  • Look at the size of your paragraphs. There are rules for every kind of paragraph when it comes to both revising and proofreading. For instance, introduction paragraph and conclusion should be around 10% from the overall word count. Each body paragraph needs to have at least 3 sentences, and it cannot exceed 200 words (which is 2/3 of a page). Clarify details about sizes with your university in particular.    
  • Test the flow. How does your text flow? Do ideas make sense together or do you jump between the points? Text shouldn’t be confusing, so pay attention to this. Clarity is one of the most important proofreading and revising strategies.
  • Work on thesis. In almost every essay, the thesis is a crucial part. It must be strong, informative, and argumentative, making it clear what you are exploring and what your end goal is. Does it sound specific or generic? Include details and certainty in your tone if in doubt — it’ll never hurt.
  • Add or remove details. You should research your points fairly. Don’t introduce a topic just to forget about it after one sentence. If you see that some ideas aren’t developed well, enhance them with additional details. On the contrary, if parts of content sound tedious and overdone, remove sentences. Proofreading and revising are both complex processes, but like we said, the latter requires more work: don’t be afraid to change or twist your text until it sounds right. Some practical examples should also be present because theory alone is rarely convincing.

Times When You Need Proofreading

English is a language with numerous nuances, and debate between the definitions of revising vs proofreading proves it. There are many things students could do to polish their text. We already covered editing, so now it’s time to move on to proofreading. It deals with punctuation, grammar, and formatting. As you can see from the best proofreading websites, punctuation is one of the first things experts deal with. Even English native speakers often make mistakes. Some of them can correct them upon re-reading their text, but others lack knowledge, so they need professional help.

When facing proofreading vs revising dilemma, remember that grammar is something proofreading is responsible for. Read through your sentences & try to notice any grammar issues. Students often mix up tenses or don’t watch out for various clauses. It affects not just their fluency but also ruins the meaning of their sentences. Formatting is something college essay editors do often because the formatting is a nightmare for most students. Check so that every claim was cited correctly, in proper order, and with identifying information like author’s name, date of publishing the document, and its title pointed out.

Learn the Difference between Revising and Proofreading with These Rules

Learning process is difficult and even exhausting. Some people hire the best writing service to do work for them while others try to figure out how to write & edit their essays by themselves. For those from the second category, here are several rules to remember:

  • Proofreading is done after revision. What is the difference between revising and proofreading? The latter comes after the former. First, read the text & improve its content by slicing, adding, and expanding content. Then start looking for typos.

  • Rely on yourself first and foremost. It could be tempting to use grammar or spell check and stop there. We don’t recommend it. Programs make mistakes — base your work on your own knowledge.

  • Read your text aloud. This is a sure way to catch all inaccuracies along with errors. Keep a checklist like ours close: this will help you answer an important question of, which of the following details should you keep in mind? Correct them as you see (or hear) them.

  • Get assistance. Often, Writing Centers at colleges offer their assistance with editing and proofreading. If you actually want someone else to do your work for some reason, find trustworthy specialists.

Be Attentive and Trust Experts

Apart from the fact that your paper looks better after you re-read and edit it, professors also appreciate seeing the evidence of proofreading and revisions. So, follow the tips we outlined. If you trust your own expertise, great! Look at your paper objectively and improve it. If you feel worried about doing everything properly, check the best firms and ask for help — we have many lists with top options.

Posted by Chris M., October 01, 2020