What's the Difference Between a Proofreader and a Copyeditor?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions I receive here at The Loughborough Pen: what’s the difference between a proofreader and a copyeditor?

What people are really asking is: which one do I need?

This all comes down to where you are in the process and at what stage your writing currently sits. For those in academia - particularly postgraduate students - it might be worth speaking with your supervisor about this. Has the work been reviewed and checked previously? Has it undergone any kind of peer or supervisor checks? Or is it at the final, polished stage that requires more of a surface read to flag anything missed?

One rule of thumb is to always copyedit first; copyediting is a more thorough process, meaning that more inconsistencies will be highlighted and changed. Proofreading is intended to be the final run-through - like a quality check - before a text is submitted for publication, marking or review. If you’re really unsure about what each entails, you can also check out this page at Grammarly or these pages on copyediting and proofreading at the Society for Proofreaders and Editors.

While considering what service you’ll need with us here, you might find this guide useful; it lays out what is involved at The Loughborough Pen for both the copyediting and proofreading processes. All projects we take on will be checked under these headings.

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Whatever you decide, you can get in touch with us at hello@theloughboroughpen.co.uk or call Emily on (+44) 01509 387056. We’re always more than happy to answer your questions and make sure you get the service you need!


Until next time,

Emily
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