Differences Among Revision, Editing, Proofreading

Updated on May 2, 2016

Revision, Editing, Proofreading: What's the difference?

Do you know the difference between proofreading, editing, revision, and other writing services? If not, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many people confuse proofreading with editing and revision, thinking that they all mean the same, however, as you will learn, the difference between these and other writing services are largely different and why there might be a contrast in prices when pursuing the services of a professional language service provider.

As stated above, many people confuse these three processes, believing that each process is all one and the same, however, there are stark and well-defined differences among the three processes that go into the refining of a text or document prior to its publishing. Some even add a fourth step – reviewing.

REP: Revision, Editing, Proofreading.

Revision, Editing, Proofreading
Revision, Editing, Proofreading

First things first: asking the important questions.

At many writing service companies (also known as language service providers), a number of steps are implemented in order to ensure the accuracy of a document’s message, which is usually carried out in three separate, but equally and vitally important processes. These steps are taken in order to ensure that the message is not hindered by needless wordiness, grammar, or syntax errors, that can be noticed by a professional editor.

The first step that any good editor, worth their weight in gold, will take is to look at the big picture and ask themselves these four essential questions:

1) Does the text of the document respond directly to the task at hand and to its audience?

2) Does it answer all of the questions?

3) Are there any holes in the document that need to be patched?

4) "Should an idea or point that was raised be further developed?

The beginning stage of the process: document revision

The first stage of the process is known as revision.

In short, it means to re-see or re-imagine the document as a whole. It means to take entire sentences and paragraphs and rewrite them from scratch in order to add emphasis to certain points or topics within the bigger picture. The revision of a document sets out to address each important point according to the order of concern. (Organization, audience, development, support, etc). Revision checks and double-checks that the document meets the requirements of the assignment and addresses each of the questions and concerns that an audience could potentially pose while reading or listening to the text being read aloud.

Revision and Editing differences
Revision and Editing differences

Second Stage: document editing

Once the editor has finished revising the document, she, or he, will begin working on the second part of the process which, in most cases, involves the editing of the document. As a side note -- based on my personal experience working in the translation and language service industry, It is this process that is often confused with revision, often getting lumped together, even by some language service professionals; though, as noted above, they are two different and mutually exclusive functions, but each one just as important as the other in the entire process.

The editing stage ensures that the wording of the document is coherent; that is is easily understood by its audience and that the “style” of the entire text isn't uneven or rumpled like a fine suit that is out of place. It focuses its attention on individual words and sentences, by addressing lower order concerns; It scrutinizes each word of the document, it seeks to clarify as well as bring some clarity to seemingly conflicting points that may be difficult to understand. The process of editing a document also includes looking for ways to make a long-winded document, or speech, shorter, more concise, and possibly taking out certain phrases or parts of sentences that may be too wordy or add very little to the entire text, without compromising the meaning or the message being conveyed by the author.

Tips and strategies for proofreading

proofreading strategies
proofreading strategies

A savvy editor will carefully refine the document by correcting any awkward phrases that may have sneaked their way onto the document during the initial draft or during the revision process. In a nutshell, editing is a lot like making sure that each point and idea is properly connected to the next and works to create one big picture, without being too wordy or losing its intended audience in the process.

document proofreading
document proofreading

Third stage: document proofreading

The third and (usually) last stage in the refining of a well-written document – irrespective of subject matter – whether it be a speech, a technical manual, or even a novel, is proofreading

The process of proofreading is comprised of checking, adjusting, and taking corrective action, one last time, in order to make sure that that all loose ends have been properly tied together. This is the process in which the editor is specifically looking for any errors in grammar, structure, verb tense, spelling, and punctuation.

It is during this process that editors and proofreaders will examine the entire document with a careful eye before the final draft is sent to its author any last minute suggestions or final approval.

Do you have any questions or comments after reading this article? Please feel free to share your thoughts on this topic or leave your questions below.

Interactive Poll

Did this article help you understand the differences between revision, editing, and proofreading?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, owlcation.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://owlcation.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)