Update April 22, 2021
Want to know some terrible facts that too many content creators ignore?
Editing and proofreading are not the same. And you cannot perform both operations at the same time.
And, if you think that the same person can write, edit, and certify your work, then you should feel scared, very scared to publish the content.
Even the US Bureau of Labor Statistics separates proofreaders from editors. Its description of the responsibilities of proofreaders includes: “Read transcripts or proofreading type settings to detect and flag any grammatical, typographical or compositional errors for correction. Excludes staff whose main responsibility is to edit copies.“
what’s the difference?
grammar Discount A brief description of how the copy editor handles content:
Tasks include checking written materials for grammar, spelling, style and punctuation issues before preparing for proofreading. If necessary, the copy editor can also be rewritten to solve transition problems. Part of speech, Jargon, and ensure that the style of the work matches the publication. This work is called revision.
Instead, the proofreader reviews the content after it has gone through the editing process.They carefully check the final status of the content and the upcoming status to discover any content Typographical errors or minor errors Files that are not fixed during editing or created during production.
tip: If you wear a proofreading hat for some projects and an editing hat for others, please don’t try to do it one by one. Rest awhile. Exercise your brain through non-text activities. If you don’t catch your breath, you’re likely to wear the hats of a proofreader and editor at the same time-content review can be messy and unfocused.
How to edit
Wearing an editor’s hat, follow these five steps:
- Make sure you understand the overall purpose of the content To the audience And brand, and then read the first word.
tip: Ask the content creator to write a sentence or two at the top of the content to explain to the editor who the target audience is and why the content was created.
- Read the content like a reader – You can scroll without the keyboard, but you cannot scroll. (If checking in printed form, please do not put the pen in your hand.)
- Browse the content again as an editor. Place your hand on the keyboard (or hold it on the pen), and write down where the content does not work and why.whether The opening attracts the reader’s attention? Is the content of the entire work focused on a single subject? Can you understand every sentence and paragraph? Is the order of the content logically smooth?Does the content represent The voice of the brand And style?
- Pause, then edit. According to your process, if the required changes are important, please return the marked content to the author for modification. If the content will not be returned to the author, please continue to make changes.
- Read through the last time to make sure the content is read well From the perspective of the audience and the brand.
tip: If you make major changes to the content, please contact the author, especially if the article contains a byline, to ensure that you have edited it correctly.
With content in good condition readability From a perspective, you can now inspect other elements of the content. you should:
- Ensure the correctness of the facts and proper credibility. If the content includes research, statistics, opinions or quotations, please make sure they are precise with Correct attribution.in Digital form, Make sure that the link goes to the original information source (not to other posts that refer to the original content).
- Do the math. If the content contains numbers, make sure they add up correctly. For example, if an article about favorite flavors of ice cream contains the following sentence: “70% of people think chocolate ice cream is better than vanilla ice cream”, then the next sentence should not be “One-third of people like vanilla instead of chocolate “. Mathematical addition.
- Check your style guide. Check the copy carefully to make sure it follows your brand’s style guide and dictionary of choice. For example, the CMI style guide is an AP style guide with some minor brand customizations.
tip: Create checklists for editing and proofreading to ensure that each step is completed. When someone has to actually check items from the list, they are more likely to do so. In addition, a complete checklist with the names of editors and proofreaders can also be used as a useful tracker for each piece of content.
How to be a good proofreader
In the proofreading stage, this work is cumbersome. The proofreader should not check the content at once and hope to catch all the content that needs to be fixed. Just like editing, proofreading is a multi-step process. You need to read the content yourself at each step:
- Review the process and understanding. Although any problems in this area should be resolved during the editing process, the proofreader must read the content thoroughly to understand it in order to read the content correctly. And, if a defect is found at this time, please make sure to resolve and fix the defect, preferably using the editor’s input.
- Read each sentence to get the proper grammar. This is what most people think of proofreading-the subject matches the verb.
- Check the spelling of each word. This sounds easier than it is. If you check spelling in the same way as you read (from top to bottom, left to right), you are less likely to spot errors because your brain is still reading to understand. Start with the last word in the content, then gradually reach the top and spell it like a word check.
- Evaluate content in the form of publication. Check the content to make sure it is displayed as expected. Do all subheadings follow the same layout? Are there awkward line breaks? Does the content match the directory?Do all link jobs?
tip: The proofreader should record the errors found multiple times. Share this information with authors and editors to prevent (or at least minimize) future events.
notes: If your team has only one person’s resources to handle editing and proofreading, that’s fine. Just make sure to create a production plan, at least allow editing and proofreading on different days.You can also use similar tools Hemingway App with grammar Provide assistance in the editing and proofreading process.
Continue editing and proofreading
By recognizing the fact that editing and proofreading are two different responsibilities, you will improve the results of your content so that they do not pose a threat to your readers or your brand. You can also avoid wasting time on major issues caused by poor editing and improper proofreading (for example, lack of interest and trust in branded content, which ultimately leads to fewer readers).
Please note: All tools included in our blog posts are suggested by the author or source. Feel free to include other tools (from your company or the tools you use) in the comments.
Cover image: Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Academy