Proofreading & Editing

Why Document Editing is Important for Academics and Business

We all may have heard about the terms editing, proofreading and formatting etc., But many of the people don’t think of them as important steps in finalising a reading. No matter how gifted or experienced the author is, everyone needs to hire editing services for having an error-free document. It develops the characters. It also aids in making the story or concept more clear.

There are generally three levels of editing:


This is the lightest level of involvement and is suitable for the final check before the text is published. Proofing consists of a check for superficial errors such as misspelled words, missing punctuation, extra paragraph breaks, incorrect formatting and any other gremlins that might have been missed in a full copy edit. A proofread does not include any text improvements – it is simply a process to catch the last little errors before publishing. The proof edit usually happens on a hard-copy printout of the document or on the final typeset draft. A proofread alone, without any other editing, is only recommended if you are a strong writer and have thoroughly checked your text beforehand.

Copy editing

Copy editing is a more intensive process that involves looking at things like writing style, sentence flow, word repetition and overall structure. An edit can involve some rephrasing of passages and reworking of complex sentences to improve readability  or clarity of argument. After the copy edit, the text is returned to you to approve the changes and to attend to any other notes the editor has made. There might be a bit of going back and forth between you and the editor to get particular passages just right.

There are generally three levels of copy editing:

Light edit

A light copy edit looks at the usual grammar and punctuation issues and makes relatively minor changes to the text, including occasional rephrasing for clarity. It is suitable for text written by fluent English speakers who are fairly skilled with the written word. The editor will use margin comments for anything that might need the author’s attention and may suggest deletions or additions of material where necessary. A light copy edit does not correct structural issues (logical argument, arrangement of chapters, plot holes, etc) though the editor will insert margin comments if anything looks like it needs more work.

Medium edit

A medium edit is a bit more hands-on than a light edit and may include more rephrasing and reworking of passages. This level of editing is suitable for second-language speakers or those who feel they want some help with expression and clarity. It includes minor restructuring, for example, moving paragraphs around, changing the heading levels, or suggesting new headings to clarify the content. It also includes more detailed involvement with logical argument and with expression.

Heavy/Substantial edit

This level is also sometimes called content editing because in addition to text and grammar issues it looks at the content and the meaning of what is written about. The editor looks at the logical argument being expressed or the story being told and assesses whether it all fits together and works as intended. If not, the content editor will rephrase and rework sections of text, and might recommend that the author provide new text to fill in any gaps. This level of editing is suitable for those who want substantial help with the text and a considerable amount of reworking and restructuring.