Editing & Proofreading Tips

It has been said that writing is rewriting. The heart of rewriting is editing. The terms "editing" and "proofreading" are sometimes used interchangeably. However, they are actually two distinct activities. Where proofreading is largely the process of catching "silly" errors (e.g., misspelled words, typos, accidental punctuation or grammatical errors), editing is a more analytical process aimed at improving the style and clarity of your writing.

Editing is usually focused at the sentence level of your writing. To understand what we mean by "sentence level," it is useful to compare it to "paragraph level." Paragraph level concerns are usually organizational or logical concerns. Paragraphs are usually containers for your main ideas. Paragraph level concerns are usually handled during your drafting as you clarify your thinking and understanding of your subject based on your research.

By contrast, sentence level concerns are usually focused on clarifying your writing. Your ideas are probably in the order you want them (paragraph level), but now you are editing your sentences to make sure they are as clear and concise as they can be. Sentence level editing, then, is the process of polishing how you are going to "say" things.

Below are some links to editing and proofreading tips and exercises: