Academic Editing vs Academic Proofreading – What’s the Difference?

Academic Editing vs Academic Proofreading – What’s the Difference?

There’s a famous quote by Stephen King where he said, “To write is human, to edit is divine.”

Once you’ve run the tests and compiled your data, it’s time to tell the world about it. With the bulk of the work done, now comes the daunting task of actually writing your paper to present your findings to the academic community.

And we know how hard that can be.

Many academics and students find writing to be a serious obstacle. Getting your point across succinctly and in an easily understood way is easier said than done. Academic writing also brings with it tons of complex jargon and terms that can make it even more difficult. With the task of writing a paper already being arduous, what more of academic editing and proofreading?

This is where academic editing and proofreading services come in. Hiring a professional to iron out all the kinks is the best way to get some of the work off your plate. It’s also a great way to get expert help to polish your writing.

But what is editing and proofreading, and how do you differentiate one from another?

In this article, we will explore the similarities and differences between the two, and why each is important.

Academic Editors Versus Academic Proofreaders

Most people don’t know the difference between editing and proofreading. In fact, many mistakenly assume that both are synonymous. However, editing and proofreading are two different parts of the writing process.

An academic proofreader will apply surface-level corrections to your paper—things like spelling mistakes, punctuation corrections, or grammar changes. Meanwhile, academic editing services will implement thorough, substantive changes to your work. Editing is a more involved process that will address issues like sentence structure, organisation, language use, flow, and coherence.

The Similarities of a Proofreader and an Editor

Academic proofreaders and editors perform different tasks; however, they do have overlapping functions. Both of them are making suggestions to help enhance a paper. Here are some of the overlaps between an academic editor and an academic proofreader.

  • Work is performed after the author’s initial writing
  • Both work to improve the delivery of the author’s research
  • Both will apply edits to the paper

While academic proofreaders and editors serve different functions, they do share a common goal. And because of that, many academic editing and proofreading services offer a mix of both.

The Differences Between a Proofreader and an Editor

Now that we’ve established a bit of what they have in common, let’s take a closer look at some of the differences between academic editors and academic proofreaders.

Academic Proofreaders Academic Editors
Work is performed on the final draft of a paper Works on the first draft and until the paper is finalised
Tackles superficial writing issues Tackles the deeper writing issues
Addresses issues in spelling, punctuation, consistency, and formatting Improves the readability and coherence of the content
Minor edits that don’t require restructuring content Major overhaul that includes word reduction for concision, if necessary
Can be done without input from the author Require collaborative work with the author
The purpose is to eliminate errors The purpose is to improve the overall quality of writing

Why Use an Academic Editing Service?

As Arthur Plotnik once said, “You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you, and we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.”

Editing is an integral part of the writing process, even more so in academia. Academic editing services can help better convey the results of a study or your argument to readers.

To get a paper published, it first must be coherent and easily understood. The editor’s job is to sift through the academic paper, understand what the article is trying to say, then rewrite it to make it clear and understandable.

Plus, with the help of an academic editor, you’re far more likely to get your paper published in a journal.

Here are some of the benefits that come with working with an academic editing and proofreading service.

1. Increases Chance of Being Published

When an academic paper is submitted without any spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors, it will increase the chance of it being accepted under peer review. The same can be said when the paper is concise and easy to parse.

It might seem simple, but that’s one of the first things a journal editor looks at before they decide if it’s worth publishing.

2. Enhances Your Reputation

As we know, when you write high-quality papers, you are far more likely to  get published. That means you’ll also be more established and well-known in your field, further allowing you to get funding and grants for future projects or studies down the line.

While academic editing services can’t promise you’ll be published, they do majorly improve your overall chances. Some might even have connections and recommend specific journals to publish your paper that you may not have considered. And who doesn’t want their research becoming more widely available?

3. Saves Your Time

Of course, when you hire someone to proofread and edit your work, you get a lot more free time. Hiring professionals to do the editing and proofreading work means you simply have to apply their suggestions and send the paper off. Most scholarly papers take about 2 weeks of time or editing and proofreading alone. Add a few weeks of writing on top of that and it can add up.

Why not spend more time doing research or networking with other academics instead of writing?

4. Improves Your Writing

It goes without saying that with the help of professional editors, your writing will see a marked improvement. By having a non-biased second party looking at your writing, they can enhance your work in ways that you just can do yourself. A professional editor will also be able to maintain a coherent tone throughout your research, drastically improving the readability and flow.

Hire Academic Proofreaders and Editors at Flowcite

Academic writing is already a difficult task—and something most academics prefer to avoid. Having to compile all your data into a single paper is daunting. Moreover, keeping a coherent tone throughout the research paper is easier said than done.

This is why you should seek professional help to proofread and edit your work. An academic editing and proofreading service can aid you in writing a coherent paper. With their help, your paper will become easier to read and, therefore, will be more likely to be published.

At Flowcite, we provide excellent proofreading and editing services. If you’re looking for a second set of eyes, we have plenty of qualified editors and proofreaders on hand to help make your paper the best it can be. We even have professional review services to make sure you’ll be ready to submit to the most prestigious journals.

With our help, you are sure to meet the highest standards required for publication.

Sign up with Flowcite today to get a headstart on your research!

Brittany Storniolo
Brittany Storniolo
Content Marketing Strategist

Content Marketing Strategist
Brittany is a Content Marketing Strategist at Flowcite, and an outstanding academic writing expert. She holds a first-class Honours degree in Literae Humaniores from the University of Oxford and has been certified in Digital Marketing Analytics by the MIT Sloan School of Management.

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