Many people normally get a hard time trying to differentiate between editing and proofreading. In fact a good number of individuals tend to assume that the two are the same thing which is not true at all. If for example you are looking for someone to help you polish and improve your style and flow you need to be in a position where you can properly distinguish between the two so that you can all have the same expectations.
In as far as publishing is concerned, it is understood that after a document is successfully edited, it will still need to be proofread. A good example is, when you hire an essay editor, you are basically hiring an individual who will take care of the style or is trained in a given subject matter. A copyeditor/proofreader on the other hand is that person you hire to go through your content with a fine-tooth comb to take care of grammatical or spelling mistakes.
Most people who do not understand the difference between these two are normally surprised when they are handed back their essays or manuscript for that matter. They might have gone for essay editing only for the hired person to hand over a proofed material. This scenario has occurred many times and is as a result of lack of knowledge.
Understanding the differenceThe guide below should help you make a distinction between editing and proofreading skills.
EditingEditors are available in different levels, depending of the level you intend to go for; your editor can help you make small changes in your content to help improve its general flow. They can also make large rearrangements, deletion and are even in a position of suggesting for the inclusion of a whole new section. Generally, an editor is tasked to identify, refine and achieve the intended purpose of a paper. It involves a lot more than just rectifying the spelling and punctuation mistakes. It might also involve developmental and structural editing.
ProofreadingIt can be defined as the general process of examining the final draft of any document. A document is edited first before a proofreader can be engaged. Their main objective is to ensure that the edited document is error free. They will review for spelling errors, punctuation errors, incorrect use of regional English and correct any typo errors.
The best part about these two skill set is that they are available both online and offline. By reading online essay editing service reviews, you can be in a better position of identifying one that can meet all your needs.
BTW, I've found a great infographic that explains the difference between these two processes. Thank you, GoProofreading.com!