Q: What is the difference between proofreading and copyediting?

Contrary to popular belief, copyediting and proofreading are not synonymous.

[callout]Proofreading involves finding and correcting ‘surface’ errors. Spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax (correct ordering and usage of words), and general formatting are all issues which may be addressed during proofreading. [/callout]

While editing does naturally involve proofreading, simple proofreading does not equal copyediting.

[callout]The purpose of copyediting is to delve deeper into the text to ensure that the writing flows smoothly and is presented in a clear, concise, and orderly manner. During the editing process, a piece of writing may be re-worded for clarity. Run-on sentences are broken down and language simplified. Verbs, pronouns, and adjectives are checked for consistency and proper usage. [/callout]

Many editing services separate the two and apply individual rates; I don’t.  To me, copyediting is copyediting.  Any quality editing job involves proofreading simply as a matter of course.  For this reason, I charge a flat hourly rate for my copyediting work.

The amount you will pay, then, will depend on the extent of work needed.

Q: What is referencing?

[callout]Referencing involves ensuring that all sources used in the writing project are properly credited.  Referencing is particularly important in academic and technical writing, as well as some types of business articles and books.[/callout]

Especially in the academic world, different disciplines (psychology, history, business, etc) have unique style requirements for writing and referencing.  I am versed in APA (American Psychological Association), MLA (Modern Language Association), and Chicago/Turabian, and have ready access to many others.

Q: What is fact-checking?

Unless you’re writing a personal journal consisting of your thoughts, opinions, and ideas, you should strive to make anything that you write to share with others as accurate as possible.

[callout]Fact-checking involves verifying the accuracy of statements, statistics, quotes, and other parts of a written project.[/callout]