What’s the difference between proofreading, copy editing & rewriting?

Proofreadingcopy editing and rewriting are three quite different services.

For detailed information on what each entails, you can visit the proofreadingcopy editing and rewriting service pages.

For help deciding which of these is best for your work, read on.


Proofreading is the correction of errors. Once the writing is complete and the document is (almost) ready for printing/emailing/publishing, the final stage in the process is to send it to your proofreader.

A proofreader weeds out errors in spelling, grammar, syntax and punctuation but will not make non-essential changes to the writing.

My proofreading service is charged at £0.01 per word. I work mainly on academic papers, but I’m happy to take texts of all kinds.

Copy editing

Copy editing is a far more extensive practice that consists of both correcting errors and creative rewording.

Copy editing is done after writing and before proofreading. The content of the paper is set, but the ‘wording’ could be improved. Perhaps the structure is unclear, there are problems with repetition or redundancy, or English is not the writer’s first language and some of the phrasing is awkward.

It can also include adjustments to the formatting of the paper (i.e., the headings, margins, table layout, etc.) to bring it in line with APA guidelines.

My copyediting service is charged at £0.02 per word. I work mainly on academic papers, but I’m happy to take texts of all kinds.


Rewriting involves a dramatic overhaul of an existing text.

Rewriting a document involves reducing an existing document to a list of notes, and then building an entirely new piece from this bare content.

Rewriting is often necessary where a document has been translated from another language and now exists in ‘broken English’. For writing like this, the editing process is often insufficient because the overall structure of the piece is inappropriate for the target language.

In other cases, a client owns a number of sites that sell the same (or a similar) products and would like to have the same content written in different ways for each site.

My rewriting service is charged at £0.03 per word. This service is not appropriate for academic texts.