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How do Line Editing, Copyediting, Structural Editing, and Proofreading Differ from One Another

#LineEditing #Copyediting #StructuralEditing #Proofreading

There are plenty of stages and processes needed for the book to go through prior to its successful publication. Almost all of the writers are familiar with proofreading and how it works. However, there is more in-depth editing to be performed in the paper. In this case, line editing, copy editing, and structural editing come in.

Those unfamiliar with these three may see them as similar since they all are types of editing. There is truth to the thought that they are indeed similar, but they differ subtly to some extent. That is, one of them is an in-depth form of the other. Moreover, I will discuss the differences between the four in the following paragraphs.

Line Editing

A type of editing wherein a manuscript's coherence, style, and readability is improvised to make the content more appealing and catchy to its readers. As the term suggests, a line editor examines every sentence and looks at the literary elements present in the text. Such components include the language used, content, diction, and syntax. A professional line editor can pinpoint areas that have repetitive words, tautological statements, and other redundancies that make the text inconsistent.

Copy Editing

It is a more in-depth type of editing where the usual writing mechanics are evaluated. Copy Editing is a mode of improving what the writer has written to enhance the comprehensibility of the text. This editing will ensure the author that the copy editor hired for the job has been able to check the writer's writing consistency and be confident that the job has been effectively applied. Copy editing mainly focuses on the technical qualities of your text, whereas proofreading is concerned with fixing the grammatical and typographical errors of the paper.

Structural Editing

Also known as Substantive Editing, it focuses on the entirety of the manuscript's structure and substance. When there are necessary changes, it is then applied. A professional editor will instruct a

nd suggest edits or changes in the overall content and flow of the text. For example, you may receive suggestions to change your paper's title, style, or organization. Essentially anything that the editor may deem necessary to enhance the quality of your work and make it the best version possible.


Some authors have the notion that the types mentioned above of editing are all the tasks of a proofreader, which is a false idea. For the most part, proofreading focuses on checking the consistency of the information laid out in the paper. Proofreading is the final stage of the writing process, leaving the proofreader the job of catching errors that other editors may have missed in the process and fixing them accordingly.

Although it may not be the job of the author/writer to edit their work, it is still essential to know the differences between these types of editing to have specific professionals check on your paper and know what to expect in the services they provide. However, seeking help from plenty of professionals may be expensive for the majority of the authors, which is highly understandable. If that is the case, you can go for at least one or two of these services. It is up to you to decide. Until then, happy writing!

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