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The Dry Stuff

Proofreading:

The reading of a galley proof or computer monitor to detect and correct production errors of text or art. Proofreaders are expected to be consistently accurate by default because they occupy the last stage of typographic production before publication.

Editing:

The process of selecting and preparing written, visual, audible, and/or film media used to convey information through the processes of correction, condensation, organization, and other modifications performed with an intention of producing a correct, consistent, accurate, and complete work. [Mamishev, Alexander, Williams, Sean, Technical Writing for Teams: The STREAM Tools Handbook, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, John Wiley & Sons. Inc., Hoboken, 2009, p.128]

The editing process often begins with the author's idea for the work itself, continuing as a collaboration between the author and the editor as the work is created. As such, editing is a practice that includes creative skills, human relations, and a precise set of methods. [Encarta Dictionary definition of "editing". Archived from the original on 31 October 2009.]

Copy Editing:

The work that an editor does to improve the formatting, style, and accuracy of text. Unlike general editing, copy editing might not involve changing the substance of the text. Copy refers to written or typewritten text for typesetting, printing, or publication. Copy editing is done before both typesetting and proofreading, the latter of which is the last step in the editorial cycle.


Line Editing:

A stage in the editing process in which a manuscript is edited for tone, style, and consistency. This stage of editing is extremely important for documents of all types and lengths, and a good line editor is a crucial individual in news rooms, publishing houses, and other organizations which produce printed material. Line editors can also be found working as freelancers, taking in work on a case by case basis.

A line editor literally goes through a written piece line by line, taking the time to be extremely thorough and meticulous. Line editors may read a piece several times to ensure that it has been thoroughly edited, often starting with a rough pass to look for basic issues like spelling and grammar problems and then digging in deeper with each successive pass.