The Differences Between Copy Editing, Proofreading, and Reading

Copy Editing, Proofreading. Photo Credit – Flickr: Terry FreedmanThe differences between copy editing, proofreading, and reading are commonly considered subtle.

For instance, if I happened to mention in conversation that I’m a “freelance proofreader and copy editor,” it may seem that I’m referring to the same occupation.

In contrast, if I said that I’m a “neuroscientist and farmer,” it would appear that I have two separate careers.

It is clear that neuroscience and farming are different practices that require distinct educational prerequisites, skills, and expertise.

The technical differences between copy editing and proofreading are too boring to explain, and I’ve created Revision Fairy proofreading services so that you can invest in producing a quality product without having to pinpoint the exact type of help you need before I review your work.

If you know you need to specifically hire a copy editor or proofreader, you may already know the differences between copy editing and proofreading.

If you don’t know the differences between the two activities, and aren’t seriously interested in hiring a professional proofreader, you may regard both copy editing and proofreading as just reading and making some corrections. [Read more…]

Comma Chameleon: When to Use a Comma

When to Use a Comma. Photo Credit – Flickr: duncanNothing like a little Culture Club pun to liven up an otherwise dense conversation about when to use a comma, right?

A subscriber recently wrote me this interesting question about overwhelming comma rules:

Dear Stefanie,

I write textbooks and often get pulled up for my comma usage. I was always taught that it marks a pause in the sentence but this rule doesn’t seem to work all the time.

A lot of comma usage can be down to individual taste it seems and you might be a heavy or light user. I think there may also be some US/UK differences (I am from the UK by the way).

I have consulted the Chicago Manual of Style and I see that there are endless pages on how to use commas in a variety of different situations.

To get to my point, I was wondering if you had a simple guide for comma usage that works and isn’t overly complicated to put into practice.

Thanks for your help. [Read more…]

What a Blog Without Comments Can Teach You About Managing Your Workload

Before I published content on this site, the concept of adding a “blog” to my workload was daunting.

Responding to reader comments and filtering spam is time consuming. I didn’t know if I could commit to it.

So, I created an outlet for my writing that is more like a traditional newspaper or magazine. I don’t have a comments section following my articles.

In the days of old media, you didn’t have the chance to sound off right away. If you wanted to comment on an article or feature, you had to write a Letter to the Editor.

And only a few select letters were published in the next edition.

What part of this process appeals to me? [Read more…]

5 Shortcuts for Proofreading Documents in Record Time

Proofreading Documents. Photo Credit – Flickr: jayneanddIn the past, I’ve provoked some outraged responses when I’ve written tips about proofreading your own documents.

Variations of “You simply can’t find your own writing mistakes! You need someone else to proofread your work for you!” have echoed through blog comments when I’ve addressed this apparently taboo topic.

I understand the sentiment, but I think that the benefits of working with a freelance copy editor or proofreader are obvious.

When a writer can also proofread like a professional proofreader, she is in a unique position to create a product that communicates her exact intentions. [Read more…]

12 Editing Solutions When Your Writing Isn’t Good Enough

Editing Solutions. Photo Credit – Flickr: Sharon DrummondDoubt.

If you’re a writer, the d-word plagues you daily.

Is your writing good enough? Is your writing ever going to be good enough?

Writing confidently is more than just feeling good about the thoughts that exit your brain and form neatly arranged words in a document.

To remove doubt, old-fashioned TLC has to be an integral part of your artistic lifestyle.

Here are 12 editing solutions that help you care for yourself and your writing. [Read more…]

Freelance Confessions: Confronting the Unsolicited Copy Editor

Freelance Copy Editor. Photo Credit – Flickr: doobybrainI cringe—CRINGE!—at the thought of something that I used to do.

It’s something that you may have done at some point, too.

When you first start working as a freelance copy editor, you want to make it known whenever possible that you excel at spotting writing mistakes.

On a very basic level, the ability to find and correct errors is the skill set that you need to monetize; you have to show others that you have the eagle eye that they need to fix their copy. [Read more…]

Why Revision Fairy?

Proofreading Services. Photo Credit – Flickr: campraI offer online proofreading services, but I’m not actually a proofreader.

I’m not actually a copy editor, either.

My creative work with words varies.

Sometimes, I proofread.

Sometimes, I copy edit.

Sometimes, I do both.

Sometimes, I rewrite rough drafts.

Sometimes, I write original content.

The thing is: writers don’t always know what they need.

That’s why I created Revision Fairy. [Read more…]

Power Proofreading: The #1 Writing Tip When You Don’t Have Time to Proofread

Power Proofreading. Photo Credit – Flickr: purplemattfishThe writing process is an artistic balance of raw text and meticulous proofreading, copy editing, and revising. Your initial thoughts need to be crafted into clear language that your target audience understands.

Since school starts back up this month, I decided to dedicate each Thursday in September to copy editing and proofreading tips for specific writing situations.

Here’s the first installment of my Proofreading 101 series.

People like instant gratification and the accelerated versions of activities: power napping, power workouts, power lunches, etc. It’s only natural that you’ll find yourself in a situation where you need a power proofreading.

Sometimes you know that your writing is not up to par, but the clock is ticking and you need a complete draft fast. For example, you need to dramatically improve your copy within the hour, and you don’t have time to hire a freelance proofreader. [Read more…]

20 Fears that a Freelance Proofreader Kills to Help You Sleep at Night

Freelance Proofreader. Photo Credit: HikingArtist.com“I’m so glad you caught that!” is a familiar remark to a freelance proofreader.

After you and/or your team of writers create multiple drafts, you don’t always have the time to check that your documents make sense to someone who isn’t part of your company’s inner circle.

How will your target audience interpret your copy? Did you fail to communicate your point? Will your writing make you look unprofessional?

Even though many small businesses don’t employ full-time proofreaders, the luxury of having a professional catch your mistakes and improve the clarity of your writing is not reserved for the big guys.

Instead of losing sleep over potential business writing blunders, a reliable online proofreader is just a few clicks away.

Hire a freelance proofreader to correct your writing and remove the 20 fears that make up the Four M’s of Small Business Document Anxiety. [Read more…]