Do you need a copyeditor or a proofreader?
In copyediting, the raw text (the copy) is edited before it goes to the layout and design stage. The text is thoroughly checked for clarity and consistency, ensuring it makes sense and is easy for the reader to understand. The various elements of the text are checked and put in the right order, and errors or inconsistencies in spelling, grammar, punctuation, style and usage are corrected. The clarity of the text will be improved by removing repetition and rewording any sections that are confusing or convoluted; suggestions may also be offered to help make the text more reader-friendly. Basic facts are checked, unnecessary formatting is removed and the structure of the text will be marked up to show, for instance, headings, boxes and lists.
Proofreading is the very last stage in a project when the proofs are checked prior to publication or to going live online. As the final quality check, proofreading includes looking for any remaining typographical and grammatical errors, or any formatting issues associated with the typesetting process. It does not include fact-checking, rewording or any major structural changes.
If you're happy with your text as it stands and you're sure it makes perfect sense, it may only need proofreading. If, however, you know there are weaknesses in the text such as convolution, inconsistency and repetition, I can improve it for you with copyediting. If you're still not sure which editorial service you need, check out these helpful FAQs on the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading website.