February 3, 2023
The Different Levels Of Proofreading You Didn't Know You Needed

Proofreading your work is one of the most important steps in any publishing or writing process, but it’s easy to think that you don’t need it – after all, you’re the author, and surely you wouldn’t make that many errors, right? Wrong! Even seasoned authors go through proofreading before they publish their books. That’s why this list of the different levels of proofreading will help you have the best possible book or project on the market.

Introduction: different levels of proofreading

There are a variety of different levels of proofreading.

The first level is a quick, cursory read for grammar and spelling errors. This level of proofreading is often done by the writer before submitting the paper to be graded by a professor or peer.

The second level is an intensive, detailed read for grammar and spelling errors, as well as any potential plagiarism issues. This level is often completed by the student’s writing tutor or instructor.

The third level involves reading over the material with a keen eye to any inconsistencies in formatting, spacing, alignment, font size, and other aesthetic factors that may cause confusion in the reader’s understanding of your work.

These types of errors are typically caught during the editing process. If you find yourself going through this process, it is recommended that you use a computer software like Word to correct these formatting issues because they will never show up on your final copy if they’re not fixed at this stage in the process.

The Different Levels Of Proofreading You Didn't Know You Needed

Developmental editing

Developmental editors are often involved in shaping a book during its earliest stages as well as when it’s nearing completion. They’ll provide editorial feedback on the manuscript and give the author constructive advice on how to improve their work. These editors can be very useful for authors who have never had someone else read their work before, or who don’t know how to self-edit their own work.

The developmental editor will look at the big picture and see if the plot is compelling enough if all of the main characters have interesting backstories and more. They’ll also offer suggestions on whether a book would be better off being split into two parts if there are too many characters to keep track of, and other developmental issues that need attention before an editor can move on to copy editing or proofreading (pg 3).

Copy editing

A copy editor is a professional who will be looking for any errors in grammar and punctuation, spelling, and formatting. However, there are other levels of proofreading that you may need before your content goes live.

The first level is copy editing which covers anything from typos to formatting. Copy editors also do light fact-checking and help make sure your content is on point with what you’re trying to say.

Next up is another level of editing called substantive editing, which looks at the bigger picture of your work, such as clarity, flow, tone and logical organization of ideas. A substantive edit could also include heavy fact-checking and making sure all points are relevant to your argument or story. It’s important to have someone look over your work not just for the mistakes but also, so it makes sense and flows well.

At this stage of editing, it can seem like we’ve covered every possible error, but if you want your writing to go viral or become best-selling, then you’ll need more edits like line-by-line editing, line editing, and very tight/fine-tuning edits. There’s one more thing that needs to be mentioned: make sure you have someone other than yourself look over your work! It’s hard to catch our own mistakes so don’t trust just one person-if possible find three people who would give different perspectives on reading your content.


English is not a perfect language. Believe it or not, some words have multiple meanings.

For example, when you say I’m going to the store and I hear you say I’m going to the beach. Other times, a word can be spelled two different ways but the meaning remains the same. Like how lead has two ways to spell it: lead and led. It’s these types of errors that make up what we call typos and spelling mistakes. The good news is that there are various levels of proofreading for you to rely on when you’re writing your next blog post or novel! In order from least intensive to most intensive, they are as follows:

1) Copy-edit. A copy-edit only fixes grammatical and punctuation mistakes;

2) Line edit. A line edit fixes grammatical, punctuation and syntax (sentence structure) mistakes;

3) Copy-proofread. A copy-proofread fixes all errors found in both the copy edit and line edit;

The Different Levels Of Proofreading You Didn't Know You Needed


Every level of proofreading has its own purpose. From the sentence level to the line level, there are various levels of proofreading that can help identify errors and improve your content. With all of these options, it’s important to know which type is best for your project. The different levels of proofreading you didn’t know you needed!a

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