Light (Basic) Proofreading:

The final checkpoint in the pre-publishing or editing process before your manuscript or document goes to print, providing your submission has already gone through a Deep (Heavy) Edit, Substantive or Structural Edit, a Rewrite, or a Revisional Rewrite. At this advanced stage of the "docu-checking" or review process, it is still a very good rule of thumb, however, to have your written work given one last look with regard to accuracy.

This would entail detecting missed surface errors such as spelling, spacing, paragraph indentation, capitalization, punctuation, typographical and grammatical or syntactical errors, as well as errors in word choice, superfluous words, duplicated words and omitted words/letters. In addition, good proofreading involves looking for errors which pertain primarily to verb tense, verb agreement, run-on sentences, and sentence fragments. Lastly, it entails cross-checking a new document with the pre-existing document for consistency and making sure the copy is spotless.

In a nutshell, proofreading is for writers who do not need help with content, structure, or character and plot development; but do need someone who is qualified to go over a document for rudimentary spelling and grammatical errors, as well as formatting and layout errors—again with the understanding the document has already been through at least one heavy edit. If, however, your submission requires more than five to seven corrections per page, you may need to seriously consider a deeper level of editing with regard to your written work.

Extended Proofreading

(Line-By-Line Editing/Copyediting):

This stage of editing takes Light Proofreading to the next level in the editing process, but differs from Light Proofreading with respect to more in depth changes being applied to a manuscript or document as a result. These changes include, but are not delimited to: proofing overall sentence and paragraph structure, modifying words and awkward phrases, and in some instances, rewriting an entire paragraph.

Extended Proofreading also includes checking a document for clarity, correct word choice and usage (diction), word breaks, redundancies, tone, passive/active voice, overall flow or continuity, inconsistencies in narrative or authorial voice and style throughout a written work, plots that are too sketchy, character underdevelopment, stilted or contrived dialogue, contradictions, confusing or ambiguous speech, factual errors, libel, copyright infringement or plagiarism (if applicable), ensuring content is appropriate for the intended audience, bridging content gaps, cross-checking references and/or source material, and tying together any loose ends.

Finally, more often than not, this level of editing involves the use of what is known as a copy style guide/style sheet that ensures a consistent style and format. Some commonly known examples of these style guides/sheets are as follows: APA, MLA, MHRA, and CMS (Chicago). If your submission requires a style sheet, please specify which one or, if applicable, provide a style sheet of your own design for me to strictly adhere to.

Light Editing:

A last minute project with a ‘get it done yesterday’ deadline requires last minute proofing before it can be sent to or presented to a publisher or an employer. The primary purpose of a Light Edit is to check a written work for overall structural integrity and consistency prior to proofreading and to identify other areas that need tweaking or refining. Like Light Proofreading, a Light Edit is, for all intents and purposes, a perfect fit for a completed, but impromptu document consisting of content requiring more than Light Proofreading and substantially less than Heavy or Deep Editing, Structural Editing, Ghostwriting or Rewriting.