In the last ten minutes of the exam, the examiner urged us to revise our answer sheets. Hastily, I would flip through my answers and find words misspelled, wrong tense usage, answers surpassing the limit, unexplained points and tiny mistakes everywhere. I would always beat myself over it.
Why did I make such mistakes? Why couldn’t I just elaborate where needed and cut short when asked to? How hard was it to spell “pieces” correctly?
Psychologist Tom Stafford, who studies typos in the UK explains, “When you’re writing, you’re trying to convey meaning. It’s a very high-level task,” he said.
Our brains are focused more on the task of creating meaning out of our words that it develops a typo blindness. One of the reasons why Editing services and Proofreading services are important. However, as the terms tend to be used interchangeably— what is the difference between them?
This blog aims to answer that very question.
While first drafts are all about getting words on the paper. Editing is the process where you analyze those words, and find their better counterparts.
Now sometimes, a light analysis can be enough. Removing redundant words to make your writing sharp and precise. Like that.
Other times you might need heavy editing. Maybe the beginning is not catchy, or two points do not make sense.
Like the varying degree of how much editing your piece needs, there are different types of editing you might have to do:
- Line by line editing
- Structural editing
- Copy editing where you improve on readability of your work
- A combination of all the above
Tip: Especially when you’re copywriting for an advertisement, you’d want to make sure you’ve written a tagline that is short and registers with your readers.
While editing focuses on structure, style and overall tone, proofreading goes into the minute details.
As a rule: edit first, proofread later.
You might proofread first and then realise that the tone of your text is not correct.
While proofreading, look at:
The formatting, if you’re using the correct fonts, being consistent in the styles, having equal margins throughout, the spacing, spellings, punctuation, pauses, eliminate the inconsistent terminologies, grammar mistakes, and look for minor aesthetic adjustments.
Proofreading requires specialization for it to be effective.
Cna I eidt and proofraed mylesf?
Yes, you read that right and I wrote it wrong. You must have been familiar with memes that jumble up words and urge you to read them. And you’re able to. Wonder why?
It’s all to do with our problem-solving brains. It just loves to make sense out of things.
To answer the question, do you really need proofreading and editing services? Yes, it is advised to get editing and proofreading services for your work. For two reasons.
- You might ask someone else other than you to do it—but a professional will be quicker and more effective than a normal person.
- When you write something, your brain is familiar with it and will create meaning out of it quicker than say, someone who is reading it for the first time. That means, you will not be able to see the small mistakes—because of Typo Blindness.
So, I have typo blindness because I’m smart?
As Nick Chater describes in “The Under-Appreciated Drive for Sense Making”:
Due to profound limitations on how much information the brain can process and store, as well as the desire for efficiency in communication, evolution has produced elaborate neural mechanisms for the simplification and distillation of information. (Nick Chater, 2015)
The limitations of how much we can remember forces our brains to simplify information. When committing to high-level tasks we tend to ignore the comparatively lower-level tasks such as making sure that the spelling of “queue” is right.
Which could be a problem when you’re trying to edit—because your brain won’t be able to look for the mistakes. You know what’s going to happen next in the story or what your brand does best—you know it, but your reader doesn’t.
We, at Allanzcom, help you look for those pesky errors through our writing services. Along with the writing process, we help you with editing and proofreading your work. Our trained professionals with expertise in editing and proofreading will help you. So, you can focus on getting your words on paper and we focus on making your message clear for your audience. Contact us to know more about our writing services.