There are many people who are puzzled over the difference between proofreading and editing. They think that they are both one and the same thing. This is not true. Proofreading is sometimes known as copy editing, but it is actually quite different from regular editing. A proof reader does not make any differences to the document. He simply checks it for grammatical errors. Once the document is cleansed of grammatical mistakes, his task is over. However, the editor is allowed to change the content. He can rewrite some parts of the document if he feels they are not of a high standard. He can make changes to the format and structure of the document. If he feels that the flow of the document needs to be changed, he can alter some parts of the manuscript. However, both proof readers and editors have their uses in the world of academia.
Many times a manuscript goes through the hands of both a proof reader and an editor before finally getting published. The editor checks the format, structure and flow of the document. Once he is finished with his work, the manuscript finds its way to the table of the proof reader. He looks through the document for grammar mistakes. Once both the proof reader and the editor are satisfied with their work, the manuscript is finally sent for publishing. Many academic support companies offer both these kinds of services albeit at different rates. It is up to the scholars as to which service they want to avail of. Many students only opt for the proof reading service since they are confident of the quality of content that they have produced. At other times, students opt for the editing service if they expect that wholesale changes will need to be made in the manuscript.