Difference Between Line Editing and Copyediting?

What exactly do you want: an edit or a copyedit?

Many writers don’t understand the difference between a line edit and a copyedit. There are a few similarities between the two: both pay close attention to your use of language and include more on the pages of your composition. However, there is no doubt that these are two completely different cycles, handled by experts with various levels of expertise, and should occur at completely different times during the creative cycle. Some students are also interested in learning more about proofreading service which is a good topic.


A line edit focuses on the inventive substance, writing style, and language use at the sentence and section levels. However, the purpose of a line edit isn’t to search your original copy for errors – rather, a line edit focuses on the way you use language to convey your storey to the reader. Is your language clear, fluid, and enjoyable to read? Does it convey a sense of air, feeling, and tone? Do the words you’ve chosen have a specific meaning, or are you relying on broad hypotheses and adages?
• Superfluous or abused words or sentences
• Run-on sentences
• Redundancies from rehashing similar data in various ways
• Dialogue or passages that can be fixed
• Scenes where the activity is befuddling or the creator’s significance is indistinct because of terrible advances
• Tonal shifts and unnatural expressing
• Passages that don’t peruse well because of dull language use
• Confusing account deviations
• Changes that can be made
The motivation behind working with an overall editor in this manner isn’t simply to work on your current composition, but to give you the inventive tools to improve as an author in ways you can carry with you to future activities.


A copyedit, on the other hand, seeks to address flaws on a highly specialised level – to ensure that the writing that appears on the page adheres to industry standards. This appears to be an extremely high-quality edit.
• Corrects spelling, language, accentuation, and grammar. • Ensures consistency in spelling, textual styles, hyphenation and capitalization.
• Questionable or truly erroneous proclamations are flagged (particularly significant for verifiable)
• Monitors broad issues such as inner consistency.
Inner consistency implies that your plot, setting, and character qualities are all consistent. For example, if you write on page 41: Rosemary wore her fair hair in a bun, and then on page 67: Rosemary brushed her long dark hair, the copyeditor must bring that up.
There will be some overlap between the work of an overall editor and a copyeditor. Most formative editors will point out specialised errors or coherent irregularities when they notice them, because they are attempting to improve your composition and because editors are generally fussbudgets by nature (guilty as charged!). However, since we’re in America, not Britain, there’s no reason for a line edit to go over your composition, fix your sentence structure, grammatical errors, underwrite formal people, places, or things, or change all spellings of shading to shading.
This is the job of a copyeditor, and it necessitates a standard-based understanding of standard American English usage that most editors lack. As a result, your copyedit will come with a “template” that explains how these guidelines and standards apply to specific things in your composition. While your overall editor is unlikely to have the Chicago Manual of Style memorised, your copyeditor may.
Another reason why line editing and copyediting aren’t the same thing is that copyediting should always come after line editing, never before. Your composition’s page-by-page, sentence-by-sentence content should be completely finished before undergoing a copyedit. Since why waste time (and money) editing parts of an early draught that will be completely changed, if not completely cut, when the final draught moves around?
A copyeditor is generally the last person who contacts the text of a composition before it goes into creation – after the editor who purchased your composition has taken you through amendments and given the final nod on the substance of your book.
To make a broad and completely reductive assumption, an overall editor’s job is to help you tell a good storey, and a copyeditor’s job is to make sure the language on each page is correct.
If you’re still unsure, here are two or three models that show how a formative editor and a copyeditor might approach a similar piece of text. These models have been modified from a previous post titled The Biggest Mistake Beginning Writers Make.

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