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Line editing is done before the copyediting phase. Line editing is also known as stylistic editing or content editing.
It is the one editorial skill where you can reorganize, edit, and rewrite sentences and paragraphs. No other level of editing, including proofreading, allows you to reorganize paragraphs and rewrite sentences.
Line editors work on all kinds of content, and they work with text on a line-by-line level. They focus on:
Line editing does not involve fixing spelling or punctuation like copyediting does. Instead, it focuses on fixing things like redundancies, awkward phrasing, and repetition.
Copyediting is the next step after line editing, and it is a technical approach to content. Copy editors make sure the writing follows language rules and style guidelines so there is consistency and so the writer’s voice is maintained.
Copy editors fix issues like:
They research and verify facts and dates. They only rewrite when it is absolutely necessary, and only then it is as minimally as possible.
Proofreading is the final stage of the editing process, focusing on surface errors such as misspellings and mistakes in grammar and punctuation. You should proofread only after you have finished all of your other editing revisions.
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