The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill features a helpful online handout about the differences between editing and proofreading, available here: http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/proofread.html. Editing and proofreading are two separate steps within the revision process, although some use the terms interchangeably. Editing involves refining the content, overall structure, clarity, style, and citations. This stage involves rewriting and reorganizing your words to better support your thesis statement and argument. Proofreading is the final step of the writing process in which you correct the punctuation, grammar, and spelling of your writing, or the surface errors that are important for presentation. The handout promises that one will save time by taking these steps one at a time, rather than trying to edit and proofread writing all at once. To encourage visitors to begin honing their proofreading skills right away, the handout includes a fun, circular challenge—seven common proofreading errors for readers to detect as they read about editing and proofreading.
Additional Resources about Editing and Proofreading:
Purdue Online Writing Lab
(Proofreading): http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/owlprint/561/ (printable version of a handout and makes a nice checklist; it’s also available on their website, which offers many other writing resources, here: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/561/1/)
(Grammar, Punctuation, etc. Exercises): http://owl.english.purdue.edu/exercises/
SNL Writing Guide – Editing Stage of the Writing Process: http://snl.depaul.edu/writing/editing.html
University of Minnesota: http://writing.umn.edu/docs/sws/quicktips/editing_proofreading.pdf