In copy-editing, greater intervention with the text is possible. Copy-editing will not only correct errors of spelling, grammar and punctuation and pay attention to matters of consistency but will edit text to improve the structure, style and flow, and often to conform to a house style.

When working on certain types of document, theses and dissertations for example, the distinction between proofreading and copy-editing can become blurred. A paper by an academic whose first language is not English for example, will require copy-editing rather than proofreading; some alteration of style to conform to English idiomatic usage will probably be necessary for instance, as well as checking for purely spelling, grammar and punctuation.

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