Proofreading, re-reading, editing, copywriting… clear? Clear!

Could you just proofread a text for me? I mean correct it? Erm... edit it? Or maybe you could just rewrite it for me? Yes, but what exactly do you want doing to the text? And what are the differences between all those terms again? Or are they just jargon and actually, strictly speaking, all the same thing?

The last question is easy to answer at least. No, they are not all the same thing. There are (not so) small but subtle differences!

Re-reading Apostroph

Let’s start at the beginning. Any text can be corrected, proofread or edited, but the results will be very different as they are all specific ways of refining a text. Basically, they “only” differ in their depth.

No errors in sight

The option that involves the least interference with the text is re-reading (which is when a text is checked ready for printing). The aim of this is to remove formal errors only. So we concentrate on the grammar, spelling and punctuation but leave the phrasing you have chosen well alone. And we don’t complain if you have used the same word three times within one paragraph. Even if our fingers are itching to change it.

One step further – polishing included

It’s a different story if you order proofreading. Naturally, we check the spelling, grammar and commas here too – no doubt about it. But we go one step further. We take a bird’s eye perspective and look at the text as a whole, paying attention to the way it flows, pointing out repetitions and redundancies, and – for example if the text was penned by a number of authors – making suggestions on how you might want to re-align the style. In the course of proofreading, we are also happy to take into consideration specific corporate language, dos and don’ts and spellings you use within your company – even if they differ from the standard dictionary for the language of your choice. In other words, proofreading is not just about ending up with a text that’s free of errors – it also takes a very close look at a text’s style.

Editing – an all-round package

Still not enough? In terms of content, you feel your text covers everything that you want it to cover, but it just doesn’t sound… right? It doesn’t gel? It’s not to the point? Then it’s probably time for the text to be edited. Here too, you have all the checks that are needed for a formally and stylistically correct text (see the sections on re-reading and proofreading). But you also get just a little more than that – or even a lot more than that if that’s what it takes. We take the content the existing text delivers and turn it into something new – although that doesn’t necessarily mean that we will change every sentence. It’s far more about embedding the content in a suitable framework and giving it the structure that you perhaps feel has been missing so far. We can rewrite it, shorten it, add sections wherever necessary, and make sure there is a common thread throughout.

And what happens if there isn’t actually a text yet?

If you already have an idea of what you want to write, but don’t know how to put it into words, you should perhaps think about copywriting. In short, that means that you have the ideas and we get them down on paper. This way of working involves close collaboration. To ensure that what you get is what you and your customers want, we talk to you about all the important details beforehand: What is your target group and what kind of end customers do you have? What do you want to achieve with the text and what kind of text is it? Are there any language guidelines, dos and don’ts or limits on the number of characters we need to be aware of? And what key messages do you want the text to convey? We clarify all these questions with you in advance – so that the result is more than just error-free. It will also be tailored to your specific requirements and exactly to the point.

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The full picture

Each of these different services has its own merits. Are you unsure about what your text actually needs, whether it should be more or perhaps less? As always, just ask us if you have any questions! As we offer all of the services listed, we would be happy to advise you on what we think your text could do with and then we can decide together what the next step should be. We look forward to hearing from you!

Do you have any questions or are you interested in working with us?

I would be happy to answer your questions or introduce you to Apostroph Group and our services in a personal meeting.
Nadia Gaille
Head of Customer Success

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