Looking for someone with a razor-sharp eye?
Someone to spot typos, inconsistencies and repetition in your writing?
Even highly accomplished writers can get so close to their work that it’s hard to look at it critically. Having a professional editor review your writing saves you time and helps lift it just that bit higher.
Whatever you’ve written – from annual report to academic journal article to blog post, or anything in between – if you want it polished to publication standard, I can help.
If you want to get a better understanding of the different types of editing and what they involve, see below. Or simply get in touch and I can have a look at your document to make an assessment of how I can best help you.
What kind of editing do you need?
There can be confusion about what’s involved in the various types of editing. For instance, many people are unsure about what constitutes copyediting versus proofreading. Sometimes a manuscript or report comes in for a copyedit, but it isn’t quite ready because it needs a structural edit first.
The type of editing your written material needs depends largely on how polished the writing already is. There are three basic levels of editing, and your piece of writing may need only one of these, or a combination. Here they are:
1. Structural editing (also called ‘substantive editing’ or ‘developmental editing’)
A structural edit involves a high-level assessment of your completed manuscript to make sure it meets the needs of your audience in terms of readability, structure, language, content, clarity, style and presentation. It is particularly relevant where there are multiple authors and you are looking for a single ‘voice’. A structural edit usually makes suggestions in relation to:
- the writing achieving its intended purpose and addressing your target audience
- whether any sections need to be reorganised, condensed, expanded or rewritten to ensure a logical and coherent overall structure
- the inclusion of appropriate and clear headings, subheadings, illustrations or diagrams to guide the reader
- consistency in content (avoiding repetition and contradictions)
- clarification of the meaning of the material
- improving the logical flow of the language
- consistency in language, tone and style (a single ‘voice’)
- referencing and glossary are comprehensive and relevant.
2. Copyediting (also called ‘line editing’)
I like to think of copyediting as going through a document with a fine-toothed comb to ensure it is consistent, accurate, cohesive and complete. Forensic attention is paid to the small details while also keeping an eye on the big picture. Copyediting normally addresses the following (where relevant):
- accuracy of grammar, spelling, syntax and punctuation
- clarity of expression, flow of text, wordiness and jargon
- consistency in formatting, illustrations, capitalisation, hyphenation, italics, numerals, references and layout
- numbering for pages, headings, sections and table of contents are correct
- hyperlinks are working
- visual content including typography, headings, tables, figures and illustrations, captions and layout
- adherence to a particular style guide.
Proofreading is the final stage of editing before publication, after the written material has already been edited, laid out, designed and suggested amendments from the copyediting stage have been incorporated. Major changes are not suggested in this stage. A proofread usually involves reviewing the document for minor errors in formatting, spelling, punctuation, consistency or grammar.
You can check out examples of my previous work here.