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Four editing terms (and their definitions)

The kind of editing you need will depend on your skill and experience as a writer, and where you are at the writing process.

Who needs an editor?

We all do! Even the best writers benefit from an editor’s thoughtful feedback.

In the developmental and structural editing stages, I ask you to consider narrative arc, themes, scenes, characters, and all the elements you will need to tell the story. At the copyediting stage, I focus on logic, cohesion and clarity. In the final proofread, I catch errors, typos and inconsistency. At every stage, I challenge you to write in language that is clear and compelling.

Types of editing

Editing typically falls into four categories.

  • Developmental editing: Editorial feedback and critique that helps the author strengthen and develop their manuscript and pitch, between the initial draft and when the manuscript is ready for copyediting, proofreading, and publication.
  • Structural editing: Focuses on the organisation and shape of the manuscript; improves structure, flow, cohesion and content; clarifies meaning and enhances voice; ensures language and content is compelling and appropriate to the audience.
  • Copyediting (also known as line editing): Focuses on coherence, clarity and consistency of the text. Improves flow and expression (e.g. removes ambiguity, ensures readability, tightens sentences etc); corrects for grammar, spelling, punctuation, idiom, style and tone; ensures consistency in the use of language, numbers, symbols, shortened forms, capitalisation, italics and other mechanics of text.
  • Proofreading: Elimination of language, grammatical and textual errors/inconsistencies prior to publication.

Please note: For academic editing services, I adhere to the Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd) Guidelines for Editing Research Theses which allows copyediting and proofreading only.

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