What is Editing?
Many people think that editing and proofreading are two names for the same thing. However, editing serves a different function to proofreading, and occurs at a different stage in the publication process. Structural editing and copy editing involve in-depth reading and checking of a document or book manuscript. These steps involve reviewing language and style to ensure that the meaning of the text is clear, that it is acceptably expressed, and that the content (both words and images) is consistent and factually correct.
The Role of an Editor
The role of an editor is to ensure that written content communicates its message clearly to the reader.
Editors assist writers by:
- correcting spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors
- suggesting where different words could be used to better effect
- checking for use of the correct tense and person
- pointing out where a phrase, sentence, or paragraph is clumsy, out of place or ambiguous
- eliminating redundancies or repetition in the text
- inserting linking sentences between paragraphs, transitional phrases, or sentences that help to summarise the main point
- highlighting any issues in relation to fact, plot sequence, timelines or logic that appear to be incorrect or inconsistent.
Different Levels of Editing
During the structural editing process, the editor’s goal is to improve the narrative flow of the written content by providing suggestions to the author (or even rewriting certain sections) to produce a uniform reading level, tone and voice within the document or book manuscript.
Some ways in which structural editing can improve readability of text include:
- changing passive voice to active voice
- rearranging sentences, paragraphs or sections for greater clarity
- shortening (or occasionally lengthening) the text to ensure that it conforms to document layout specifications.
Copy editing involves checking the text to ensure that style and consistency are maintained throughout a written document or book manuscript. The editor will review the document word-for-word and line-by-line in order to identify and correct any spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors. The relationships between text and graphics in the document are also checked, including formatting of paragraphs and headings, numbering, image/photograph captions (if relevant), and any inconsistencies in the page layout of the publication.
How We Can Help You
At Epiphany Editing & Publishing we can help writers who want to improve their writing – whether for personal, academic or business reasons – to optimise their work. We check your written Word document for obvious errors such as spelling, punctuation, and grammar mistakes. In addition, we ensure that the text is consistent throughout, well organised and structured, and the language level is appropriate for your intended audience.
Unless you have a specific style requirement for your editing project, we use the following standard publishing resources when editing a client’s document:
- Style Manual for Authors, Editors and Printers (sixth edition) for grammar, punctuation and style
- Macquarie Dictionary (fifth edition) for spelling.
We are always happy to discuss your specific requirements before commencing an editing project. We recognise that you have invested a lot of time and effort in your writing. Our editing service is suited to a wide range of clients ranging from university students or academics, small business owners, corporate and government organisations and self-publishing authors.
If you are an author looking to self publish your manuscript, we offer several book editing packages which are designed to suit a range of different publishing scenarios. In addition, if you want some preliminary feedback about the strengths and weaknesses of your manuscript before submitting it to a publisher or self publishing your book, we recommend you check out our manuscript appraisal service.
To find out more about our professional editing service, contact us today.