There are different stages of professional editing: developmental editing (or structural editing), line editing (or substantive editing), copyediting, and proofreading. I work at the sentence and word level to make sure your writing is clear, consistent, and correct.
Have you already ironed out the big picture and structural issues in your manuscript? Great! Read on to find out about the editing services I offer and how I can help.
Although many people use the terms copyediting and proofreading interchangeably, they are actually two separate things. Copyediting is a mechanical edit that includes the following:
- Correcting grammar, spelling, punctuation, and usage errors
- Establishing consistency of capitalization, numbers, hyphenation, acronyms, etc.
- Checking for internal consistency of facts (character traits, timelines, etc.)
- Flagging unclear passages and repetition
- Fact-checking basic details (such as dates, proper names, and places)
- Checking cross-references
- Formatting the reference list
- Creating a style sheet to record editorial choices
- Applying an appropriate style guide (e.g., APA style, Chicago style, or a journal’s specified style)
Comments, queries, and edits are made using the Track Changes feature in Microsoft Word. You’ll be able to review all editorial suggestions and are free to decide which ones to keep or discard.
You might be ready for copyediting if:
✓ You’ve completed all writing and revisions.
✓ You’re happy with the manuscript’s structure, organization, and content.
✓ Your manuscript has already been through a previous round of editing (such as developmental editing or line editing).
Although there can be some overlap, a proofreader is checking for different elements than a copyeditor. There is no tinkering with the text at this stage, and only hard-and-fast errors will be corrected. Proofreading is the final step in the editing process and includes the following:
- Fixing minor grammar mistakes
- Checking for typos (missing or repeated words, transposed letters, etc.)
- Correcting spelling, punctuation, and capitalization errors
- Making sure styling is consistent (headers, spacing, font size, bold/italics, etc.)
- Finding errors that were overlooked or crept in during previous stages of editing
- Cross-checking references and callouts
- Adhering to your chosen style guide
You might be ready for proofreading if:
✓ Your work has already been copyedited (not necessarily by me).
✓ Your work is in its final form for printing and needs a prepublication check.
Proofreading does not include:
✗ Creating a style sheet
✗ In-depth changes to grammar and style
✗ Suggestions for altering word choices or sentence structure
✗ Basic fact-checking
✗ Checking story line and character inconsistencies
This is a copyedit of the first 5,000 words (about 20 pages, double spaced). You can use this feedback to revise the rest of the manuscript on your own. Mini edits are currently only available for works of fiction.
You might be ready for a mini edit if:
✓ You’re unsure if you want to invest in a full edit at this time.
✓ You want to get a feel for any infelicities in your writing.