The editorial services your project needs depend on the type of writing, stage of writing, and your objectives for the writing. Often, the services that would benefit a project don’t readily fit into one category. But we can figure that out together.
- Developmental editing
- Line editing
- Educational content reviewing
- Conscious language reviewing (sensitivity and inclusion)
- Multiple services
Writing is the use of research, interviews, experiences, and other kinds of information to generate written products, such as learning materials, essays, white papers, newsletters, biographical sketches, and articles.
Developmental editing is the assessment of how well a piece of writing meets both the author’s goals and the readers’ needs. A developmental editor might provide a written evaluation, insert comments within the document, or do a combination of both. The editing process
- focuses on overall content;
- addresses structure, flow, and tone; and
- offers suggestions for engaging and holding the audience.
Developmental editing—followed by the author’s revising—gets the content in solid shape before line editing and/or copyediting.
Line editing is the artistic and stylistic refining of a manuscript. The objective of line editing is to employ the most effective language to bring a piece to life. Line editing
- concentrates on the sentence and paragraph levels;
- suggests wording and syntax to support mood, flow, and pacing;
- points out extraneous words and unnecessary tangents; and
- elevates bland language to precise and nuanced language.
Line editing occurs after developmental editing and before—or along with—copyediting.
Copyediting focuses on the mechanical aspects of a manuscript for correctness, consistency, coherence, and clarity, usually following the guidelines of a specific style. Copyediting
- corrects the mechanics of spelling, grammar, and punctuation;
- smooths awkward sentence structure and fixes improper word usage;
- makes consistent the style and formatting, such as capitalization, use of italics, and treatment of numbers;
- points outs—but does not necessarily correct—structural and tonal issues;
- could include basic fact checking; and
- often includes the creation of a style sheet for guidance during later stages of the publication process.
Copyediting happens after developmental editing and/or line editing and before proofreading. Some authors may opt for “heavy” copyediting, which addresses not only mechanical aspects (e.g., grammar, punctuation) but also some stylistic aspects (e.g., mood, flow) that would be addressed by a line edit.
Proofreading is the thorough reading and inspection of copy that has been set in its form for publication. The proofreader marks up the print or digital document to indicate errors, often using a style sheet for direction. The markups inform the typesetter of corrections to make before publication. Proofreading
- identifies minor errors and typos missed or created during copyediting; and
- points out text misplacement and style errors introduced during formatting, file conversion, or typesetting.
Proofreading is the final step of the publishing process.
Educational content reviewing
Educational content reviewing ensures that teaching and learning materials are accurate in content, error-free in presentation, complete in the coverage of key terms and concepts, and clear in language and instruction. Educational content reviewing
- ensures pedagogically sound instructional tools;
- makes materials more concise and clear;
- targets appropriate reading level; and
- adjusts content to appropriate difficulty level.
Conscious language reviewing (sensitivity and inclusion)
Conscious language reviewing examines content through a lens of humanity. The reviewer identifies language that dehumanizes, disrespects, or disempowers through insensitive or exclusionary wording or images. The reviewer also explains these issues, provides resources for informed decision-making, and offers suggestions for remediation, including advising authors of evolving terminology or ongoing debates. This guidance allows authors to choose current, specific, and respectful language that values people of all backgrounds, identities, and circumstances.
Some projects require more than one type of editing. For instance, you may request a developmental edit to improve the structure and content of a manuscript, then a copyedit to clean up the revised manuscript. For fresh eyes and objectivity, the project may benefit from contracting different editors to complete the various stages of editing. If more than one editorial service is requested of an editor, allow ample time between stages to refresh the editor’s perspective. In such cases, each editorial service is considered a separate project, with its own specifications and costs. In contrast, authors may opt for a content review to be done concurrently with copyediting or line editing.
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