The editorial services your project needs depend on the type of writing, stage of writing, and your objectives for the writing. Sometimes what a piece needs doesn’t fit easily into one category of service. And sometimes a piece would benefit from more than one type of service. But we can figure that out together.
- Developmental editing
- Line editing
- Educational content reviewing
- Sensitivity (diversity, equity, and inclusion) reviewing
Writing is the use of research, notes, interviews, experience, imagination, and other information to generate written products, such as essays, white papers, blogs, biographical sketches, articles, and learning materials.
Developmental editing is the reorganizing or restructuring of a manuscript to better carry out the author’s vision and serve the reader. The developmental editor provides a written evaluation, inserts comments within the manuscript, or does a combination of both. The process
- addresses the big picture of structure and flow;
- offers suggestions for engaging and holding the audience;
- smooths inconsistencies in tone; and
- improves overall content.
Developmental editing occurs before line editing and/or copyediting.
Line editing is the artistic and stylistic refining of a manuscript. The specific objective of line editing is to use the most effective language to convey the author’s vision. Line editing
- enhances the author’s voice;
- occurs at the sentence and paragraph level;
- suggests wording and syntax to support pacing and flow;
- points out extraneous words and unnecessary tangents; and
- elevates bland language to precise and nuanced language for tone.
Line editing occurs after developmental editing and before copyediting.
Copyediting focuses on the mechanical aspects of a manuscript for correctness, consistency, coherence, and clarity, usually following a specified style guide. Copyediting
- corrects the mechanics of spelling, grammar, and punctuation;
- smooths awkward sentence structure and fixes improper word usage;
- amends and makes consistent the style and formatting, such as capitalization, use of italics, and the notation of numbers;
- points outs—but does not correct—structural and organizational problems;
- could include basic fact checking; and
- often includes the creation of a style sheet for guidance during later stages of the publication process.
Copyediting occurs after developmental editing and/or line editing and before proofreading. Some authors may opt for “heavy” copyediting, which addresses not only mechanics (e.g., grammar, punctuation) but also some stylistic aspects of the writing (e.g., word choice, transitions).
Proofreading is the thorough reading and inspection of copy that has been set in its preliminary form for publication. The proofreader finds errors and marks up the print or digital document, often using a style sheet for guidance, to inform the typesetter of corrections to make. Proofreading
- points out errors introduced during formatting, file conversion, or typesetting; and
- indicates errors missed during copyediting.
Proofreading is the last step of the publishing process.
Some projects require more than one type of editing. For instance, an author 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, it may benefit the author to employ different editors to complete the different stages of editing. If the author requests more than one level of service from an editor, it is preferable to allow ample time between the stages to refresh the editor’s perspective. In this case, each service is considered a separate project, with its own specifications and costs.
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;
- increases the conciseness and clarity of student-facing materials;
- aims for appropriate reading level; and
- adjusts content to appropriate difficulty level.
Sensitivity (diversity, equity, and inclusion) reviewing
Sensitivity reviewing examines the content of a piece through a lens of humanity. The process informs the author of language that dehumanizes, disrespects, or disempowers. It also offers explanations and suggestions for remediation for specific terms, including informing the author of any ongoing debate. Most important is that terminology follows the preferences of the individuals owning any given identity, background, or experience.