Editing Services

Editing, copyediting, proofreading… what do I need? One way to answer that is to ask how powerful a microscope do you want focused on your writing? Are you wondering if your intention in writing is coming across or are you nervous that you’re misusing semi-colons? Here’s a breakdown of various levels of help I can provide. In practice, these can overlap, but it’s useful to have a clear picture of these levels to begin the conversation.

Editing:

Whether you’re working on a proposal, sample chapters, or a complete dissertation, memoir, or other nonfiction work, there comes a point when it’s difficult to distance yourself enough from the writing to effectively evaluate your efforts—especially when cuts are necessary. That’s when an editor can help reenergize a project. Editing can include:

  • Assisting and offering support in the developmental phase, to expand and organize your ideas and drafts into a working text.
  • Evaluating the project from a big-picture perspective to make sure that your main themes and message are clear and compelling from the beginning and consistently developed throughout the text.
  • Assessing the organizational scheme to determine whether chapters, sections, and paragraphs flow coherently and support your primary message.
  • Identifying your audience and guiding the writing style so that it speaks effectively to that audience while at the same time maintaining your own unique voice.
  • Working with paragraphs and sentences where language could be tighter, eliminating redundancies and wordiness.

Copyediting:

When you have a complete draft and are looking for scrutiny at the sentence level, you’re ready for a line-edit from a copy editor. Copyediting focuses on appropriate language usage rather than content and includes:

  • If a manuscript has been previously edited, ensuring that the editor’s suggestions have been effectively implemented.
  • If a manuscript has not been previously edited, some language oversight may be called for, i.e. identifying sentences and paragraphs where language could be tighter, eliminating redundancies, wordiness, or awkward transitions.
  • Identifying and correcting errors in grammar, punctuation, and usage.
  • Verifying that a text conforms with any applicable usage or style guides.
  • Basic fact checking.

Proofreading:

When your project is in its final stages and needs a keen eye to ensure that all the annoying little details have been tended to, you need a skilled proofreader. I enjoy this level of precision and attention. Proofreading can include, depending on the type of project:

  • Correcting typographical and grammatical errors and any remaining language problems.
  • Comparing manuscripts to proofs to confirm that all previous revisions have been correctly incorporated.
  • Verifying that all texts referenced in the manuscript are included in the Works Cited.
  • Checking that the format of citations in footnotes and bibliographies are in compliance with relevant style guides.
  • If work is in final proof stage, confirming that fonts, chapter headings, layout, etc. are internally consistent and match author and/or publisher requirements.

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