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​The editorial process is a spectrum, starting with the big picture (developmental editing) and narrowing down to the details with copyediting and proofreading—that’s where I come in. The lines between each level are a bit fuzzy, but we can all agree on some basics.

Copyediting

 

Copyediting comes fairly late in the game. Your manuscript is in pretty good shape, but maybe it needs some work at the sentence or paragraph level.

 

A heavy copyedit can overlap with what some people call line editing or structural editing, and a light copyedit might overlap with proofreading.

 

Whether you want me to dig deep or just give it an eagle-eyed once-over, a copyedited document enhances your credibility.

 

What copyeditors look for

  • Spelling, capitalization, and punctuation

  • Grammar

  • Style (Do you use the Oxford comma? Do you capitalize professional titles? Do you use “catalog” or “catalogue”?)

  • Word choice and usage

  • Logical flow

  • Appropriateness for the audience

 

What copyeditors do

  • Suggest corrections

  • Query or suggest alternative wording

  • Rearrange sentences for clarity

  • Ensure consistency in spelling and capitalization

  • Maintain the author’s voice, whether the “author” is an individual or an organization

Proofreading

 

Proofreading is the last look before your manuscript is published or otherwise makes its way into the world. There isn’t time (or money) to make substantial changes at this point.

 

Proofreading gets down to the nitty-gritty at the word, sentence, and layout level.

 

Having your document proofread ensures it’s as close to error-free as it can be.

 

What proofreaders look for

  • Missing or repeated words

  • Glaring grammatical errors

  • Spelling mistakes

  • Incorrect punctuation

  • Inconsistent or incorrect capitalization

  • Formatting errors or inconsistencies (such as bold or italic or incorrect fonts)

 

And if the document is already laid out:

  • Page numbers, running heads, section headings, image captions and credits

 

What proofreaders do

  • Suggest corrections

  • Ensure consistency and adherence to style guide

  • Query sentences or word choices that are confusing

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