Different types and levels of editing

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There are different types of editors who are skilled in a variety of editing fields.

Often an editor is required to multitask and wear the hats of project editor, content editor, developmental editor, substantive editor, and copyeditor (to name a few) all at the same time.

I hope to simplify and condense the varying roles, to a certain degree, by providing broad definitions of the different levels of editing.

The level at which an editor operates depends on your requirements and the quality and scope of work.


Proofreading
  • professionally written documents and laid-out pages qualify for proofreading – it is a last check of a document before it goes to print
  • the content is not re-edited unless there are glaring errors
  • proofreading can be described as a quality check – typographical errors, consistency in language usage and formatting (table of contents, page numbers, headings, spacing, tables, graphs, footnotes), conformity with style guide.

 

Light edit
  • punctuation, punctuation, spelling and grammatical errors
  • typographical errors and inconsistencies
  • rewriting some text to ensure clarity of meaning
  • providing editing comments and suggestions
  • compliance with style guide
  • proofreading.

 

Standard edit
  • all the above
  • rewriting ambiguous sentences
  • restructuring sentences, paragraphs and sections
  • checking for consistency within a document and checking accuracy of diagrams and illustrations
  • formatting and compliance with style guide.

 

Advanced edit
  • all the above, plus reorganising content and structure
  • clarifying meaning
  • checking consistency and suitability of tone
  • ensuring content flows in a logical sequence
  • identifying areas of ambiguity, inaccuracy, wordiness and redundancy
  • identifying inappropriate jargon, socially unacceptable content or possible legal infringements (copyright, libel, plagiarism)
  • verifying and revising incorrect facts
  • adding information and negotiating changes with authors.