Different types and levels of editing
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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.