You’ve drafted your content. Congratulations! Now it’s time to edit. But what type of content editing do you need?
Question 1—What is the state of your content?
- Initial Draft. You wrote the content quickly and cleaned up the glaring mistakes. There may be grammar, punctuation, or spelling issues.
- Middle-of-the-Road Draft. The content is in pretty good shape, having been through a few revisions.
- Advanced Draft. You’ve checked all the facts and refined the text. The format matches your brand.
Question 2—What type of content editing do you need?
Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA) says that “Copyeditors correct spelling, grammar, usage, and punctuation, check cross-references, and prepare the style sheets that guide consistency and accuracy across the manuscript.” The copyeditor looks at the mechanics and makes sure the style is consistent.
Developmental or Substantive Editing
During this process, editors rewrite and revamp the text. (EFA) In this stage, editors may move paragraphs or entire sections around. Or, editors may re-order a group of procedures to match the workflow.
As the writer, we’re sometimes more focused on expressing the point than verifying quotes or historical information. If we’ve included graphs or illustrations, we might figure we’ll check the copyright or ownership later. An editor is the writer’s impartial researcher who will check historical information or other facts for accuracy. Researching also involves obtaining permission to use the illustration, graph, or chart.
Technical editors review “scientific, engineering, medical, or other complex documents for both language and content issues.” (STC Technical Editing SIG) These editors focus on the purpose and how the reader will use that content. As such, technical editors copyedit. They may also make substantive edits, revise, and proofread.
In other cases, technical editors move beyond editing the written word. They may also be called in to edit instructional video scripts and usability testing content.
Ready to edit? I’ll help you produce readable error-free content. Let’s connect!
- STC Technical Editing SIG
- Corrigo, The Official Publication of the STC Technical Editing SIG
- Peter Winninger’s article, “Foundations: The Role of a Technical Editor” (TechWhirl)
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